Most women are unaware of laws promulgated for their protection and it is impossible to effectively implement these laws without creating awareness, said speakers at a seminar held at the South Asian Free Media Association’s media centre on Friday.
Speakers at the seminar, titled “Anti-women practices, impact of recent legislations for women protection and role of media”, said that such events should be organised in rural areas and the media should be used as a tool to educate women about their rights.
Documentary filmmaker and women’s rights activist Samar Minallah said the media should highlight the efforts of fathers who fight for their daughters’ rights instead of just reporting the cases. People are not aware of laws or how to fight for their rights in rural areas due to which a large number of girls become victim of vanni, swara and forced marriages, she added.
Humaira Masihuddin, a legal expert said according to laws introduced so far for crimes against women, the offences are non-cognisable due to which the police can neither register an FIR nor arrest without the magistrate’s permission.
“Every day I come across cases in which women are severely beaten by their husbands and in-laws but lack information on how to report abuse and fight for their rights,” she added.
The event was organised by South Asian Women in Media.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2012.