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Resolution for legislation on women rights

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly has adopted the resolution on steps for proper legislation on economic, social, political and legal rights of women by the government.

MNA Mehnaz Rafi from ruling party moved the resolution in the National Assembly.

Pakistan cannot develop until women’s participation in nation building activities is assured, she added.

Mehnaz said that the ratio of female schools and colleges is lower than male educational institutions and the government is paying no attention to high mortality rate among women and they are being kept suppressed by the society.

She demanded of the government to set up industrial and vocational centres to generate employment for women and to empower them financially.

In the rural areas, women perform most of the tasks, but the society did not recognise their work, she added.

She said capacity-building programmes by local and provincial governments should be launched for women.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sher Afgan Niazi informed the House that laws regarding women rights were being implemented by the Women Development Ministry, Finance Division and Economic Affairs Division.

The minister also said that these ministries were already working in consultation with the Women Ministry and a bill on Karo Kari is under consideration in the National Assembly.

Sher Afgan said that if there was need for more laws regarding women rights, definitely these laws would be made by the government in future.

Responding to the statement, Mehnaz Rafi said that the women are half of the population of the country. “This is a matter of grave concern and this issue must be given time for discussion in the House.

Sher Afgan said that he did not oppose this resolution, but MNA Mehnaz Rafi cannot discuss this resolution under Rule 141.

Minister of State for Women Development Nilofar Bakhtiar requested Sher Afgan to let her discuss women’s political, social and legal rights, but she was not allowed to discuss the issue.

MNA Shahid Anwar Bhindar criticised the existing stance of the government, saying it is paying no attention to formulation of laws regarding women rights.

He said steps must be taken for enhancement of women education and to raise awareness among women regarding their rights.

Bhindar criticised the implementation of citizenship acts, as these acts applied differently for males and females and laws regarding women rights are not implemented in their true form by the government.

He said, “Foreign countries have made laws on sexual harassment. There is no law on this issue in Pakistan.”

Source: Business Recorder

Date:10/20/2004

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