ISLAMABAD (APP) President Asif Ali Zardari has said that genuine democratic process is not possible anywhere in the world without active participation of women. Women constituting 50 per cent of Pakistans population are thus more important for the strengthening of democracy in the country, he added. He said this while addressing a luncheon meeting of the women parliamentarians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Women Members of the National Assembly, Senate, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa, Balochistan, AJ&K, Gilgit-Baltistan assemblies and members of the civil society and women right activists were also present. According to the text of the speech issued to the media the President said Pakistan had made several pledges at regional and international forums for the uplift and emancipation of women and added that in 1995 during the government of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan signed the landmark Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The President urged the caucus of women parliamentarians to give a thought and devise a mechanism to implement the pledges made in the document on CEDAW for the uplift of women and ending all forms of discrimination against them. The President also urged women parliamentarians to use this first ever convention to forge stronger links not only between themselves but also with all those struggling for gender equality and emancipation of women. The President said that we feel proud that Pakistan Peoples Party has to its credit many firsts on the road of women emancipation. The spokesperson quoted the President as saying Our Chairperson Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan and she was also the first woman Prime Minister anywhere in the Muslim World. At thirty five she was the youngest Prime Minister. For the first time in our parliamentary history a women caucus has been formed, the President said. The President while attributing todays afternoon to Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto said women is there behind every successful man but I am here a man behind a successful women. Briefing the media about the meeting, Spokesperson to President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President termed the first Convention of Women Parliamentarians as a giant leap towards a meaningful participation of women leaders for peace, security and reconciliation. The President said that women of Pakistan had rendered great sacrifices for the socio-political and economic emancipation and empowerment in Pakistan. The journey on the road of emancipation has not been an easy one for the women in Pakistan. They have been the victims of male prejudice for a long time. The fight against male prejudice has not been an easy one. The women in Pakistan have faced great obstacles in their fight for their rights. Their story has been a story of hurdles and successes, the President said. The President said that right from Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah to Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, it has been a long but successful struggle for the rights of women in all fields of national life and added that today women are part of the bigger challenge- the challenge to save the soul of Pakistan from the forces of darkness. The spokesperson said that the President while recounting the achievements of the present government on the fronts of women empowerment said apart from women members of Parliament, we have women pilots, women judges and women police officers. We have women in other government services and in the countrys corporate and private sector. We have women who speak for the party and therefore are placed in key positions in the party hierarchy. Recently the government adopted legislation aimed at stopping the harassment of women at workplace. The President said that democracy is the only system that can help create conditions where women are empowered and emancipated. He said that in Pakistan, the first woman Prime Minister became possible only through a democratic process. In Afghanistan after the democratic process was initiated, women have become members of government as well as of the Afghan Parliament, he added. The President said that women of the region need democracy for their development and emancipation. The spokesperson said that the President while referring to the current wave of militancy and extremism in the region said that the world would be a better place if more women were in positions of power and women of the region were brought closer together. He said that the bringing together of women of the region will make this region and the world more tolerant, more peaceful and more secure. The President said that the convention of women parliamentarian will ensure the region a better and bright future and added that this convention should not be considered a one-off event. This should be used as platform for a comprehensive action plan for women empowerment, he added. The President said that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has well said that womens rights were inseparable from human rights and that there was no human right more fundamental and more universal than equal rights for women. We need to carry forward this message and make the trend of women empowerment set by her irreversible, he said. The spokesperson said that the President assured full support of the party and the government to the women parliamentarians in their every struggle for the emancipation of women, for peace, security and reconciliation. The President lauded the efforts of Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly, in bringing the legislators from the region and all over the country on table to discuss and devise common strategy to ameliorate the plight of the neglected section of the society. Chairman Senate Mr Farooq H Naik and Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza were also present on the occasion.