'No society can progress without empowering its women,' says Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan


Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan, echoing the sentiments of her husband Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that Pakistan and Turkey have always stood by each other in times of difficulty.

She was speaking at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts in Islamabad at a ceremony held to distribute sewing machines among the families of thalassemia patients. She is currently on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

Emine said that Turkey has always remained at the forefront of social welfare projects in the country.

Pakistan's First Lady Samina Alvi, Managing Director of Pakistan Baitul Maal Aon Abbas Bappi and Chairperson Ehsaas Programme Dr Sania Nishtar were also present at the occasion.

The Turkish first lady said that the future of any society is "directly interlinked with health and well-being" and she hopes that no more children will suffer from preventable diseases that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

She also said that no society can progress without empowering its women. She ended by thanking the people and officials of Pakistan for their hospitality. The first lady also distributed sewing machines after her speech.

This is not the first time Emine Erdogan has shown support for Pakistanis. In 2014, she visited the country to inaugurate a hospital named after her in recognition of her concern and efforts for the area after it was affected during the 2010 floods.

In 2010, she raised funds for people affected by the floods and came to the country herself to see the conditions of the affected people.

In a generous gesture, the first lady also gifted one of her necklaces, a wedding present from her husband, to help raise funds for the flood victims. The Turkish people bought the necklace when it was auctioned and returned it to her. Emine generously gave it once again to the house of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to use it for gathering donations.