International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was marked on Monday with an aim to educate society about the rights of women.
In this regard, different seminars and conferences were organised in which speakers urged the government to enact proper legislation including strict punishments for torture on women. The speakers also urged society to play their role in educating individuals about human rights, especially in the rural areas.
A seminar was organised by different organisations including South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-P), Aurat Foundation, Sungi Foundation Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) and others at a local hotel in connection to ‘16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women’. The main agenda of the conference was based on legislation in provincial assembly on Qisas (retribution) and Diyat (blood money). Conference was attended by activists of civil society, lawyers, journalists and politicians.
Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Meehnaz Rafi said it was compulsory in the development and progress of Pakistan to eliminate all discriminatory laws against women. She expressed grief and said Pakistan was standing in first three countries of the world where violation ratio against women was very high. While commenting on Molana Sherani, she expressed grave concern on elimination of violence against women bill in the National Assembly.
She said freedom of choice should be for everyone and women had constitutional right to remain safe and secure without any discrimination.
Advocate Rifat Butt said making laws and legislation was paramount to end violence against women. She said men could play major role in eradicating violence as they were the one who enjoyed and exercised power.
Shamim Malik said there was need to strong the social structure to eliminate violence against women in our society. She said for this purpose educational institutions could play vital role especially the youth could play its role for raising awareness among society members.
All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) also organised a symposium in which Secretary General Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) I A Rahman, Adviser Chief Minster Punjab Begam Zakia Shahnawaz, Chairperson APWA Punjab Ruhi Syed, APWA Program Manager Dur e Shawar participated.
IA Rehman said women should participate in all working fields in Pakistan and enlighten name of country in the world. He added that legislations made to protect women could not bring change in the society if the amendments were not brought in it.
Zakia Shahnawaz said legislation to protect women was conclusion of struggles for many years in which women organisations and civil society played important role. She further added that only legislations could not provide safety to women until actions would not be taken according to these legislations.

Source: Daily Times – 26.11.2013 – http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\11\26\story_26-11-2013_pg7_18