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Women MPs` role sought to curb domestic violence

LAHORE: Participants at a consultative meeting on Domestic Violence Bill has called upon the women parliamentarians to strive hard to end domestic violence against women by spending their development funds on such issues.

Speaking at a meeting held by Mumkin Alliance, a network of civil society organisations, with parliamentarians and political parties here at a local hotel on Thursday, they said woman parliamentarians should contribute to prevent violence against women and improve their overall living conditions.

“We should aim at enhancing coherence of actions and plans conducted on violence against women besides raising awareness and improving legal and political instruments regarding prevention, protection, care and socio-economic integration of women facing gender-based violence,” said Punjab Chief Minister`s adviser Begum Zakia Shahnawaz while speaking on the occasion.

She said it was the duty of MNAs and MPAs to move the domestic violence bill irrespective of their political affiliations.

Speaking on the occasion Justice Nasira Javaid Iqbal (retired) called upon the government to restore the local government institutions so that victims of domestic violence could easily approach them.

She said the National Assembly had passed the bill in 2003, but later on it lapsed at Senate due to absence of on-time debate on it. She urged the PPP government to take initative at national and provincial levels to move the bill at appropriate forums at the earliest. “We must know that 90 per cent women in Pakistan are victims of domestic violence while only five per cent have the ability to move police stations and courts and the rest take it as their fate,” she added.

Former MNA Mehnaz Rafi said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had always supported the cause of women as he considered them a major power of society.

MNA Beelum Hasnain, Salman Abid, Amna Ulfat, Dr. Amna Buttar, Sajida Mir, Qamar Aamir Chaudhry, Riffat Sultan Dar and Riffat Javaid Kahlon also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier Mr Ali Imran (coordinator) of the meeting said the alliance would take up the issue by initiating advocacy and lobbying efforts for the approval of the bill at national and provincial levels.

“The alliance will also hold such discussions with various civil society groups to launch a joint campaign for women rights,” he added.

Source: Dawn