Islamabad: (Ch Mudassar Iqbal) Speaker Nation Assembly Asad Qaiser on Wednesday said that gender equality is not possible without ending violence against women and girls in the society.
Addressing a ceremony arranged by UN Women Pakistan in collaboration with the Women Parlimenatary Caucus WPCs ‘Empowered Pakistani Women’ Speaker National Assembly said that the government was committed to empower women and enhance their representation in the parliament.
“We can’t get result if men are not part of our efforts to empower women and end violence. Many male legislators are recognized for their extraordinarily work for cause of gender equality,” Qaiser said.
He said that as many as 17 women parliamentary secretaries are working in the National Assembly that substantiates the government’s commitment to women’s empowerment.
He appreciated the collaboration of UN Women with the WPCs to help parliamentarians from provincial assemblies to learn from the experiences of each other and replicate good practices in their respective legislative processes.
He expressed the hope that the technical assistance from UN Women Pakistan will continue this journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international commitments on gender equality.
He recommend Women Parliamentary Caucuses (WPC) of National and Provincial Assemblies to review all existing laws and introduce amendments in bills for further improving legislation to safeguard women rights and end violence,” he said.
Munaza Hassan, Secretary Women’s Parliamentary caucus said that “As the world is halfway through the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign, women legislators of Pakistan are ready to address all forms of violence through gender sensitive legislation in line with Pakistan’s constitutional guarantees and international commitments,”.
“Despite political differences, WPC is consistently proving itself as a platform that can enable all women parliamentarians to work collectively for the empowerment of women, she said.
She said that strengthening of national and provincial caucuses is key to improve coordination for pro-women laws.
“Enhancing women’s participation and ending violence against women and girls are key mandated functions of WPC. When I see my male colleagues joining the cause of gender equality, I feel stronger and more optimistic,” she stated.
She said that women’s representation is important for disadvantaged communities, especially girls who cannot go to schools and who are driven into early, forced or child marriages.
She said that in order to protect and defend the interests of half of our population, we need greater representation of women in political decision making.
The event was arranged in connection with 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign that takes place each year from 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th of December, International Human Rights Day.
The 16 Days campaign is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
At the end of the event the participating parliamentarians signed a joint resolution that reflected their collective determination to empower Pakistani women.