South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Human rights activist have stressed the need for implementation of gender-sensitive laws in the country.

Speaking at a two-day workshop by Aurat Foundation here, they said all women must be made aware of women protection laws.

The workshop was attended by medico-legal officers, lawyers, media officials and civil society representatives.

Aurat Foundation Coordination and Resource Mobilisation Director Farkhanda Aurangzeb said violence was deeply rooted in our lives; so much so, that at times people did not even feel being violated.

Aurangzeb also discussed a few gender-based violence (GBV) cases and relevant medico-legal protocols. Rights activists present at the workshop argued in favour of educating parents against forced marriages. Aurangzeb added that forced marriages lead to a number of other GBV issues.

“Gender-sensitive laws are often ignored, partly because they deal with extremely sensitive issues and partly because our society suppresses harsh realities,” Aurat Foundation National Coordinator Sumera Malik told The Express Tribune.

“These laws cover domestic violence, sexual harassment, child and forced marriages, other anti-women practices and anti-rape laws,” she added.

Participants stressed the need for a conversation on topics such as violence, forced marriages and rape.

Aurangzeb said that there was a dire need to change the way the society thought. “Women who speak against violence should be supported and not ridiculed,” she said.

She also went on to discuss the role of police in such cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.