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Asif Zardari called for devising National Women Empowerment Plan

08 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: On the eve of International Women's Day, former president Asif Ali Zardari called for devising a National Women Empowerment Plan as well as strengthening the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) for the emancipation of women and ending discrimination against them.

In a message on the occasion, he said that equal rights for women is a most basic human right and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will never allow the perpetuation of discrimination against women or their exploitation in the name of ideology.

"Our leader, Benazir Bhutto, led from the front the fight of women to break the glass ceiling," he said, adding, "The party assures the women of Pakistan of our full support in their struggle against all forms of exploitation and discrimination."

He believed the struggle for gender equality, ending discrimination and exploitation, and giving a voice to women will make Pakistan more tolerant, harmonious and secure. "We salute and express gratitude to the brave and courageous men and women engaged in this struggle," he affirmed.

"On this occasion I call for the formulation of a National Women Empowerment Plan. I also call for strengthening the NCSW to enable it to play its role effectively in protecting and promoting the rights of women," he stated

Over two decades ago, Pakistan ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is required to submit to the UN during this year the periodic report on its implementation. "It would be most appropriate if the year 2017 is made the year for the formulation of the National Women Empowerment Plan," he said.

Meanwhile, former vice president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, announced his defection to the PPP after meeting Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari at the Zardari House in Islamabad. The PPP chairman and co-chairman welcomed Khawaja Hoti's decision to join the PPP. Hoti believed that the PPP was the only party that valued and respected its workers.

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