ISLAMABAD: Domestic violence is a reality for a majority of women in Pakistan and legislation to protect them is the responsibility of parliament, former federal information minister Sherry Rehman said on Wednesday.
Commenting on the reservations expressed by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on the recent legislation on domestic violence, she said, “The bill has come about following extensive consensus building exercises over the years, and it comprehensively lays down provisions to address all issues related to domestic violence. Targeting the bill for its context seeks to damage the cause of rights protection that we, as public representatives, are obliged to defend.”
The CII termed the law “discriminatory” and warned that it could provide police an opportunity to violate the “sanctity of home” and encourage divorce rates.
“The CII’s description of the law as ‘discriminatory’ is unfair. In its definition of ‘victim’, the law covers women, men, children and “any vulnerable person who has been in a domestic relationship with the accused.” This certainly offers protection to anybody involved in a domestic association with the accused.”
She said, “It is the responsibility of the state to provide protection to its citizens in public and private space. There is no way the state can allow its citizens to be subjected to any kind of abuse just because it takes place in a private setting.” Sherry said the adoption of the bill in the parliament was the first step towards addressing a heinous crime institutionally that unfortunately, characterised the domestic relationships of a majority of women.
Source: Daily Times