ISLAMABAD, March 13 (APP): Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the Prime
Minister’s daughter, on Monday said the Women Parliamentary Caucus
(WPC) was playing an important role in championing the cause of
women and their global empowerment.
Addressing the three-day international conference
organized by Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) here, Maryam
said women parliamentarians holding a unique position could
prove as an agent of change in societies.
They were the leaders, who could redefine democracy and
ensure social justice in the times to come, she added.
Maryam urged the women parliamentarians to become
a harbinger of good news for their female compatriots by
championing and encouraging them.
“The person behind a successful woman is not necessarily
a man, but could be a tribe of women,” she said, adding that
healthy dialogue and unity would make women stronger.
She felicitated National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and
the Women Parliamentary Caucus for organizing the conference with
an objective to highlight fundamental issues of rights and
responsibilities, and also to add the voice of Pakistani and
South Asian women to the universal discourse.
Maryam thanked WPC Secretary Shaista Pervaiz Malik for
paying tribute to her mother Begum Kalsoom Nawaz and said she
indeed was a wonderful mother and it was her legacy that she
herself was trying to carry forward and uphold.
She mentioned that women in many parts of the world
faced problems which were punctuated by honour killings,
emotional torture and violence.
She said even in developed parts of world, women were
working harder but being paid less as compared to men.
“Every woman sitting here is a living icon of struggle,
resilience and courage and the problems could be overcome by
the upstanding women like you,” she said.
Maryam Nawaz said immense problems were faced by women
as they struggled for their basic rights, health, economic
opportunities and social freedom.
“We must recognize the gap and strengthen the state in
providing adequate protection to the disadvantaged communities
for equitable roles alongside men and against discrimination,”
Maryam said, “We must not allow a weakened status for
women in societies.”
She said it was fortunate to belong to a religion that
encouraged family values, adding that with those values, the
goals of justice and freedom of thought could be achieved.
“We, as nation, aspire to be freed from the tyranny of
dictatorship, free of poverty and fear,” she added.
Maryam said Pakistan was today home to remarkable
individuals, who were full of courage and dedication.
She mentioned the contributions of the youngest winner of
Nobel prize Malala Yousufzai, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy as first
Pakistani to win Academy Awards and first woman pilot Maryam
She said a strong tradition of female leadership existed
back to the era of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)
with his wife Khadija as a businesswoman, and later Fatima
Jinnah, who worked alongside Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, former NA Speaker
Dr Fehmida Mirza, women parliamentarians and international
delegates from 16 countries, members of civil society and
academia attended the event.