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December 23, 2010

Women bodies, MPs condemn Shariat Court’s declaration


December 23, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights, Women’s Action Forum, Insani-Huqooq Ittehad (IHI), National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), women’s human rights organizations and several women parliamentarians have strongly condemned a ‘declaration’ issued by the Shariat Court that seeks to reverse sections 11, 25 and 28 of the Women Protection Act 2006.
The declaration seeks to revert back to the Hudood Ordinance of 1979 positions which were highly discriminatory and abusive to the dignity and rights of women and girls, said a press statement issued after the meeting of human right activists and women parliamentarians held at the NCSW.
This decision comes on the same day when the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has appointed the first woman Ombudsperson to hear the sexual harassment complaints of workingwomen. At an impressive ceremony hosted at the Prime Minister Secretariat to observe the December 22 as a day dedicated to the workingwomen of Pakistan, a question was raised by a woman rights activist about this declaration and the prime minister assured the women participants not to worry about reversal of pro-women laws.
“How any law made in the name of women protection can be taken back?” the statement questions while expressing deep concern over the decision. “What sort of confidence would Pakistani women and girls will have?” The participants of the meeting demanded immediate action from the prime minister and demand an appeal from the government against this declaration.
They also demanded abolition of all parallel judicial systems such as Federal Shariat Court, Islamic Ideology Council and Jirgas. The civil society said that unless and until we were not going to resolve our contradictions with respect to the nature of the Pakistani state, these issues were not going to be resolved.

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