ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza has said that women folk comprise more than 50 per cent of the population of the country and their participation was imperative for the national development and prosperity. She said this in her message on the 'National Women Day commemorated throughout the country on Saturday. The speaker said that women participation in public affairs was central to the functioning and strengthening of democracy and struggle against the oppression. She said that it was the vision of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to empower women so that they could better contribute in the national development. In realisation of the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma, women have been sufficiently represented in the present parliament and opportunities were being provided to them for their enhanced role in the national development, she added. The speaker said that the present democratic set up was committed to bring change in the laws to provide safe working environment for women. She said that the Parliament had passed various laws regarding protection of women rights, including the protection against the harassment at work place bill 2009, and a number of laws in that regard were under consideration in concerned Standing Committees which would be presented in the House soon after finalising necessary procedural requirements. These laws would help reducing gender gap and enable women to contribute to development with more confidence, she said. She said the government was committed to womens emancipation and their empowerment and had taken numbers of steps to empower the women, ensuring their role in social, economic and political sphere of the life.