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‘Patriarchy makes it impossible to apply pro-women laws’

KARACHI: The previous government remains historic in terms of empowering women and fight against violence and discrimination by unanimously passing bills to stop anti-women practices.

This was stated at a round table dialogue with the press held on Monday. The attendees also discussed the issue related to pro-women legislation and expectations from the upcoming assemblies. Media people shared their experiences in terms of professional capacity, training issues and mindset of the owners to deal with women’s issues via reporting and coverage.

Emphasising the need for political parties to play an effective role in the implementation of laws, they resolved that political will through good governance is a prerequisite for women empowerment and protection.

SCF chief Javed Soz briefed media people about The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act, Prevention of Anti-Women Practices, Amendments in rape cases in Hudood Ordinance Act, Sexual harassment at Workplace and Domestic Violence National Bill.

Zulfiqar Halepoto said that good governance could play a vital role in empowering women, especially to boost their economic status.

Presenting some case studies from rural Sindh he said that violence against women is rampant and incidents of early marriages, domestic violence and honor killing are frequent in the province, however, the state is not addressing these issues as a political priority.

He further opined that social media could play a very active role in spreading awareness. This time around, political parties, even the progressive ones reduced the number of tickets for their women members, which shows a non-serious attitude, he said.

Punhal Saryo of Hari Porhyat Council said that the state is responsible for implementing laws, but the patriarchal mindset prevalent among political parties makes it impossible to put into practice the decree.

He said that the feudal composition of society is also one of the hurdles, and there is a dire need for legislation to bring more women to the mainstream.

Journalist Manzoor Chandio said that there is a need to train and sensitise media on such laws, so that women issues could be highlighted and addressed by state actors.

Senior media persons Imdad Soomro, Zulfqar Rajpar, Sahar Majid, Ali Memon, and others attended the meeting.

Daily Times

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