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February 13, 2020

Societies never progress without safeguarding women rights: CM Murad Ali Shah

Karachi

February 13, 2020

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Wednesday the society that did not ensure and protect the rights of women would never progress.

He was speaking as chief guest at an event organised by the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW) with support from the UN Women Pakistan to celebrate National Women Day here.

Shah said the government had institutionalised gender equality in the province and the highest number of pro-women laws, including the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act and the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013, had been passed in the province.

Nuzhat Shirin, chairperson of the SCSW, said that Sindh was the only province to have passed most pro-women laws and set an example for other provinces. “But there’s still a long way to go as we set to develop sustainable systems that will empower women economically, socially, culturally and politically,” she said.

Syeda Shehla Raza, provincial minister for women development, said her ministry had worked to end violence against women and girls by promoting women’s rights in Sindh through legislation.

“We are now sensitising women on the law of harassment at workplace and ending child marriage so that women and girls of Sindh reach their full potential,” she said.

Brek Batley, Australian deputy high commissioner to Pakistan, said that Australia had employed a holistic approach to reducing violence against women through institutional strengthening, policy advocacy and service delivery. “The SCSW, established through Australia’s AUD 11 million support, has not only advanced gender equality in the province but also created an enabling environment for pro-women laws, including the Sindh Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, the Domestic Violence Bill, Child Marriage Restraint Act, Sindh Dowry Act and Sindh Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act,” he said.

Aisha Mukhtar, UN Women Pakistan’s deputy country representative, said that UN Women believed in an equal inclusion of women in all spheres of life with focus on five priority areas: increased women’s participation and leadership, ending violence against women and girls, women participation in peace processes and security efforts, women economic empowerment and governance and national planning.

“The UN Women Pakistan has been supportive of the SCSW since its establishment. We have provided strategic assistance in developing the commission’s three-year strategic plan and are continuously working with the commission and the WDD Sindh in order to end violence against women and advance gender equality and women’s social and economic empowerment in the province,” she said.

In the event, CM Shah also distributed the “Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Life Achievement Award” to women working on women’s rights and gender equality in Sindh. This award is an initiative of the SCSW.