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Lawmakers vow to strengthen pro-women laws implementation

PESHAWAR: The KP Assembly lawmakers here on Tuesday vowed to strengthen the implementation and oversight of the pro-women laws including those on domestic violence and reproductive health.

They were speaking at a consultation jointly hosted by Blue Veins and Awaz-Centre for Development Services (CDS) Pakistan, non-governmental organizations.

The event was arranged in collaboration with the Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) of the KP Assembly and Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department. KP Assembly Deputy Speaker Mehmood Jan, MPAs, WPC members, officials from the Law, Population Welfare and Social Welfare departments and civil society organisations.

The speakers said the woman legislators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly are playing an efficient role in taking forward the issues, particularly those related to women, girls, children and transgender persons.

KP Assembly Deputy Speaker Khyber Mehmood Jan said: “The pro-women legislation in the past few years have shown the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government strong commitments to the issues.”

He said collective efforts and actions are a focus of the KP Assembly to ensure that vulnerable communities are better protected and benefit from the laws and their implementation.

Member Provincial Assembly and WPC Vice-President Madiha Nisar said: “The WPC is always ready to join hands with the civil society for implementing the pro-women legislation to strengthen the protection of the rights of women and eliminate violence against women.

MPA and Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education Aisha Bano said: “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has done two significant legislation on domestic violence and reproductive health for the province. If improvement and compliance are desired, the relevant institutions and enforcement bodies need to be strengthened. Strong coordination among the departments should be ensured”.

A law-maker from Jamaat-e-Islami Humaira Khatoon, WPC Joint Secretary, dispelled the impression that religio-political parties are against pro-women legislation. She stressed that all laws in the country should as per injunctions of Islam.

Zia-ur-Rehman, Executive Director, Awaz CDS Pakistan, said: “According to the recent results of Sustainable Development Goals Citizens’ Scorecard, around 67 per cent of women do not have access to medico-legal facilities in KP in case of violence and torture. Less than 39 per cent of women complain against harassment in the public sphere that hinders their mobility”.

He said over 50 per cent of respondents have claimed that there are cases of child, early and forced marriages in their areas. “Therefore, there is a dire need for legislation against child marriages in the province,” Zia-ur-Rehman added.

The speaker demanded formulation of rules of business for the recently passed domestic violence act at the earliest.

Appreciating the legislation on domestic violence and reproductive healthcare rights, Qamar Naseem Programme, Coordinator, Blue Veins, called for monitoring, oversight, resource and budget allocation, support, coordination and the empowerment of enforcement bodies to achieve the objectives.

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