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Inclusion of women’s rights sought in curriculum

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21: The Senate Standing Committee on Women Development has recommended the incorporation of material on women’s rights of inheritance into the national curricula from class VI.

The committee headed by Tahira Latif at its recent meeting in the Parliament House discussed the recommendations made by its sub-committee on laws of inheritance and evil practices such as Vani and Swara, a press note issued by the Senate Secretariat said.

Sub-committee convener Senator Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari briefed the standing committee about the recommendations.

The standing committee also recommended seven to 10 years of imprisonment in Vani cases and called for making it a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.

The committee members called upon the ministry of women development to create through advocacy, motivation programmes and effective media campaigns, an atmosphere in favour of women’s rights to inheritance.

A bill — Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill, 2006 — has already been presented in the National Assembly to end social, political and religious excesses against women.

The members were of the view that Vani and Sawara were heinous crimes against women and suggested that women development ministry’s political schools, which had been set up for training to women councillors, should educate councillors about these evil practices to create further awareness among women.

The bill, if passed by the parliament, is expected to end certain practices leading to exploitation and discrimination of womenfolk like depriving them of inherited property, sale and purchase of women, marriage with the Holy Quran, tradition of Vani and matters relating to divorce.

Federal Minister for Women Development Sumaira Malik assured the committee that an effective plan would be chalked out to create awareness among general masses on women’s rights to inheritance and evil practices.

She said the government was seriously considering further legislating on issues pertaining to women.

Source: Dawn

Date:2/22/2007

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