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Govt to bring ordinance on women’s rights

ISLAMABAD: The government is considering promulgating an ordinance on women’s rights, with content similar to the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill 2006 submitted by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to the National Assembly Secretariat. Sources said that the option was discussed at a meeting between Shujaat and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday. “Due to the delayed National Assembly session, the government will ask the president to promulgate an ordinance,” sources privy to the meeting told Daily Times.

The minister for parliamentary affairs recently announced that there would be no session during December. The ordinance will include the six main features of the Shujaat bill, relating to women’s inheritance rights, sale and purchase of women, forced marriages, women’s marriage with the Quran, watta satta (exchange marriages), vani and swara, and divorce procedures. Crimes related to such offences will be brought under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), the sources said.

During the meeting, Aziz said that the government would continue to support legislation giving women their rights. He said that the government of the PML and its allies had, over the years, introduced a number of legal reforms to protect the rights of women and would continue to take all necessary measures to empower them. He said that the government had already empowered women politically by giving them greater representation in national and provincial legislatures as well as in local councils.
Source: Daily Times
Date:12/10/2006

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