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US report: ‘Justice still out of reach for millions of women’

By: Maha Mussadaq

ISLAMABAD: Domestic violence is outlawed in 125 countries but globally, 603 million women live in countries where the offense is not considered a crime, reveals the flagship report from the United Nation’s (UN) new organisation for women launched here on Friday.

The report recognises progress, but calls on governments to take urgent action to end the injustices that keep women poorer and less powerful then men in every country in the world.

The report has raised serious questions concerning the lacunas in the prevalent legal systems which allow for perpetuation of gender-based crimes, said the chief guest at the launch, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza.

In the last three years of its 5-year tenure, the National Assembly of Pakistan has passed 77 bills, with more than a dozen related to women and children, said Mirza.

The passage of the 18th Amendment has provided an exceptional opportunity for provincial legislatures to expand their scope and make a decisive move to address the core issue of social justice at the grass-roots level, she added.

“No matter how many laws we change, if we fail to change the minds behind the delivery mechanisms of these laws, we will continue to face hurdles” said Mirza.

She announced that Pakistan will hold the 7th meeting of women speakers of parliaments around the world in November this year, where the focus will be on making parliaments more gender sensitive.

“No system can claim to be democratic and participatory if it fails to include and address the issues concerning its women,” she added.

Report’s findings

The 164-page report titled “Progress of the world’s women: In pursuit of justice,” highlights gender sensitive issues such as women who continue to experience injustice, violence and inequality in their home and working lives.

According to the report, by 2011, marital rape is a criminal offence in at least 52 countries but more than 2.6 billion women live in countries where it has not been explicitly criminalised.

A total of 117 countries have equal pay laws, yet in practice women are still paid up to 30 per cent less than men in some countries. Globally, 600 million women are in vulnerable jobs, the report says.

Donors spend US$4.2billion annually on aid for justice reform but only 5 per cent of this spending targets women and girls, the report adds.

Source: The Express Tribune

Date:7/30/2011By: Maha Mussadaq

ISLAMABAD: Domestic violence is outlawed in 125 countries but globally, 603 million women live in countries where the offense is not considered a crime, reveals the flagship report from the United Nation’s (UN) new organisation for women launched here on Friday.

The report recognises progress, but calls on governments to take urgent action to end the injustices that keep women poorer and less powerful then men in every country in the world.

The report has raised serious questions concerning the lacunas in the prevalent legal systems which allow for perpetuation of gender-based crimes, said the chief guest at the launch, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza.

In the last three years of its 5-year tenure, the National Assembly of Pakistan has passed 77 bills, with more than a dozen related to women and children, said Mirza.

The passage of the 18th Amendment has provided an exceptional opportunity for provincial legislatures to expand their scope and make a decisive move to address the core issue of social justice at the grass-roots level, she added.

“No matter how many laws we change, if we fail to change the minds behind the delivery mechanisms of these laws, we will continue to face hurdles” said Mirza.

She announced that Pakistan will hold the 7th meeting of women speakers of parliaments around the world in November this year, where the focus will be on making parliaments more gender sensitive.

“No system can claim to be democratic and participatory if it fails to include and address the issues concerning its women,” she added.

Report’s findings

The 164-page report titled “Progress of the world’s women: In pursuit of justice,” highlights gender sensitive issues such as women who continue to experience injustice, violence and inequality in their home and working lives.

According to the report, by 2011, marital rape is a criminal offence in at least 52 countries but more than 2.6 billion women live in countries where it has not been explicitly criminalised.

A total of 117 countries have equal pay laws, yet in practice women are still paid up to 30 per cent less than men in some countries. Globally, 600 million women are in vulnerable jobs, the report says.

Donors spend US$4.2billion annually on aid for justice reform but only 5 per cent of this spending targets women and girls, the report adds.

Source: The Express Tribune

Date:7/30/2011

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