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Female legislators urged to highlight violence against women

LAHORE: The Initiative for Peace and Freedom (IPF) – a non-governmental organisation (NGO) — has condemned the all forms of violence and torture on women in Pakistan.

In a press statement issued by the NGO on Thursday, the IPF urged female legislators at the federal, provincial and district (local) level to practically take up the issues of women rights and violence against women at their respective assembly floors to protect the rights of women those had been neglected, ignored and deprived of justice.

IPF executive members Naomi Noreen, Nadeem Anthony and Munawar Ali Shahid said in a joint statement in connection with the International Day on Violence Against Women that women lawmakers had not been playing their due role in protecting women in the society.

They said the IPF felt that there was need to highlight the issues in assemblies, especially by women legislators on reserved seats, who were educated and belonged to the ‘privileged class’. “They (women legislators) should take pain in highlighting issues of violence against women belonging to the middle, lower middle, and poor classes. The privileged women should fight for the rights of these underprivileged women of lower ranks in society, who have been subjected to physical and mental torture,” the statement said. Members of the NGO said the role of elected people was pivotal in coping with such human rights violations.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, it is estimated that a woman is raped every two hours, a gang rape occurs every eight hours and 1,000 women are killed annually over honour. Moreover, women are traded and bartered to resolve minor disputes. In a survey conducted by the AGHS Legal Aid Cell, female prisoners’ population is 1.4 percent of the total prisoners held in different prisons of the province.
Source: Daily Times
Date:11/27/2009

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