Pakistan committed to women empowerment across all development sectors

New York, 17 March 2016

Pakistan told the world body that women empowerment in the country has been included in the long-term national planning framework, known as Vision 2025.

Speaking in the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters, Leader of Pakistan delegation, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Minister of State for Human Rights said that Vision 2025 commits to pursue women empowerment as a key priority area across all sectors of planning and development.

“It focuses on providing an enabling environment to every woman to develop her full potential and to equally share benefits of economic and social development”, he added.

Barrister Khan said that various existing laws have been changed and new laws have been enacted to protect and enable women to realize their rights on equitable basis.

Pakistan, he said, has established autonomous Commissions on the Status of Women at the federal and provincial levels. Women Development Departments have been set up at provincial levels to work for betterment of women. Ombudsperson mechanisms have been set up to exclusively deal with cases involving women rights.

Barrister Khan told the Commission that Pakistan has undertaken practical measures to convert dream of gender equality into reality. “The Prime Minister has launched special initiatives for women development including provision of interest free loans, better educational facilities, skill development, and health cover”, he added.

Speaking about the National Action Plan, he said that the government has recently approved an ambitious plan to promote human rights in the country. The Plan, he said, sets out four key priority areas of gender equality, with special focus on protection of women from all forms of violence.

“These practical measures demonstrate a strong commitment of Pakistan to protect, promote and empower women to become equal and dignified citizens”.

Pakistan, he said, had supported Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, that concerns gender equality and women empowerment, from the very beginning. “We are determined to achieve it”, he emphasized.

The Government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Barrister Khan said, is pursuing an integrated policy, which, is underpinned by legal, institutional, and administrative measures, to ensure timely and effective progress in all areas of concern.

He concluded by assuring the international community of Pakistan’s unequivocal and unambiguous determination to fulfill all its national and international obligations regarding women empowerment.