Lithuania: While Addressing the General House Session of Asia-Europ international Conference on the Status of Women Empowerment at Vilnius Lithuania, Minister of Human Rights (MoHR) Senator Kamran Michael has said that Pakistan being an Islamic Republic State is committed to safeguard the Rights of Women regardless of their status, caste, color, creed or language and Pakistan has always positively responded to all the regional and international commitments with full conviction, dedication and zeal. Islam enjoins upon us the sacred task of ensuring gender parity, respect, care and protection of women.
He shared that Government of Pakistan is fully cognizant to safeguard the rights of women and has taken significant steps for social, political, economic and legal empowerment of Pakistani women. Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan guarantees Fundamental Rights, he added. Minister of human rights shared the various efforts and endeavors taken by government and human rights ministry in this regard.
While talking about National Commission on the Status of Women, he said that it has been mandated to examine policies, programs and other measures taken for women’s development and gender equality. The commission is also entrusted to review laws, rules and regulations affecting the status of women. Provincial CEDAW Implementation Committees have been established to ensure the implementation of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and to address the issues of women, he further stated.
Michael told that in February 2016, The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights, also passed landmark legislation, the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016, leading marriage registration of Hindu community. The Ministry of Human Rights is in process of finalization of Christian Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Divorce (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
He said Prime Minister’s Business Loan Scheme provides loan to youth start new businesses. 50% of the loans was allocated for women. Under the Prime Minister’s Qarz-e-Hasna Scheme poor people especially women are provide interest free loan to so as to be economically empowered. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund has also helped millions of poor people to improve their financial status. Benazir Income Support Program is being implemented all across Pakistan has so far benefited 5.71 million households. The main component under BISP program is unconditional cash transfers that provide eligible families with unconditional cash transfers, he said. He shed light that The 11th Five Year Plan (2013 –18) has been launched which reflects the Vision 2025 of the Government in which women are kept central to the sustainable development of the country and amount of Rs2.7 billion has been proposed for women empowerment, and their socio-economic development during the Plan period. The Minister also shared about Women Empowerment Package for Pakistan in line with international commitments which includes legal reforms, addressing issues of women particularly working women and facilitation of basic services which includes day care center, age relaxation, offence of acid throwing, bank loans, small and medium business plans, availability of shelter in case of any mishap, educational and health facilities and political empowerment. Minister for human rights Kamran Michael also stressed on the civil society, corporate sector and NGOs to be a part of this visionary journey.