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Eid ban on women’s entry into zoo stays

KARACHI, Oct 13: The three-day restriction on women’s entry into the city zoo on Eid will continue this year as the city nazim failed to have the discriminatory ban lifted.

Mustafa Kamal had earlier acknowledged that the prohibition on women’s entry during Eid was unjustified and gave an assurance that he would talk to the relevant people and lift the ban.

“The ban will continue this year, too. We haven’t received any orders so far from the zoo administration to withdraw it,” a zoo staffer said, adding that the ban is intended to prevent women from being harassed at the zoo, which is visited by a large number of male daily-wagers during Eid.

Meanwhile, human rights activist and Aurat Foundation President Anees Haroon has strongly criticised the persistent failure of the government to withdraw the ban.

“In this day and age this ban seems funny. The government, on its part, makes hollow claims every year that the ban would be lifted. But it never happens,” she said, adding that human rights activists have been raising the issue time and again with no positive response.

She termed the ban unfortunate considering the fact the city has few recreational facilities and those, too, are taken over by men on Eid.

“If the government cannot manage the crowd, it should impose a families-only policy at the zoo rather than depriving all women of the right to visit the zoo with their children,” she remarked.

Source: Dawn

Date:10/14/2007

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