PESHAWAR: The participants of a consultation here on Tuesday hailed the KP Domestic Violence Against Women (Prevention & Protection) Act 2021 as a landmark legislation and milestone. The consultation was organised by Aawaz-II Programme which is managed by the British Council with support from UK Aid.
It works with local communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to promote the rights of children, women, youth, and other vulnerable groups, to work towards a more inclusive, tolerant and peaceful Pakistan.
Attended by civil society activists, lawyers and journalists, the consultation was arranged in partnership with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women to celebrate the passage of the legislation.
Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus in the KP Assembly, Dr Sumaira Shams, said the government is committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of laws.
Talking about the significant aspects of the law, the legislator said that it recognises psychological and emotional pressures as a form of violence. She said it was landmark legislation and called for giving an Immediate attention to framing rules and regulations.
Rukhshanda Naz, Ombudsperson-KP for Protection of Women against Harassment at the Workplace, stressed the need for community engagement to ensure that people are aware of the legislation.
She said the law first proposed in 2012, was passed this year due to the efforts of parliamentarians, especially women MPAs, across the party lines. The ombudsperson said better prosecution capacity and resources were a must to put in place a supportive institutional structure.
She called for an easy mechanism for lodging complaints; public monitoring for effective implementation and the need to work on social attitudes as still many people do not accept domestic violence as a crime.
Dr Riffat Sardar, Chairperson of the KP Commission on the Status of Women, said this legislation shows the intent of the government which is to curb harmful social practices that affect women and other vulnerable groups.
“Collective efforts of government and civil society are needed to help people benefit from the law,” she said. Dr Yasmin Zaidi, Team Leader of Aawaz-II, said the programme provides platforms and teams at the village, district and provincial levels to help inform people about the law and facilitate its implementation to help survivors of violence. Farzana Ali, journalist, Mehvish Kakakhel, lawyer, Amna Durrani and Qamar Naseem also spoke on the occasion.
Newspaper: The News