United Nations decided to observe 8th March of every year as the international day of women. The importance of the day is growing each year.
The occasion is marked to commemorate the achievements of women and to raise equality of women around the world. It also aims to challenge the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance for a positive change.
It emerged from the activities of labour movements in North America and across Europe during the 20th century. Since then, the day has assumed global significance for women in developed and developing countries alike.
It also rejoices acts of valor and determination by ordinary women who have played an exceptional role in the history of their countries and communities.
Women in Pakistan have played a tremendous role in all spheres of life including politics, business, sports, information and technolog.
Fatima Jinnah, sister of country’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was one of the leading figures alongside many women for the country’s freedom.
Benazir Bhutto became the first woman of the world to lead a Muslim country in capacity of a Prime Minister whereas Malala Yousafzai was also rewarded the Nobel Award for Peace. Arfa Karim became the youngest Microsoft IT professional at the age of 13.
Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team has also won international tournaments as well while Naseem Hameed became the fastest woman by winning the 100-metre race in the regional games in Dhaka.
In Pakistan, honor killings, acid attacks and gender-related offences against women have been on rise but the country has also made progress with regard to laws protecting women, passed over the last four years. Benazir Income Support Programme Act, the anti-sexual harassment legislation and empowering the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW).
The passage of the Domestic Violence Bill in Sindh is also an achievement.
Pakistan has to develop and take more steps for providing its mothers and daughters an equal status in the society by passing laws and ensuring the mechanisms for enforcement of these laws to make the country a better place for the women.