National Commission on the Status of Women

Govenrment of Pakistan

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Press Release: 22 May 2014 - NCSW held its 51st meeting in Islamabad on 21- 22 May, 2014

May 22, 2014

NCSW held its 51st meeting in Islamabad on 21- 22 May, 2014 under its Chairperson, Ms.KhawarMumtaz. The meeting marked one year of operationalization of the Commission. It took stock of NCSW activities over the year and determined its direction for the rest of the term.

Members expressed satisfaction over the performance of the Commission and its direction and welcomed the establishment of the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, Punjab. They identified areas for future interventions and committed to maintaining strong linkages with provincial Governments, Government of Giligit-Baltistan,AJK and FATA.

NCSW expressed grave concern over the recent rise in incidence of violence against women and girls across Pakistan and the apathy of state institutions towards victims. It condemned the rape of a college student by QariNaseer, a seminary teacher and his associates and appreciated the swift action taken by the government of Khyber PakhtunKhwa. It also demanded an early conviction of the perpetrators.

The Commission highlighted the negative impact on women, girls and minorities of increasing use of religion to promote political and personal interests manifested in targeting individuals and desecration of religious places. It remindedgovernments of the responsibility to ensure the constitutional right of girls to education and their safety.The Commission, found particularly  distressing the threats to girls schools in Panjgur resulting in closure of schools, and attacks on girls schools in other parts of Pakistan.

Commission members noted that despite judicial decisions on illegality of Jirgas, there has been a resurgence in Sindh and Balochistan of Jirga decisions, to settle disputes through exchange of women/girls, some reportedly chaired by sitting members of assemblies and heads of tribes. The Commission demanded immediatemeasures to stop this violation of the law and to apprehendviolators;furthermore to sensitize law enforcement agencies about anti women practices and related legislations.

The Commission was strongly perturbed by Council of Islamic Ideology’s recent positions related to marriage. These positions are contrary to the provisions of MFLO 1961 that was drawn up after extensive deliberations, the NADRA Act and the Majority Act. It strongly disagreed with the CII recommendation of nikah of girls by parents at as early an age as 9 years.

NCSW recommended that legislation aimed at protection of women be extended to FATA and PATA. The meeting ended with a session with Minister for Law, Information and Broadcasting Mr.PervaizRasheed where these concerns were shared. The Minister committed to promoting positive portrayal of women on electronic media and invited the Commission to develop appropriate media programmes for women’s empowerment. 

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