New York, 9 March 2023 (TDI): Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto addressed the “Women in Islam” conference at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Pakistan, as the chair of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Council of Ministers, hosted the March 8 conference with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivering the opening statement.

At UN Conference, he demanded rights for Muslim women in non-Muslim societies. Bilawal Bhutto spoke about the important role of women in Islamic societies and the need for their empowerment.

In his address, Bhutto emphasized that Islam has always given great importance to the role of women in society.

He pointed out that the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), Khadija (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا) was a successful businesswoman and that many other women in Islamic history have made significant contributions to their communities.

Also, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bhutto highlighted the challenges faced by women in Pakistan and other Islamic countries, including lack of education, employment opportunities, and access to healthcare.

The Foreign Minister said that the world should also not “forget the suffering” of Muslim women in occupied territories such as Palestine and the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

He also expressed “deep disappointment” over Afghanistan’s restrictions on women, and girls and asked the Afghan government to uplift those barriers.

Moreover, he emphasized the importance of providing women with equal opportunities and empowering them to be active participants in all aspects of society.

The Foreign Minister called for an end to gender-based violence and discrimination against women, stressing that such practices go against the teachings of Islam.

Furthermore, he also highlighted the need to promote greater awareness of women’s rights and to involve men in efforts to achieve gender equality.

At the conclusion of his address, he called on all Muslim countries to work together to empower women and promote gender equality.

He stressed that empowering women is not only a matter of human rights but also essential for the development and progress of societies.

To mention, the “Women in Islam” conference was organized by the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN, and it brought together scholars, activists & policymakers to discuss the role of women in Islamic societies & ways to promote their empowerment.

The conference was part of a series of events held at the UN headquarters to mark International Women’s Day. It was held on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN Commission on Status of Women (CSW).