Sunday July 14, 2024

Women rights issue echoes in Senate

By Mumtaz Alvi
January 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Friday stood totally divided on how much rights should be ensured to women in Pakistan but shared consensus on how they lagged behind as compared to men, as senators discussed the National Commission on Status of Women report.

Those took part in the discussion on the annual report of the commission of the year 2017, which was laid in the Senate by Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on January 22 last year, included senators Mohsin Aziz, Mushtaq Ahmad, Walid Iqbal, Nuzhat Sadiq and Sherry Rehman.

The widely-discussed issue of a Faisal Vawda, showing a long shoe, also echoed in the House after the Question Hour, when PML-N Senator Kulsoom Parveen raised the matter, wondering should the lawmakers stop appearing in TV talk shows, the way a sitting member of this House was ‘insulted’.

She clarified that they had voted not for the boots but for the country’s key security institution, which was so dear to them. “Is the punishment of stopping the minister for a few days from appearing in talks shows is enough,” she asked.

Senators Mohsin Aziz and Mushtaq emphasised during the discussion on the commission report that the women rights should not be seen through the Western lenses and cultural invasion. They insisted that awareness about women rights could not be promoted and drives pushed for their rights while sitting in five-star hotels; instead such events be held in rural areas to read and asses the ground realities.

They said events in the name of culture in academic schools could not be allowed, which ran contrary to social and cultural values, enshrined in the Shariah. They supported women emancipation and lifting their status in the society, freeing them from the clutches of exploitation but not at the cost of values and honour. They also objected to certain slogans raised and inscribed on posters during drives for women rights last year.