PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has planned several reforms for women development, including the revision of curriculum to check gender biases, said Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, special assistant to the chief minister on social welfare and women development, on Friday.
She was addressing a dialogue with MPAs on ‘enactment of laws for protection of women rights’ organised on the eve of the International Women’s Day by the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and AAWAZ, a DFID-funded programme on socio-political and gender marginalisation, peace and tolerance.
The event was attended by MPAs and members of civil society in a large number.
The special assistant said the government had been paying stipends to 0.1 million girl students in the province to reduce post-primary drop out in schools.
She said a summary had been moved to the relevant authorities for appointment of the provincial ombudsperson to check sexual harassment at workplace in the province.
Dr Roghani said the government was contemplating to make amendments to the law related to sexual harassment to include universities in the definition of workplace.
“Apart from it, we will also examine other women-related laws to remove discriminatory clauses from them,” she said.
The special assistant said the mindset of the society, including both men and women had to be changed as currently, the people had been conducting pre-birth ultrasound tests on pregnant woman for ascertaining sex of the unborn child and cases were reported of conducting abortions when unborn children were found to be girls.
She said unfortunately, the people had been ignoring the teachings of Islam and had not been focusing on education of girls.
Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaisar, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said there were certain discriminatory practices towards women and for changing it then needed to do legislation.
He said the government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was committed towards women development and that in his capacity, as speaker of the assembly he would ensure that proper time was given to discussion on women-related issues inside the house.
Mr Qaisar assured his all-out support to women MPAs and women rights organisations for legislation on women development. Regional head of Aurat Foundation Shabeena Ayaz said there was a long and difficult struggle of women behind the reservation of seats for them in the assemblies and these seats were not given to them in charity.
She said there were several women role models in the society who had overcome several obstacles for achieving their goals.
Controller of examination at the University of Peshawar Shaheen Akhtar recited her Pashto poem on different aspects of life of a woman and her role in the society. A documentary on the struggle of women for achieving their rights in the country was also screened.
In a presentation, programme manager of Aurat Foundation Saima Munir highlighted several key areas where the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly needed to legislate.
She called for introduction of Muslim and non-Muslim personal laws, amendments to the Anti-Women Practices Act 2011, special law against jirgas, domestic labour, domestic violence, right to free education in line with Article 25-A of the Constitution, penalisation of non-vaccination of children by parents, rules of business for the provincial commission on the status of women and honour killings. The Aurat Foundation programme manager said currently, no law was available in the country for checking internal trafficking of women and children.