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April 23, 2013 / Man in the Mirror

Business Recorder: Women’s rights: government urged to implement laws in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Expressing concern over poor legislation on women rights during last five years, members of civil society organisation have urged the provincial caretaker government to carry-out a homework regarding implementation of laws on women rights before setting up a new government in the province. 

The legislation process for protection of women rights was remained slow over last five years in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said Naazlee Sardar President Delta, a non-governmental organisation, while speaking at a press conference here at press club on Friday. She said: “Most of legislative bills on women rights adopted by former provincial assembly are not properly enacted or deferred due to customary obstacles and other certain reasons. She said, according to her organisation finding that ANP-led coalition government had failed to make sufficient legislation for protection of women rights during last five years, except promulgation only four bills in this regard. 

A number of bills, including protection of women intra-provincial trafficking, laws for elimination of customary practices, amendments in child marriages restraints Act, Acid throwing and burning on women were not adopted by former provincial government in five years, she added. 

Ms Sardar informed that her organisation had launched a project with support of United States of International Development “Strengthening Citizen’s” in KP. She explained the basic objective of the project was to create awareness about the significance of effective implementation of laws regarding women rights and freedom of information in the province. 

Flanked by the organisation deputy program manager, Haroon Khan, Consultant/Adviser, Barrister Waqas Qureshi, Ms Sardar said that women are being faced enormous difficulties due to lack of proper legislation, ie equality of women through granting citizenship to male spouses married to Pakistani women via amendments to Citizens Act. The organisation president said there needs to Hudood laws, especially offence of Zina Ordinance, should be completely repealed instead of making amendments in it, while National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) specific rules for women also be reviewed. 

She called for implementation of the protection for women from sexual harassment at the workplace Act and appointment of ombudsperson in this purpose. The organisation president said the ombudsperson was yet to be appointed in the KP during last five year. While briefing about the access to information Act, Barrister Waqas said that despite endorsement of three federating units, the KP had failed to enact right to information Act in the province. 

The Pakistan being signatory of agreement regarding to Freedom of Information (FoI), was bonded to fully implement the laws, but only country stood at 15 positions amongst 90 states signed on this accord. He further informed that the India has fully implemented FoI by ranking second amongst all signatory countries. Despite the endorsement of three federating units, he said the KP has lagging behind to enact the right to information Act. He said it was imperative to fully enforce freedom of information act, to bring transparency and fairness in the existing governance system. 

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