ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said his government was working on key human rights priority areas concerning women including formulation of national policy guidelines on gender-based violence and reviewing discriminatory laws against women.

In his message on International Women’s Day, the prime minister said the government had taken several initiatives including policy changes, legal reforms, access to justice, and protection of women, children, minorities and vulnerable populations.

He mentioned in this regard the establishment of new crisis centers and strengthening of existing services at district, provincial and federal levels.

He said the theme of the Day – ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’ calls for accelerating the 2030 agenda towards an effective implementation of existing and new commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights.

The prime minister said the Constitution of Pakistan supports the equal status of women and Article 18 of the Constitution provides equal space to women in every lawful profession, while Article 25 lays down the principles of non-discrimination and affirmative action in their case.

He said Pakistan was making wholehearted efforts to honour and implement its international commitments.

He mentioned that the Government of Pakistan had ratified seven Core Human Rights Conventions including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

“It is a national obligation to provide for the participation of women at every level to make them valuable and productive members of society,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said to further strengthen democratic norms, the government was committed to increase women participation in general elections.

It would not only enhance public representation, but will also instill voting culture in our young generation, he added.

The prime minister said the government was also working to ensure broad-based inclusion of women rights in every sphere and at all levels.

“Women of Pakistan have accomplished great successes in the field of entrepreneurship, Information Technology, science and technology, education, film-making, politics and have held high positions in government and also in various international organizations,” he said.

The prime minister said in the wake of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the provincial governments had the responsibility to make every effort for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the federal government would provide full support.

He called upon all relevant quarters including civil society, philanthropists, media and the corporate sector to continue working hand-in-hand with the government in providing an enabling environment for women in Pakistan.