LAHORE: Human rights activists have demanded the government to increase 5 percent intra-provincial education budgets have urged the male dominated society to raise their voices collectively against any kind of violence against women.
In connection with the 16 days long international campaign against the violence on women across the world, a special seminar was held here at the Lahore College for Women University that was organized by the Mumkin Alliance (MA)—an alliance of 25 civil society organizations including Aurat Foundation, MDM, Shirkat Gah, SPO, Action Aid, Simorgh, Home Net, Sarsabz Foundation, NCJP, ASR and CHRE—on Wednesday.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
Different speakers belonging to the MA addressed the seminar. Fauzia Viqar, Chairperson of the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women while adderessing the seminar said that Punjab Government has enforced various laws during 2012 and 2014 to eliminate every type of violence against women (VAW) like domestic violence, sexual harassment at work place and acid throwing incidents from the province effectively. She said that commission was working on cyber-crime against women act to pass from the assembly.
Justice Retired Nasira Javed Iqbal while speaking on the occasion highlighted the various clauses of the constitution of Pakistan 1973 regarding the stoppage of violence against women. She said that the society should raise the voice collectively against the violence.
Strengthen Participatory Organization (SPO) Regional Head Salman Abid called upon the society to joined hands and come forward to refine the society by eliminating the violence against women. He said that attitude of the male dominant society has to play a positive role and in this direction.
The seminar was also addressed by the Head of department of gender studies of the university Dr Sarah Shahed as well as MPA Farzana Butt, Shahzia Shaheen, Somia Yousaf and Nabeela Shaheen.
Separately, Aurat Foundation (AF) has also put a demand to the government to increase 5 percent inter-provincial education budgets overall of the GDP as well as to adopt non-discriminatory education policies which provide qualitative and gender-responsive learning environments, extend outreach and access to children.
According to a press release issued by the AF in connection with the international campaign, over 5.1 million primary school-aged children are out of school in Pakistan–the third highest number of out-of-school children in the world—and 63 percent of them are girls. The foundation said that recently, the Punjab government had passed legislation regarding education for all, and according to it, every child shall have a right to free and compulsory education from class one to ten, non-formal education, vocational education or a combination of all or any of the two as notified by the Government considering the needs, capability and age of the child so as to ensure completion of education or specified education in a school in the neighborhood or the school allocated for the child.
Aurat Foundation also demanded that government should develop a comprehensive education policy for Girls, encompassing primary, secondary and tertiary levels, to enhance their access to quality and continuing education.