Civil society demands inclusion of women MPAs in the KP cabinet
PESHAWAR: Scores of functions were held under the auspices of different government departments and civil society organisations to mark the International Women’s Day on Friday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wherein the speakers urged the government to ensure implementation of the laws related to protection of women rights, gender equality, freedom and justice.
In Peshawar, several events were held to highlight the problems being faced by women. In one of the events, representatives of CSOs also took out a rally.
Aurat Foundation’s regional chief Shabina Ayaz, Aware Girls’ Gulalai Ismail, Sana Ijaz and former MNA Jamila Gilani shared views about significance of the women’s day.
Speaking at a press conference, the CSOs representatives urged the government to immediately enact the Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Bill 2019 and include female lawmakers in the cabinet of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
They demanded of the political parties to include women in decision making process so they could raise voice effectively for their rights. The government and private sector, they said, should ensure formation of anti-harassment committees under the harassment act 2010 to ensure display of code of conduct.
Functions and rallies held across KP to mark Women’s Day
They said that in the newly-merged tribal districts provincial and local government elections should be conducted at the earliest with participation of women at least on five per cent general seats. They also talked about the ordeal of the home-based workers. The women also held “Azadi” or freedom march on a busy road.
Earlier, they gathered at the press club and sang anthems about women rights and elaborated their struggle for it. Under #BalanceforBetter the women chanted slogans to urge gender equality, freedom and justice.
“It is a day to celebrate the struggle and achievements of women rights activists” said Jamila Gilani. “We want the government to pass legislation on domestic violence, end enforced disappearances, and make women safe by ensuring that women hailing from tribal areas living in camps return to their hometowns,” said Gulalai Ismail.
Noor Education Trust organised a function to mark the day with the performance of a theatre group which highlighted the gaps in legal system.
Women rights activist Tahira Abdullah and senior lawyer Parveen Akhter were on the panel of judges who pronounced their ‘judgments’ on the basis of the performances. Tahira Abdullah said that staging dramas and skits instead of lengthy speeches on this day was fruitful as messages could be easily conveyed through theatrical performances.
Head of Blue Veins Qamar Naseem stated that 74 per cent of women here had less than six years of education.
Meanwhile, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms Naoko Takasu has said that the UN agency was working with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to implement Sustainable Development Goals plan at the district level.
She was speaking at a function organised by KP Women Parliamentary Caucus on the premises of the provincial assembly which was attended by ministers, MPAs, representatives of UN agencies and members of civil society groups. Acting Speaker Mehmood Jan was the chief guest.
Miss Takasu said that UN agency was working with the government and people of Pakistan for the implementation of 2030 agenda that was launched in 2015. She said that the programme aimed at reduction of poverty, addressing the issue of inequality, economic growth and global warming and conservation of environment.
Provincial anti-harassment ombudsperson Rukhshanda Naz said that there was favorable environment for women in KP and called for more innovation in this regard.
Meanwhile, a function was also held in University of Peshawar by Peshawar University Teachers Association. “Women must accept and celebrate challenges to thrive in a male-dominated society and must know legalities, show consistency and cooperate with their near and dear ones to grow professionally,” said the participants at the gathering.
MPA Ayesha Bano was the guest of honour who told the participants that a new bill on prevention of domestic violence would be passed soon subject to the opposition’s cooperation.
A cake-cutting event was held at Radio Pakistan wherein Senator Mehar Taj Roghani and Farah Khan highlighted importance of the day. Also, the Government Girls College City, Gulbahar, organised a sports gala on the day.
In Mingora, women rights activists on Friday demanded of the government to give equal importance to girls’ colleges and other such institutions as given to the boys’ colleges. They were speaking at a ceremony in Saidu Sharif to mark the women’s day.
Speaking on the occasion, college principal Dr Nargis Ara said it was high time for the policy makers to devise a proper policy for women in terms of women’s quota in jobs in each and every department.
In Mansehra, the representatives of Saibaan Development Organisation and Khwendo Kor said that the government should play its due role in stopping gender-based violence and honour-related killings.
In Kohat, the women displayed their handicrafts at stalls at Special Nishtar Educational Centre. The chief guest, additional deputy commissioner Shah Nawaz Naveed, expressed his interest in handmade items and applauded the work. He asked the social welfare department to devise a strategy to provide excess to market of such items to encourage the women.
Functions to celebrate the women’s day were also held in Haripur, Chitral and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa