Legislation against domestic violence in limbo | Pakistan Today

Legislation against domestic violence in limbo

ISLAMABAD: Contrary to its claims to providing equal rights to the women, the government has done little, as legislation against the domestic violence is still a distant dream.
The government took six years (previous and incumbent) to draft a piece of legislation to curb domestic violence and got the Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Act passed by the National Assembly in August last year but the Bill lapsed as the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs could not present it before the Senate within the three-month mandatory period.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Fouzia Saeed, Chairperson National Implementation Watch Committee (NIWC) urged the government to take practical steps for legislation against violations of the rights of women. “It is encouraging enough that Pakistan is the first country in the South Asia to have a separate law on Sexual Harassment while others rely on amendments and court orders; yet there is a lot to be done in this regard Presently we are struggling hard to get the anti-domestic violence bill passed from the senate as well,” she said.
She stressed proactive role of media to report the women’s rights situation at hospitals, police stations, courts and public and private offices. Dr Naeem Mirza of Aurat Foundation said, “It is shameful that there is still no law protecting women at home and from their family members, who very often are the main perpetrators of violence against them”.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), at least one out of every three women, around the world, is beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.
There are many forms of violence against women, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner; physical or sexual abuse by family members or others; sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures (such as teachers, police officers or employers).
Trafficking for forced labour or sex and traditional practices of forced or child marriages, dowry-related violence and ‘honour killings’ are among the most reported abuses meted out to women in our country.

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