ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi has said that today, we join the international community in
celebrating International Women’s Day.
In his message of International women day Qureshi said that it is an
occasion to celebrate the progress made in empowering women, and
to reaffirm our collective resolve for redoubling efforts to further
advance respect for women’s rights.
Qureshi said that Pakistan fully supports this year’s theme of
International Women’s Day: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal
future in a COVID-19 world.”
He said that during the testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic,
women in Pakistan demonstrated remarkable resilience and
leadership, effectively contributing to our nation’s response and
Women stood at the front lines, as health care workers, primary
caregivers, innovators, human rights defenders and community
organizers, he said adding that under the guidance of Prime Minister
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s landmark Ehsaas emergency cash program to
counter the negative socio-economic impacts of the pandemic is being
ably led by a woman.
He said that the Constitution of Pakistan upholds the equal status of
women. We have made significant advancements in empowering
women politically, economically and socially, including through
progressive legislative, policy, institutional and administrative
measures. Ensuring broad-based inclusion of women’s rights in every
sphere and at all levels is one of the key priorities of our Government.
At the international fora, Pakistan’s voice has always resonated in
favour of women empowerment and gender equality. During the
drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pakistan’s
delegate, Begum Shaista Ikramullah, played an active role in the
inclusion of Article 16 for the equal rights of men and women to marry
and to found family.
Qureshi said that despite our socio-economic challenges, the number
of women in key leadership positions has risen steadily in Pakistan. We
have had a female Prime Minister, the youngest Nobel Prize winner,
the Governor of the State Bank, the Speaker of the National Assembly
and numerous women Ministers, Ambassadors, Judges and high-
ranking civil servants and diplomats. Our women fly fighter jets, serve
as UN Peacekeepers, and one of them is now a three-star General in
the military. As a nation, we honour and salute their role and
contribution to the society and State of Pakistan.
Qureshi said that as we commemorate this day, we cannot forget the
plight of women in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir
(IIOJK). Over the last seven decades, they have endured the worst
forms of human rights abuse and oppression at the hands of Indian
occupation forces including sexual violence, rape and molestation.
He said that these human rights violations have been extensively
documented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights in the two Kashmir reports of 2018 and 2019 as well as in
various communications and public pronouncements of UN Special
Procedures Mandate Holders. The international community must take
cognizance of these serious crimes and hold India accountable.
Qureshi said that the road to women empowerment and gender
equality is a long one. Pakistan’s direction, commitment and actions
are clear. We will continue to resolutely pursue the full realization of
women’s rights, mindful of the challenges, but resolved to further build
on our achievements.