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Bill against women models in ads planned

PESHAWAR, April 30: Women MPAs belonging to the Jamaat-i-Islami will soon introduce a bill in the NWFP Assembly to declare the use of women models for promotion of products in advertisements a crime.

The party’s MPAs have already submitted a bill seeking ban on publication of pictures of women victims of violence and another one to curb discrimination against women who use veil.

Women parliamentarians of the party said at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Monday that the bills were aimed at ending discrimination against women.

Senator Dr Kauser Ferdos, MNA Raheela Qazi, MNA Aisha Manwar, MNA Inayat Begum, MNA Razia Aziz and MPAs Zubaida Khatoon, Shagufta Naz, Fozia Farakh, Sabira Shakir and Aftab Shabir also briefed the press about the performance of the women parliamentarians of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.“Another bill will be introduced in the provincial assembly to ensure maternity leave for women working in private firms,” they said.

While answering a question, they expressed the hope that the MMA would include women ministers in its government in the future.

However, one of the parliamentarians reasoned that a woman minister would not be able to do justice with her responsibilities as it was a full-time responsibility.

The parliamentarians raised important issues like increase in working hours for women; five per cent quota in government jobs, waiver of utility bills and free higher education for victims of the October 2005 earthquake; correction of voters’ lists; need for women technicians in government hospitals and legislation for free legal aid to women prisoners in the National Assembly.

They said the MMA government had upgraded hundreds of schools besides establishing about a dozen colleges for women, which had helped increase women’s literacy rate to 30 per cent in the province. They said 16 women’s colleges would be opened by the Frontier Education Foundation and the provincial government had appointed 545 women teachers besides establishing 4,361 centres under the ‘Education for all’ programme, which benefited 250,000 women. They said the MMA government deserved the credit for the establishment of the Frontier women’s university and medical college.

The provincial government had increased the posts of nurses and lady health workers in government hospitals, they said. The government had also set up a women’s sports directorate.

They claimed that the provincial government was providing development funds to women MPAs without any discrimination.

They said that JI’s women parliamentarians had set up a fund on self-help basis for providing interest-free loan to needy women in 11 districts of the province.

Source: Dawn