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Women’s rally skeptical about peace deals with hardliners

RAWALPINDI: Participants of a rally held in connection with the International Women’s Day in Islamabad on Sunday stressed that little was expected from peace pacts signed with forces that opposed participation of women in decision-making process.
The rally, which started from China Chowk and culminated near the Parliament House, was attended by women councillors, parliamentarians and professionals from different walks of life, all of whom voiced their concern over the low representation of women in the society.
They questioned the peace agreements signed between the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) and the NWFP government, arguing how peace could be established with forces that were usurpers of women rights.The rally turned into a huge gathering towards the end. On the occasion, speakers unanimously demanded 50 per cent representation of women in decision-making and came hard on political parties that “sabotaged” the local government system in Punjab.
They decried the increasing incidents of violence against women, regretting that women were not given their due rights in the society.
The participants asked the women parliamentarians to play a proactive role in improving.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/9/2009

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