President Asif Ali Zardari has said the government is committed to women emancipation and protect them from all kinds of exploitation and discrimination.
In his message on the International Women Day being observed worldwide including in Pakistan, the President said it 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,” he said.
President Zardari said, “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.”
He said Benazir Bhutto, 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.
He said by asserting that women’s rights are inseparable from human rights and that there was no human right more fundamental, and more universal, than equal rights for women in the new century, the Shaheed leader laid down a firm basis on which the future edifice of women empowerment was to be built.
The President said 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.
He mentioned that the Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act 2011 has been enacted to provide financial and legal assistance to women in distress. Also, 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, he added.
President Zardari reiterated to pursue the pledges made by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto at the Beijing Conference on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
He called 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.
He acknowledged the strides made by women in their forward march towards gender equality.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013