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New law to prevent violence against women: Punjab minister

LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Population Welfare Begum Zakia Shahnawaz has said Pakistani women are very talented and they are playing an active role in every walk of life. She said there was a need for women to come forward for the progress and prosperity of the country.

She said this while speaking at the distribution of the UN Women’s first global HeForShe Hero’ Global Award at a local hotel on Monday. The award is meant to acknowledge and reward those young role models who are taking stand against the gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls in Punjab and across Pakistan.

Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said the Punjab government was doing everything possible for the empowerment and advancement of women and many laws had been introduced for the protection of women and girls.

She said that a new law was being made to prevent the violence against women. She said the women and girls were an important segment of the society and there was a need for collective efforts to educate and encourage them to attain their full potential.

Fauzia Viqar, Chairperson, Provincial Commission of the Status of Women Punjab, threw light on the establishment of the ‘Punjab Commission on the Status of Women’ in 2014 which provided a medium to empower the local women, expand opportunities for their socio-economic development and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them. She said the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women Bill was the first ‘watchdog body’ for women’s rights in the province.

She said that within a few months of the Provincial Commission of the Status of Women coming into force, the Commission had begun the process of reviewing and recommending changes in the existing laws affecting the women of Punjab.

Salman Sufi, Senior Member of the Law and Order Wing of the Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit Punjab, informed the media about some of the steps being taken in the province to ensure justice and include translating the women-friendly laws into reality and institutionalising the structures to respond to violence against women.

Jamshed Kazi, Country Representative of the UN Women Pakistan, Urooj Ashraf from Zimal (a girl’s society with the tag line “Breaking Stereotypes for Her”) and Nabeel Khan from Khardaar (a boy’s society with the slogan “As Brothers We Stand”) also spoke.

The News