ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday said that the government was committed to the welfare of the women in the country and was taking every possible measure for their socioeconomic empowerment, besides safeguarding their rights, and ensuring equal opportunities to them to make them valuable citizens and productive members of society.

This he said during his meeting with a delegation headed by Chairperson National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Khawar Mumtaz here at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The delegation included Kishwer Naheed, member executive committee, Tanveer Jahan, member executive committee, and Riffat Butt, co-opted member of legal subcommittee of the NCSW.

During the meeting, the president underscored the important role of the commission towards examining and reviewing existing laws and policies and monitoring implementation of those laws in order to facilitate the government in implementation of international instruments and obligations. He said that the goal of inclusive socioeconomic development remained elusive till the women were brought into the mainstream of national life and were afforded ample opportunities to fully participate in the developmental process.

He said that it was a matter of great satisfaction that the government was taking concrete measures for the socioeconomic uplift of the women in the country.

The president said that allocation of 50 per cent share for women in the Prime Minister's Youth Loan Scheme clearly reflected the government's trust and commitment to provide women of the country maximum opportunities to grow and excel in every walk of life. He said that Pakistani women possessed great talent and had brought laurels to the nation and to the country.

The president said that huge potential and raw talent of the women needed to be groomed for ensuring their full participation in the nation-building process and enabling them excel in every field of life. He said, "Our religion places great emphasis on the rights of the women and attaches great importance to their proper education and upbringing." He said that all segments of society needed to join hands for the cause of ensuring complete protection of the women rights and complementing the government's efforts towards providing them equal opportunities. Being a signatory to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Pakistan is committed to implementing its provisions in true spirit, said the president.

Khawar Mumtaz briefed the president about various activities of the commission towards ensuring women's development, gender equality, redressal of the issues involving violations of women rights and individual grievances.

She said that the commission as per its mandate was also encouraging and sponsoring research so as to generate information, analysis and studies relating to women and gender issues. She said that the commission was actively engaged with various segments of society including national as well as international NGOs, experts and individuals so as to promote greater awareness about the women issues and put in place a robust mechanism to ensure protection of their rights. The president assured chairperson NCSW of every possible support in their efforts towards creating enabling environment for the women and their empowerment.