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MPA proposes village-based committees, ban on jirga: Violence against women

HYDERABAD, June 27: Pak-istan People’s Party MPA Humera Alwani has said committees with women representatives should be formed at the village level to curb violence against women and shelters homes should be formed for women victims of violence at district level.

Speaking at a news conference at the press club here on Friday, she said that soon a women protection bill will be presented in the Sindh Assembly.

Ms Alwani said that it was the state’s responsibility to bring about appropriate changes in social and cultural patterns and eliminate prejudices, customs and practices based on the idea of inferiority or superiority of either sex.

The MPA called for banning jirgas and punishing violators and barring them from holding public office.

She said there was a need to repeal all discriminatory laws against women and enact new ones to protect them from all kinds of violence, including domestic, besides sensitising police and judiciary.

Ms Alwani said political representation of women should be strengthened at local, provincial and national levels by providing them with due powers.

She suggested terminating police officer involved in declining to register FIR of honour crimes.

She said there was a need to create awareness among men about the impacts of violence against women and children. She also recommended making aware children of bad impact of violence through curriculum at school level. She said we needed to create financial resources to make women economically independent.

She said extraordinary power used against women or a girl with regard to physical or sexual action was violence against women.

She said in these cases accused were male family members like husband, father, brother, father-in-law and brother-in-law, cousin, close relative, same caste person and in rare cases mothers and daughters-in-law who directly or indirectly were found involved in murder or injuries to women.

Ms Alwani said at least one out of three women around the world had been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused by usually someone known to her. Pakistani women faced crimes as there was room for legislation and implementation to provide safety, liberty and honour to them.

MPA Alwani said their goal was to provide relief, justice and honour to women for living a respectable life.

She said education was a human right but unfortunately female literacy in Pakistan stood at 28 per cent, much below the Third World average of 66 per cent.

She said without literacy there was no hope to help them in understanding religion and outdated tribal and feudal customs and traditions.

She called upon religious scholars, political leaders and other segments of the society to play their active role for elimination of violence against women.
Source: Dawn
Date:6/28/2008

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