Passing legislation to protect women against violence in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) is a priority and a coordinated effort is needed on behalf of lawmakers and other stakeholders to ensure successful implementation.
This was decided in a meeting held at a hotel on Wednesday. Participants included women’s rights activists, non-governmental organisations (NGO), provincial assembly members from various political parties, and representatives of The Provincial Commission on the Status of Women – an advisory body to the K-P government on women’s issues.
During the meeting it was highlighted that expediting the implementation of pending legislation was crucial due to rising incidents of violence against women in the province.
Lawmakers were requested to be more proactive in pushing forward certain bills and amendments such as the Domestic Violence Bill, Prevention and Control of Internal Women Trafficking, Comprehensive Provincial Legislation on Acid and Burn Control and an amendment in the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929.
Lawmakers extended their full support to the commission and said they will push relevant legislation forward.
Jamiat Ulema-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) MPA from Hangu Mufti Syed Janan said violence against women was not just a crime against women but a violation of human rights and lawmakers should approach the issue as such. On the request of the commission he pledged to bring together MPAs from his party, along with JUI-F’s allies, to hold pre-assembly orientation sessions on the said bills.
Furthermore, it was also agreed the commission, along with relevant individuals and groups, will hold focused meetings with lawmakers from all leading parties to ensure legislation regarding violence against women is passed as soon as possible with little opposition.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2014.
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