Pakistani speaker role model for women: UN chief

May 14th, 2011 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, May 14 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the role played by Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza for numerous initiatives towards empowerment of women, and said she was a role model for women of many countries.

Ban said he admired Mirza for being the first female parliament speaker of the Muslim world, and said her contribution in building parliamentary consensus was a significant achievement that needed to be promoted and highlighted, The Nation daily reported.

The secretary general made these remarks during a meeting with the speaker, who called on him at the UN headquarters in New York Friday.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon accompanied the speaker.

The secretary general said Pakistan played an important role in UN affairs as it was the largest contributor of troops for the UN peacekeeping operations.

He also underlined the importance of Pakistan for stabilisation in Afghanistan and peace in general in the region.

Mirza briefed Ban about legislative work done by the Pakistan parliament related to welfare, empowerment and protection of women and children.

She called upon the UN to provide all possible support for such endeavours.

The speaker also informed the secretary general that the percentage of women parliamentarians in Pakistan was 22.7 percent - which is among the highest in the region.

Mirza highlighted the enormous human and material loss sustained by Pakistan in the fight against terror, and emphasised the need for the country’s contribution to combating terror be duly recognised and appreciated by the global community.

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