By: Myra Imran
Islamabad: Representatives of the civil society organisations demanded the government to immediately arrest culprits of the rape of a minor girl in Mughalpura, Lahore.
They expressed concern over the increasing number of the cases of violence against women and pointed out that space for women and human rights is shrinking in policy and institutions at the provincial and federal level.
Representatives of around 150 organisations from around the country gathered under the banner of Pakistan Gender Coalition (PGC), an initiative of Gender Equity Programme of Aurat Foundation.
They expressed their opinion and a need of unanimous voice at the first consultative meeting of PGC titled “Structure, Strategy and Future Directions” held on Thursday. The meeting was formally inaugurated by Chief Operating Officer of Aurat Foundation Naeem Mirza.
He condemned the merger of Federal Ministry of Human Rights with the Federal Ministry of Law. He said recent decisions reflect that women and human rights are not the priority of the government.
Naeem pointed out the situation of helplessness at the institutions created specifically for women giving the example of Gender Crime Cell (GCC) and National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). The GCC was created in 2006 and till now, there are only 2 officials in the cell against the 23 approved posts. The NCSW is still without any funds.
Speaking on this occasion, Chief of Party GEP Simi Kamal highlighted achievements of GEP.She said GEP has facilitated 500,000 women in receiving Computerised National Identity Cards and has reached 25 million people through its media initiatives.
Presentation was followed by panel discussion where educationist Tahira Aftab highlighted the need to include more sensitive and basic issues in the circle of research. She encouraged every individual to indulge in research in their daily routine instead of depending on a thirds source for information.