Women provide greater chance for positive social change and sustainable peace: PM

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fahmida Mirza and others listening to the national anthem at the inaugural session of National Convention of Women Parliamentarians in Islamabad.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that when women become a central part of the political decision making process, there is a greater chance for positive social change and sustainable peace.

He expressed these views while addressing the national convention on the role of women parliamentarians in peace, security and reconciliation

Prime Minister said Indeed the role of women parliamentarians from the SAARC countries in making peace and promoting reconciliation through dialogue within the region holds a great promise to improve the lot of one fifth of world population. Tension in the region is not helping any country rather diverting precious resources to non-developmental sectors.

Therefore, every effort to promote peace and reconciliation is laudable.
Many countries including our own have shown that when women become a central part of the political decision making process, there is a greater chance for positive social change and sustainable peace, he said.
Recalling the legacy of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto PM said she always wanted to be remembered mainly for what she did for the women, and how her efforts made a difference in the lives of the common person -whether it is in population control, exposing domestic violence, or giving women access and opportunities to become economically independent.
It is with this vision that we are taking on the battle for peace, stability and prosperity of Pakistan and its people against the forces that want conflict and mayhem.

“I am heartened by the fact that women parliamentarians have also decided to be part of this struggle, which we will, Insha Allah, win”.

The convention marks a watershed in the parliamentary history of Pakistan.
The presence of the high percentage of women legislators in our Assemblies today is a proof that we are translating Mohtarma’s dream into reality, the PM said.

Women parliamentarians’ outstanding performance in the legislative business signifies their assertiveness as capable legislators and their keen interest in addressing matters of national and international importance.
Indeed, the legislative business cannot be validated without the participation and consent of women parliamentarians.

Their role is critical to establish true democratic procedures.

The people and the armed forces are valiantly rendering sacrifices to save the country from the clutches of forces that want to move the country backward, not forward, he said.

Pakistan’s leadership is fully alert to the dangers terror posses to Pakistan and its people, which as you are discussing at this important event, have an extra and sometimes unique impact on women, girls and on family life.
Women are among the most vulnerable victims of conflict and violence, and they are often the last to speak about their ordeal, he said

With the active participation of women parliamentarians, the government is amending discriminatory laws.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2009 has been enacted, whereas the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill, 2010 has also been enforced.

These laws would serve as deterrent to the issue of harassment at workplace and provide opportunity to young women to join private and public sector without any fear, the PM said.

A draft Domestic Violence Bill, 2009 is also in the process of enactment. Meanwhile, the numbers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers for Women are being increased to provide immediate relief to the victims of violence.
Legislation to enable women to own property and assets is also being formulated.

By working across party lines, women parliamentarians can become catalyst for change that will ultimately not just benefit the women of Pakistan, but their children, fathers, husbands and brothers, he said.

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