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Message from President on International Women Day

Islamabad, March 08, 2013 (PPI-OT): The observance of the International Women Day today under the auspices of the United Nations demonstrates that women everywhere are waking up. On this occasion I wish to congratulate the women of the world in general and of Pakistan in particular and salute them for their struggle for emancipation and an end to discrimination. I also wish to congratulate the Ministry of Human Rights for arranging special events to celebrate the day in a befitting manner.

The Government of Pakistan is committed to emancipate women and protect them from all kinds of exploitation and discrimination. In this struggle we are inspired by the teachings of our religion, the dictates of our Constitution and the vision of our founding father Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as well as of our great leaders Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

Indeed our leader, the first woman Prime Minister in the Muslim world and the twice elected Prime Minister of the country, felt a special responsibility towards promoting the cause of the women. By asserting “women’s rights are inseparable from human rights” that “there was no human right more fundamental, and more universal, than equal rights for women in the new century” she laid down a firm basis on which the future edifice of women empowerment was to be built. We resolve today to make stronger and ever lasting that edifice.

Driven by conviction and inspired by the vision of its leaders the present Government has enacted far reaching reforms for protecting women from harassment on the one hand and empowering the poorest of the poor women through the special Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) on the other.

The Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act 2011 has been enacted to provide financial and legal assistance to women in distress. A National Commission on Status of Women has been set up to protect the social, economic, political and legal rights of women and job quota for women in government services enhanced.

On this occasion, I would like to reiterate that we will pursue the pledges made by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto at the Beijing Conference on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In this context I call upon all political parties and civil society to revisit the laws discriminatory to women and propose suitable amendments to extricate women from the agony and embarrassment of discriminatory laws and customs.

On this occasion I also wish to acknowledge the great strides made by our women in their forward march towards gender equality. Let us further build on their progress and collective power to help make our country, the region and the world more tolerant, harmonious and secure. With courageous girls like Malala Yousufzai among them our women are fated to succeed against all odds.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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