Islamabad, March 08, 2018 (PPI-OT): Present government has taken practical steps, adopted effective policies and enacted a number of laws for empowerment of women and the international community has appreciated all the initiatives unfurled in this regard. This was stated by the Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb while addressing a ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce Islamabad in regards to International Day of Women. She said that the government had also given preference to women in BISP, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme and other similar initiatives with a view to encourage and empower them.

The MOS said that women could play a better role in the development of the society provided they were encouraged and afforded due opportunities by the society for that role. Marriyum said that since the inception of Pakistan the women beginning from Fatima Jinnah up to Kalsoom Nawaz had waged a struggle for democracy and Benazir Bhutto gave a new meaning to politics in our part of the world. She said that Benazir Bhutto rendered myriad of sacrifices for the cause of democracy and highlighted real identity of Pakistan at the global level.

Marriyum said the right to vote was bestowed on the Pakistani women much before some of the developed countries of the world. She said that suppressing the independence of women through archaic and redundant traditions was also a crime adding that people should avoid indulging in politics over women and making negative comments about them.

The MOS said that it was a moment of great rejoicing to see ceremonies being held at the Presidency, Prime Minister House and all over the country to celebrate International Day of Women with unremitting enthusiasm. She said that the purpose to celebrate this day was to create awareness in the society regarding its responsibilities with respect to rights of women. She said that it was also a collective responsibility of the parliament, government and civil society to play their due role for empowerment of women.

The minister said that it was the duty of the government to adopt policies and enact legislation in that regard adding that the environment within the family and training also had a significant role in ensuring real empowerment of women. Marriyum said that if the women were granted their rights and independence then they would never be a weak link in the society. The minister pointed out that Quaid-i-Azam without giving any formal official position to Fatima Jinnah always treated her as his equal and the purpose was to ensure gender equality.

Marriyum said that Fehmida Mirza ran the assembly admirably during her five-year stint as Speaker of the National Assembly. She said that the women were not lagging behind their male counterparts in any sphere of the national life. She said that if women were provided social opportunities it could end injustices that the women folk have to face in the society. The minister observed that no religion was against the rights of women and Islam laid greater emphasis on them. Marriyum said that apart from the federal government Punjab government had also done legislation for the rights of women which practically led to their empowerment.

The minister said that the women in positions of power should make efforts for the women from weaker segments of the society so that they could also achieve parity with them. She said that Pakistan was one of those countries where immaculate policies and legislation was done but there were invariably challenges in regards to their implementation. The minister said that 50% of the world population consisted of women and if they did not take part in the development process then how could somebody even talk about development? She said that if justice was not done in conformity with all its elements it always had repercussions.

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