International Women’s Day was celebrated in Pakistan, like rest of the world, on Thursday. But this year the day had special significance for the country in general and for Pakistani women in particular.

The National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) Bill 2012, which has already been unanimously approved by the National Assembly (lower house) and Senate (upper house), was signed by President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari into law on this special occasion.

According to Dawn newspaper the National Commission of Women Bill 2012 provides autonomy to the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). “The aim is to ensure that the NCSW remains an independent body, empowered to investigate any case pertaining to women. Thus, it will be empowered, for example, to investigate crimes against women, inspect women’s prisons, and ensure policies that dispense gender justice” reads the Dawn’s magazine report.

Speaking on the occasion President Zardari said the National Commission on the Status of Women had been empowered to protect the social, economic, political and legal rights of women.

And finally some words about a recent international achievement by a Pakistani woman. Undoubtedly the year 2012 will always be remembered for this achievement as this woman from Pakistan did what men from the country’s male-dominated society could not do over the years. Yes, she is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy who brought the first ever Oscar award for Pakistan. Her documentary “Saving Face” won Oscar award under the category ‘Best Documentary, Short Subject’.

According to the Express Tribune newspaper Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has advised President Asif Ali Zardari to award Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the second highest civil award, in recognition to her great achievement.