Implementation starts with the people; if your daughter’s rights are violated and you don’t speak up, neither will your neighbour.
Shehla Raza, the deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, was speaking at a provincial consultative workshop about the implementation of women’s laws, organised by the Aurat Foundation at the Movenpick hotel on Tuesday. The purpose of the workshop was to build up pressure for the implementation of such laws and to determine how the stakeholders in the criminal justice system could help in this.
Raza suggested that the media should create awareness about the legislation and rights of women so that implementation could begin from home.
“Laws are made to punish people and if we cannot punish people, there is no point in making any laws,” said Karachi AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo. “We have decided to establish human rights violations desks in every district in order to monitor crimes against women and children. Besides this, we also want to set up citizen service centres in various districts to address minor issues.”
Meanwhile, Dr Kaleem Sheikh, a medico-legal officer (MLO) at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, told the audience about how MLOs can be approached: through the police, directly or through the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee. “When the police are involved in violence, people can come directly to our office and make a case about it,” he said.
“There can be no implementation of any legislation if the SSPs or SHOs do not understand it,” said Abdul Rasheed Solangi, the secretary of the provincial women development department. “Police training should include knowledge of the law so that they know how to take action against those who violate it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.