UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan made a mark at the UN on Monday, the first day of a two-week session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), by organising an impressive photo exhibition and co-sponsoring an event on the Culture of Gender Justice with Qatar and other countries.

The photo exhibition, organised by the Pakistan Mission to the UN, was attended by the UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Muhammad and Ambassadors from many countries.

The exhibition, highlighting the inspiring stories of some of Pakistan's most prominent trailblazing women and was also attended by a delegation from Pakistan headed by MNA Dr Shezra M. Ali.

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to UN, in her welcome remarks said that the exhibition titled, "No turning back: women who made history", has sought to honour Pakistani women who have demonstrated that they can be high achievers and have an impact, not just in their own country, but around the world.

She said that from the first elected female Prime Minister in the Muslim world to attaining the high positions of Foreign Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, top diplomats, judges, human rights activists, economists, sportswomen and entertainers, Pakistani women have shown that the sky is the limit if they put their minds to it.

Describing Pakistani women as aspiring to "hold up" half the sky, Ambassador Lodhi said, "There is no glass ceiling that they have not broken and in no sphere, have they lagged behind men".

"The vision of our founding fathers, a Constitution that guarantees equal rights for all its citizens, including women, the ethos of an ancient egalitarian civilisation and the teachings of our religion have all combined to provide the platform on which our women have made a mark", Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told APP afterwards.  UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Muhammad who was shown around the exhibition by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, took keen interest in the exhibition and admired the efforts of the Pakistani envoy to highlight achievements of distinguished Pakistani women in diverse fields.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

During the Commission's annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organisations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

The event was also attended by officials from UN Secretariat, members of Pakistan delegation to CSW and delegates attending CSW from all over the world. A video highlighting the role of prominent Pakistani women was also shown to the participants.

The other side event, "Creating a Culture of Gender Justice: A Multi-Dimensional Approach" was organised by Qatar and IDLO, and co-sponsored by Italy, Pakistan and Tunisia.

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, and members of Pakistan delegation to CSW, Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali, MNA, Ms. Neelum Khan, KPK CSW and Ms. Fawzia Vikar, Punjab CSW attended the event.

Dr.Shezra Ali in her address highlighted the role of women in Pakistani politics and also spoke on the challenges and opportunities for women in Pakistan.