Stressing the need for pro-women legislation, parliamentarians said violence against women was endemic in the country.
They were speaking at the third meeting of the Women Parliamentarians Council (WPC), a forum of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Participants suggested making the national identity card compulsory
for marriage and demanded that registration of divorce should also be made compulsory.
Criticising the discriminatory treatment meted out to women parliamentarians, they said that women’s political empowerment and their meaningful inclusion in decision-making was fundamental for any constructive and sustainable democratic change in Pakistan.
While highlighting the plight of women prisoners, they suggested measures for economic rehabilitation to enable them to earn a living once they complete their sentence.
Earlier, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayum Suleri said that there was a dearth of research on various issues of national concern and think tanks should rigorously provide
support to parliamentarians to help them draft legislation.
“The SDPI is not only committed to providing research support to women parliamentarians but also planning to help them in drafting laws,” said Dr Suleri.
Findings of a research study on state of policies and legislations to curb violence against women (VAW) were also shared with the participants.
SDPI Deputy Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed said that in the gender inequality index, Pakistan ranked 115 out of 140 countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2014.
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