Islamabad: National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), established with a broad mandate and powers to take actions, has addressed 274 cases of women related issues since December2015 to October 2018. The government was committed to ensuring Protection and Promotion of Women Rights as envisaged under the constitution as well as international commitments by adopting all possible measures.
Official sources while highlighting steps taken by the government for Protection of Women Rights have said the concerned ministry has established a Helpline 1099 for Legal Advice on Human Rights Violations. The Helpline (1099) provides referral services to address grievances of victims with special focus on women related issues.
Since February 2015 to October 2018, total 241,972 calls were received out of which 29,139 eligible cases were sent to relevant departments for redressal.
The sources said the government gives special attention for enactment and implementation of laws for protection of Women Rights and in this context major laws have been promulgated. These included the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences relating to Honour Killing) Act, 2016, The Criminal Law(Third Amendment) Act, 2011 (anti-women practices), The Protection Against Harassment of Women at workplace Act, 2010, Hindu Marriage Act, 2017: (the first personal law to regulate Hindu marriages, has been promulgated to register marriages and to prohibit marriage of minors by prescribing the minimum age of eighteen years) and The Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Act, 2018 (to operationalize Fund for women in distress and detention. The source said National Commission on Rights of the Child Act, 2017 promulgated. The Commission will examine existing laws relating to child and propose new legislation related to child rights.
The National Commission on Status of Women is also working as a statutory body, to exclusively work on women issues. Family Protection & Rehabilitation Centre for Women is working in Islamabad to provide protection and legal assistance as well as psycho-social support to women victims of violence.
Total 295 cases were registered during 2017-2018. Establishment of Free Legal Aid Mechanism has also been proposed for poor and vulnerable litigants with special emphasis on protection of rights of women and children.
For protection of Inheritance Rights of Women in Pakistan, an awareness campaign to educate the masses about inheritance rights of women under Islamic jurisprudence and the constitution has been initiated.
The process of establishment of groups of lawyers in every district to provide free legal aid to women vis-à-vis inheritance issues is in progress while process of seeking ways for documentation of births, especially in rural areas, is also in progress.