The women of Pakistan have been struggling for their rights since the country’s inception. But after 2008, their struggle started bearing fruits when their rights were acknowledged by the government’s formulation of effective laws for their protection and empowerment.
This was said by PPP MNA Shahnaz Wazir Ali during an interactive session on Friday on the journey of legislation by female parliamentarians between 2008 and 2013. The session had been organised by the South Asian Women in Media Association (SAWM) Pakistan.
Oddly, female parliamentarians from other leading political parties’ did not attend the session due to various reasons.
Ali said that not only during past five years but since the establishment of Pakistan, female parliamentarians worked with full devotion to raise their voices for the women of this country.
Elaborating on the pro-women legislation enacted by the present PPP government, she named The National Commission on the Status of Women, the Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Act 2011,the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010, the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Act 2011, the National Commission of Human Rights Act 2012, and the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010.
It is true that the implementation of these bills has remained a challenge, but hopefully this will be overcome with the passage of time, she said.
She expressed her concern over 20 million home-based workers who are deprived of their fundamental rights and stressed that their voices should be raised.
Ali said that for the upcoming elections, all political parties have given special attention to women rights and have included it in their parties’ political manifestos, which itself is another achievement.
“The struggle to empower women will continue till they get all that they deserve,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2013.