Today we join the international community in celebrating the International Women’s Day 2017. The theme of the Day “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” calls for accelerating the 2030 Agenda towards an effective implementation of existing and new commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights.
The Constitution of Pakistan supports the equal status of women. Article 18 of the Constitution provides equal space to women in every lawful profession, while Article 25 lays down the principles of non-discrimination and affirmative action in their case.
Pakistan is making wholehearted efforts to honor and implement its international commitments. The Government of Pakistan has ratified seven Core Human Rights Conventions, including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It is a national obligation to provide for the participation of women at every level to make them valuable and productive members of society.
Our government is working on key human rights priority areas concerning women, which include formulation of national policy guidelines on Gender Based Violence, reviewing all discriminatory legislation against women, establishment of new crisis centers and strengthening of existing services at district, provincial and federal levels.
To further strengthen democratic norms, our government is committed to increasing women participation in general elections. It would not only enhance public representation, but will also instill voting culture in our young generation.
Moreover, the Government has taken several important initiatives including policy changes, legal reforms, access to justice, protection of women, children, minorities and vulnerable populations.
The Government of Pakistan is working to ensure broad-based inclusion of women rights in every sphere and at all levels. Women of Pakistan have accomplished great successes in the field of entrepreneurship, IT, science & technology, education, film-making, politics and have held high positions in government and also in various international organizations.
In the wake of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the provincial governments have the responsibility to make every effort for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the federal government will provide full support. I call upon all relevant quarters including civil society, philanthropists, media and the corporate sector to continue working hand-in-hand with the government in providing an enabling environment for women in Pakistan.