ISLAMABAD: Thought-provoking seminars and meetings as well as socio-cultural events were held across the world, including Pakistan, to mark the International Women’s Day on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for only female lawmakers to address the parliament on the day included silence because there weren’t enough women to speak.
Of the 543 elected members in the lower house, only 62 are women — or 12 per cent — and not all of them were prepared to address the assembly.
Those who spoke talked about allowing women’s entry into Hindu temples and better education for girls. They also demanded renewed effort in passing long-stalled legislation to require that 33 per cent of lawmakers be women.
In Pakistan, perhaps the most important gesture in this regard was made by the Senate which unanimously adopted a resolution to express solidarity with women. Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan People’s Party had moved the resolution on behalf of herself and other Senators, including Raja Zafarul Haq, Shibli Faraz, Kamil Ali Agha, Shahi Syed, Sitara Ayaz, Azam Khan Swati, Mian Muhammad Atteeq and Nuzhat Sadiq.
The resolution urged the government to take all possible measures for women’s empowerment.
Addressing through video link a function held at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai underlined the need for educating women so that they could play an active role in the development of the country.
She said the goals of development could not be achieved without educating women and granting them equality.
In a message, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that women were equal partners in nationhood and any attempt to isolate, degrade or deprive them of their rights would be resisted by his party.
From Fatima Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto to Malala Yousafzai and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the Pakistani women had always led from the front in nation’s quest for progress, prosperity, peace and equality, he said.