PESHAWAR: Speakers at a conference here on Wednesday stressed the need for continuous focus on changing attitudes and mindset along with educating communities about inheritance laws and share of women in the inheritance.
The day-long provincial conference on ‘Creating Space for Women’s Inheritance Rights’ was organised by Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) in coordination with provincial ombudsperson for protection against harassment of women.
Provincial Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Rukhshanda Naz in her opening remarks talked about the challenges faced by people working on women’s issues.
“Our existing system is full of biases, which are inbuilt. Due to these biases we deny our women their legitimate rights, which are even ensured to them by our religion,” she said.
She said that justice was denied to women where it was mandatory to be furnished to them. Unfortunately, women were made to remain ‘invisible’ at such places due to inbuilt biases and societal constraints, she added.
She called upon the womenfolk to collectively and repeatedly raise their voice in support of their legitimate rights to compel the male-dominated society to agree to their due share in inheritance.
Ms Naz also reminded the participants that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act was not only about inheritance but also about property of all types. “This Act is aimed at providing protection to women’s rights of ownership and possession of properties owned by them, ensuring that such rights are not violated by any means of harassment, coercion, force or fraud,” she added.
Munir Khan, a monitoring and evaluation consultant, said on the occasion that despite resistance from some quarters, it was encouraging to see the role of local activists and the commitment of communities in taking the message forward.
The launch of the ‘Newly Merged Districts Female Lawyers Network’ also took place at the conference. The network was started by three female lawyers and has grown to 32 lawyers. The objective of the network is to support female lawyers so that they are better informed and prepared to facilitate women from tribal districts who can claim their rights.