South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Islamabad : Women parliamentarians were stressed to play key role in enhancing access to justice for rural women through legislative and policy measures.

Steps were also need to be taken to minimize the impacts of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of rural women and thus to make some significant inroads towards reducing the poverty that was adversely hitting the rural women and girls particularly.

These deliberations were made by various speakers while commenting on the state of safeguarding the rights of rural women, access to justice and the climatic impacts on rural women during the concluding day of the 11th Annual Rural Women’s Conference held by Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) in collaboration with a number of national and international development partners.

While highlighting the plight of the rural women including the lack of access to justice, and social, political and economic marginalization, the speakers including Member Sindh Assembly Tanzeela Qambrani, FAO Country Representative Minà Dowlatchahi, Ayesha Khan of Hashoo Foundation, Nilofer Hafeez of BISP, Dr Khalid Abdullah, Country Director Clean Cotton Dr Shafeeq Ahmed, Member National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) Anees Haroon, Social Activist Mussarat Misba, Senior Journalist Hussain Naqi, women right activist Pushpa Kumari, Benazir Jatoi of Aurat Foundation and Salma Khalid of NRSP suggested pertinent reforms in the existing legislative and policy structures.

The speakers were of view that some progressive steps were observed during the recent years in terms of safeguarding the rights of the rural women. However, now it’s time to redress the lacunas in the policies and remove the gaps between the policies and the implementation.

The experts from different backgrounds observed that women in the parliament and at various decision-making levels, could have a better comprehension of the issues pertaining to women as well as women specific needs in terms of access to justice.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Javeria Zafar Aheer said that Pakistani society is a patriarchal society, where women are not duly represented and vulnerable. “Our women, especially rural women, are no less than a man and performing in every sphere of life”, she said, adding that we must support, encourage and highlight the positive role of rural women in our society. She further said that there is dire need of providing basic education to rural women to help them lift in society.

Tanzeela Qambrani, Member Sindh Assembly of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) said that women should learn to respect themselves and recognized their status in the society. She said that women should be aware of their rights and must raise their voices for their rights. She further stressed upon the rural women to get education, which will help improve their lives.

In a session on rural women, water and climate change, experts demanded the government to formulate a comprehensive agriculture policy focusing on small farmers, especial rural women working in fields. In order to ensure representation of rural women and small farmers in decision making, they demanded for allocation of reserve seats in the national assembly, which further strengthen the democracy. Moreover, steps must be taken to educate the rural communities, especially women, on the challenges of climate change.


Updated On: October 17, 2018