ISLAMABAD - Celebrating achievements and struggles against the continuing challenges to the women rights, the women representing civil society and nongovernmental organisations called upon the governments to repeal all discriminatory laws, ensure the enforcement of existing pro-women laws, and the pass pending pro-women legislation across Pakistan.
The representatives of civil society and nongovernmental organisations brought out the demands at the end of a torch-lit march from China-Chowk to D-Chowk, Islamabad. The Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Alliance arranged the march with the likeminded individuals and organisations to mark International Women's Day.
"As after the 18th amendment, legislation is a provincial subject so all the provinces including Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan & Azad Jammu and Kashmir must ensure the passage of domestic violence bill, comprehensive acid violence bill, early and forced marriages bill, reproductive health rights bill, home-based women workers social protection bill and a bill to prohibit dowry violence as soon as possible," said Arifa Mazhar from EVAWG alliance. And at the federal level the respective ministry and body should step up their efforts for the passage of the same laws at the federal level, she added. She said that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, there was an urgent need for strengthening the national and provincial women's entities, especially the National Commission on the Status of Women and Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women. The demands also included to undertake legislation to ensure 33 per cent minimum representation of women in Senate, National and provincial assemblies and at all tires of local government system, and allocate gender responsive budgetary resources, to equally empower grassroots men and women. "Currently only 17 per cent women constitute provincial and national assemblies and 10 per cent women are represented in Senate. And the representation of women in local government in Balochistan is also less than 33 per cent," said Tahira Abdullah, human rights activist, who read out the demands.
The marchers, besides demanding an end to all forms of violence against women and girls, also sought an end to militarism, militancy, extremism, Jihadism, Talibanisation, feudalism, tribalism, patriarchy, sexism, racism, intolerance, jirgas and punchayats.