Islamabad, November 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): An event to introduce Protection against Harassment of Women (Filing and Disposal of Complaints) Rules 2013 was organized by Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights in collaboration with UNwomen and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Alliance at Marriott Hotel today.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Secretary Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights, while speaking as chief guest stated that the rights are inherent to every human being and there is no discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, region and race, however, the role of men and women are differentiated on the basis of their socio-economic conditions and culture.
He further informed about the legislations enacted for the well being, protection and development of women. He said that women suffer from various forms of violence and harassment at workplace which is a major factor due to which female are reluctant to enter in the employment sector. Government of Pakistan has enacted Protection against Harassment of Women (Filing and Disposal of Complaints) Rules 2013 to provide safe and secure environment to the working women.
Ms. Sangeeta Thapa, Deputy Country Director, UNwomen explained the importance of 16 Days of Activism throughout the world and stated that campaign’s central message is to end violence against women which constitutes a violation of Human Rights.
She also shared that message of Executive Director, UNwomen who has called on world leaders to show determination and mount a response that is proportionate to the violence threatening the lives of women and girls. She further stated that we all have responsibility to demand and take action to end all forms of violence against women and girls and to protect 50 % of the population.
Syed Sarfraz Ahmed, Advisor, Federal Ombudsman against Harassment of Women at Workplace, explained the purpose of the Protection against Harassment of Women (Filing and Disposal of Complaints) Rules 2013 in detail and its importance for the working women.
Mr. Aziz Iqbal, Registrar, Federal Ombudsman highlighted the main points of rules and procedures to be adopted by the complainant and inquiry committees for providing speedy justice to the victims. He further informed about the performance of Ombudsman and issues faced during the disposal of complaints.
Ms. Aqsa Khan, Co-chair EVAWG Alliance appreciated the efforts of Government of Pakistan for implementation of Protection against Harassment of Women (Filing and disposal of complaints) Act 2010 on behalf of civil society and suggested that enabling legislations to end other forms of violence against women may also be enacted.
Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women, stated that some laws addressing the issues of women were passed by previous Parliament and lapsed on completion of tenure of the Assembly. She emphasized that those Bills may be used as basis for enacting pro-women legislation. She also referred some Act passed by Provincial Assemblies to address the issues of women.
Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights invited the civil society and all stakeholders to come forward and play their role for drafting and amending the existing laws to make Pakistan a violence free country by eliminating all forms of violence against women at home, society and at workplace.
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