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Lip service being paid to women`s rights: activists

HYDERABAD: Women rights activists, writers and intellectuals have said that though speeches are delivered in favour of women rights on the floor of assemblies and other forums, they are not being provided any protection.

Women were being exploited socially and economically by depriving them of the right to education, they said and stressed the need for joint efforts to protect women rights.

They were addressing a seminar on “Women`s Rights in Sindh” sponsored by the woman wing of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA). Vice-president of the wing Noor Nisa Ghangro presided over it.

Presenting a survey report of the past eight years, she said, 128 women were gang-raped, 1,000 tortured, 3,000 murdered on the pretext of karo-kari, 321 burnt alive, 4,000 kidnapped and 654 were subjected to torture in police stations in Sindh.

She said that commissions appointed by the government had failed to protect the rights of women.

She called upon civil society to raise a forceful voice against the atrocities unleashed against women.

MPA Syeda Marvi Rashidi stressed the need for women`s education and said that illiterate women could not fight for their rights. She said Benazir Bhutto and other women leaders were role models.

She said that women MPAs were ridiculed in assemblies but they were performing their due role.

MPA Rasheeda Panhwar said that women had been deprived of their rights for centuries and added that whatever rights they achieved were through an unending struggle. If women are educated, they will be able to protect their rights.

Noted poetess Dr Sehar Imdad said that women could achieve their rights only through a consistent struggle.

Prominent writer Attiya Dawood said it was a positive sign that those who opposed women`s rights had now become exponents of women`s rights.

Leader of the Women Action Forum Ms Amar Sindhu said that the women leadership had now decided to wage struggle for their rights.

She said, over the past 60 years, leadership of the country had only paid lip service to women`s rights.

Irfana Mallah of the forum said that if a man raised his voice for rights, he was considered a liberal but if a woman raised her voice, she was ridiculed. This attitude should be change, she said.

Dr Shireen Narejo, Ms Nazeer Qureshi, Ms Maheen Hisbani, Dr Rafique Chandio, Mushtaq Rajpar, Ms Sobia Agha and advocate Rubina Brohi also spoke on the occasion. RESOLUTIONS:

The gathering adopted several resolutions, expressing concern over the plight of flood-affected women as over one million of them had become anaemic and demanded their medical treatment.

It said that under the poverty reduction programme, gender poverty should be addressed, honour killings should be stopped, crop sharing for peasant women should be ensured and job opportunities should be created for women.

Another resolution demanded that a monitoring mechanism should be evolved to oversee implementation of laws; women police stations should be established in all areas and all efforts should be made to ensure enrolment of girl students in schools.

A resolution demanded that Sindh High Court`s decision banning jirga system should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Source: Dawn

Date:3/22/2011

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