LAHORE: PTI along with the civil society organised a seminar on violence against women at a local hotel here on Monday. The seminar was aimed at raising awareness on the growing crimes against women and to develop a partnership between the civil society and the government to draft a bill which will protect the women against domestic violence.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi congratulated PTI and the civil society for taking the initiative and said that the issue was not only PTI issue but this issue of every Pakistani and house hold and thus he will raise this issue in the assembly not to do political scoring but to act as a human being and a good citizen of Pakistan.
He said that he would invite all other parties to join hands on this bill and if any other party wants to take the lead on it PTI would also support that because it’s not the matter of taking the political statement but about change the mindset of the social and moral fabric of the society.
He said that he personally and politically would like to assure all support to the civil society and political party to make this not a single entity effort but a national effort the common cause for protecting our women children and the vulnerable people living in every household. He promises that this in every promise a consensus will build to pass this bill.
Giving an opening overview of the terrible state of women state of Pakistan, Andleeb Abbas, Secretary Information PTI Punjab said that the country had ranked 135 in 136 countries on gender gap and the only country which is below Pakistan is Yemen. She also mentioned that every two hours a woman was raped in the country and every four days a gang rape occurred in Pakistan.
She said that the 90 per cent of women in Pakistan were suffering from domestic violence and so far Pakistan will be the only country in south Asia which did not have a bill specifically for domestic violence.
Mehna Rafi, head of Insaf Women Forum said that for the last five or six governance terms bills to protect women had been presented in the assembly and not reached any decision because until or unless the mindset of the people is changed neither the bill would be accepted not will be acted upon.
She said that the feudal mindset of both women and men in the various classes in the society had created exploitation of the underprivileged and that was why to change the mindset the govt. and the civil society needed to work on legislation and communication if they really want the women of the society to become productive and protected
Bushra Khaliq, Executive Director Women in Struggle for Empowerment, said that the most neglected area was the economic violence that women were facing by working in households and in factories where they were exploited by the thekedar (contractor) and their employers.
She said that even when even the mother and daughter worked both they were paid less than a man’s pay and no labor laws protected them against this exploitation. She said that fear of not being paid at all was a form of psychological and economic violence that kept them working as slaves she proposed that all these women working the bill should address just compensation for them.
Shafqat Mehmood, MNA said PTI would bring the issue on every forum and would be a party which would implement on it with great commitment.
Ejaz Chaudhary, President PTI Punjab said that the PTI would not only present this bill in the Punjab assembly but had already proposed the bill in KPK where it would be presented soon as well.
He said that domestic violence was prohibited in Islam and all the clauses in the bill where Islamic clauses where Islam is all about respecting all human beings especially women.
Salman Abid, Fouzia Viqar, Dr Yasmin Rashid also spoke.