International Women's Day will be observed today across the world including Pakistan to celebrate women's achievements throughout history and across the nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.
Thousands of events will be celebrated not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic‚ political and social achievements of women.
Recognizing the critical role and contribution of rural women‚ the official United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women."
In some parts of the world‚ women represent 70 percent of the agricultural workforce‚ comprising 43 percent of agricultural workers worldwide.
Estimates reveal that if women had the same access to productive resources as men‚ they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 percent‚ lifting 100-150 million out of hunger.
The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average‚ women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence‚ with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.
In 1975‚ during International Women's Year‚ the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later‚ in December 1977‚ the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights.
The day is aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focuses on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.
In their messages on the occasion the President and Prime Minister have expressed the determination to work for women emancipation and to protect them from all kinds of exploitation and discrimination.
In his message President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated the women of the world in general and of Pakistan in particular for their successful struggle for their constitutional rights.
He said while working for the women's rights we will continue to be inspired by the teachings of our religion‚ the dictates of our constitution and the vision of our founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as well as our great leaders Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said women participation is pivotal for sustainable development of the society.
He said the democratic government has carried out a series of reforms to improve the state of women rights in the country.
Meanwhile‚ in his message on the occasion the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called upon all governments‚ civil society‚ women's organizations‚ media and the entire UN system to end violence against women.