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Women legislators ‘have failed’

LAHORE: Human Rights Council of Pakistan has expressed no confidence in the ability of women in national and all four provincial assemblies, arguing that they had failed in securing justice, relief and protection for the fair sex.

Speaking at a press conference held here on March 25, to highlight violation of women’s rights, council chief Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar criticized women legislators for doing nothing for the cause of their own gender.

“Incidents of kidnap, rape, honour-killing and burning of women registered an increase last year, but they did not enact even a single law for their protection during the last one and a half years.”

Office-bearers of the council Advocates Azra Israr, Malik Israr Elahi and Omar Ayub Butt were also present. The reason, Mr. Tarar said, was the so-called representatives of women belonged to the influential class that never experienced the problems faced by the poor.

He deplored the fact that the government had also ignored the cause by allocating just 0.1 per cent of the national budget for welfare of women. It had also defied Supreme Court orders in failing to set up a tribunal for reviewing the condition of women and children lodged in jails, he alleged.

Urging the government to implement laws in letter and spirit for checking abuse of women rights, the council suggested posting of a woman SHO at each police station, establishment of victim support centres at tehsil level, provision of loans on a priority basis and formulation of an emergency educational plan for girls.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/26/2004

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