Acting President Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Wednesday, urged women parliamentarians to seek enhanced role of women in decision and policy making at all levels within political parties.

He asked women parliamentarians from different political parties to come up with concrete measures to supplement the government’s efforts through legislation in this capacity for building a strong, peaceful and progressive Pakistan.

While addressing a Roundtable Conference on “Positioning of women’s agenda in the policy-making of political parties” under auspices of women parliamentary caucus at a local hotel here, the acting president said that women parliamentarians can become catalyst for change that will ultimately benefit not just the woman of Pakistan but also the whole nation.

The majority of members of parliament have shown their commitment to gender equality in all spheres of life and addressing critical issues and problems faced by women in Pakistan. The government believes in women’s empowerment to ensure equal rights through economic, social, legal and political measures, he added.

Bokhari lauded the active participation of women parliamentarians particularly for amending discriminatory laws against women. The criminal law (Amendment) Act 2009 has been enacted as well as the Protection against Harassment of Women at Work Place bill 2009 has been passed by the National Assembly and Senate.

These laws would serve as deterrent to the issue of harassment at work place and provide opportunity to young women to join private and public sector without any fear. A draft Domestic Violence Bill, 2009 is also in process of enactment.

Meanwhile, the number of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers for women is being increased to provide immediate relief to the victims of violence. The Acting President said that legislation to enable women to own property and assets is being formulated also.

The Acting President said the struggle for improving the lot of women in Pakistan is continuing and we look forward to cooperation from women parliamentarians in this regard. Our great leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto always wanted to be remembered mainly for what she did for the women and how her efforts made a difference in the life of common person.

Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had aptly said that the people of Pakistan want change--change from a climate of threat to one of stability and prosperity and we cannot achieve the same without the participation of woman. Likewise our women parliamentarians should play proactive role to take this vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto ahead.