Foreign Minister (FM) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Islam forbids us from injustice against people, nations and women.
The foreign minister expressed these views during a conference titled “Women in Islam ” being held on the sidelines of the Commission on Status of Women at the UN headquarters in New York.
FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told the participants that Islam shuns race, colour and gender as a basis of distinction among persons. He said “Islam treats women as human beings in their own right, not as chattel. He said under Islamic law and tradition the Sharia, he said a woman had an independent social and legal identity and enjoys civil, political, economic, and cultural rights as well as inherit, divorce, receive alimony and child custody.
In his keynote address, FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said ”Islamic history attests to the outstanding role played by Muslim women in all walks of life – education, enterprise, economics, politics and governance. He pointed out that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim, male and female.
In that regard, he said, Fatima al-Fihri founded the world’s oldest continuously operating educational institution in 859 AD.
FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said even today, millions of Muslim women continued to dominate multiple fields – politics, education, health, science, commerce- in Muslim societies, citing Megawati Sukarnoputri, the first Muslim female President (of Indonesia), Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia; Tansu Çiller, Prime Minister of Turkiye, Elsafty, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge; Anousheh Ansari, first Muslim space explorer and astronaut, and Malala Yousufzai, the youngest Muslim girl to have won the Nobel Prize.
In Pakistan’s history, the foreign minister said, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s sister was at the forefront of the independence struggle and in the struggle for democracy.
He said “my mother, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, was he first Muslim female Prime Minister, underscoring that she was elected to office by a huge majority, after a long and difficult struggle against dictatorship.”
FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said women in Pakistan, had held prominent positions in every facet of life: as cabinet ministers, the Governor of State Bank, the Speaker of National Assembly, judges in the superior judiciary and as federal and provincial secretaries to the government, district commissioners and district police officers, army generals, fighter pilots, ambassadors, and UN peacekeepers.