15 April | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Govt promises full protection, equality to women

On International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praises Fatima Jinnah, Begum Rana Liaquat Ali, Benazir Bhutto, Kulsoom Nawaz, Bilquis Edhi, Dr Ruth Pfau, Malala Yousafzai and all great contributors

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif promised full protection, equal opportunities of education and jobs, and visible steps by the government for equitable rights of women on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

In a message, he said that today was the day to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to provide them equal opportunities for their effective role in building the society. “This day acknowledged the constructive role of women in human evolution and today we have to make the pledge to elevate their status in our society,” he said.

‘Our society is filled with examples of service of women in all fields of life’

The prime minister said that today was the day to remember mothers of the believers and the female companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for their services and fundamental role in building foundation of Islam, political wisdom of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, national services of Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan, sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto for democracy, struggle of Mohtarma Kulsoom Nawaz for survival of democracy, Mohtarma Bilquis Edhi, and Dr Ruth Pfau for dedicating their lives for healing the wounds of humanity, courage of Malala Yousafzai for female education and all great women like them.

“We have to make the young generation aware about their achievements, as progress of human society was not possible without constructive role of women,” he said, adding that if humans looked around then women in every role was busy in becoming a valuable member of the society. He said that Islam gave equal rights to women 14 centuries back. He said that Islam encouraged women to play their positive role in every aspect of life without diminishing their dignity and honor.

He said that the present society was filled with examples of service of women in every field of life. “In the 21st century, women are working shoulder-to-shoulder with men in the development of human civilization. Look at any field, besides fulfilling their household duties amicably, women are in the leadership roles which is a matter of satisfaction.” He said top priority of the government was to provide women equal rights and opportunities so that they could make progress in the society.

In the past, Shehbaz Sharif said that he took every possible step for equal progress of women and for provision of educational facilities and jobs. Not only laws were enacted for ensuring equal rights for women and for their protection but policy measures were taken for including them in the national mainstream, he recalled. He said that these measures included the law of inheritance for women, scholarships for education of girls, their special share in the Punjab Endowment Fund, provision of laptops and to give jobs to them on merit.

“I fully realize that we have to work more to empower women and to ensure their protection and equal rights.” He said that the government, media and civil society would have to cooperate and make a pledge to protect women and their rights, and also to come on forefront to raise awareness about their issues. “Mothers and sisters of my country are the pride of the nation and I have full faith that they can play their vital role in the development and prosperity of Pakistan,” he concluded.


In his message, Pakistan People’s Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto extended his heartfelt tribute to the indomitable spirit, resilience and unwavering commitment of Pakistani women in shaping the destiny of the nation. He said that the role of women in the process of nation-building was unparalleled. “It is essential to acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable contributions of our women,” he said, adding it has been committed throughout the party’s history to championing the cause of women’s rights, welfare, and independence.

Under the visionary leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said that the nation witnessed the initiation of groundbreaking policies aimed at empowering women and ensuring their active participation in all spheres of life. He said that Bhutto’s commitment to social justice laid the foundation for a more inclusive and equitable society. Under the leadership of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, he said that Pakistan reached historic milestones in women’s rights.

‘Let us persist in our journey towards a more inclusive and egalitarian society’

As the first woman to lead a Muslim-majority country, Benazir Bhutto shattered barriers and drove progress in gender equality, education, and healthcare, he said. “Benazir Bhutto’s tenures witnessed establishment of the First Women Bank, women police stations, and impactful initiatives such as the Lady Health Workers Program and Land Allotment to Women Peasants Program, leaving an enduring legacy for Pakistani women.” When in office, Asif Ali Zardari continued the legacy of prioritizing women’s empowerment, championing policies to advance their rights and well-being, he said.

He said that Asif Zardari’s notable contributions include the revolutionary Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), globally-acclaimed by the World Bank, serving as a significant gift to the women of Pakistan. Additionally, his commitment is reflected in the introduction of pro-women legislation and initiatives, fostering a conducive environment for women to flourish economically and socially, he said. “As the party chairperson, I unequivocally reaffirm our steadfast commitment to women’s empowerment, their rights, and holistic development.”

On this International Women’s Day, let us not only celebrate the strides we have taken but also acknowledge the challenges that persist,” the PPP chairperson said. “Together, let us persist in our journey towards a more inclusive and egalitarian society, where every Pakistani woman is empowered to unleash her full potential,” he said.