Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said a woman had stood in the witness box to defend him in the apex court which proved his claim that women and minorities were his constituency. “I have always said that women and minorities are my constituency, and I was proved right when a woman chose to stand in the witness box to defend me in the court of law,” Gilani said while addressing a gathering of women at the Convention Centre to mark the International Women’s Day. Gilani deplored victimising women under social customs, saying that it was a crime against humanity to confine women within the four walls of houses like “prisoners”. He called for raising the status of women according to Islamic ideals and taking them along as “comrades” in every sphere of life. Gilani said the government would address the issue of gender equality in light of political, legal and economic framework to empower women and to include them in national mainstream. Gilani said the democratically elected government had always been proactively pursuing the agenda of women’s empowerment. “During the past four years, historic decisions were taken in political, administrative, economic and legislative fields to empower women. The journey for women’s development starts with Benazir Bhutto who became the first ever democratically elected Prime Minister in the entire Muslim World,” he said.