Say yes to woman power


National Women Day being observed today

National Women Day will be observed on February 12 to mark the struggle against a series of `anti-women’ laws.

This day in 1983, a group of women had forwarded a petition to the Lahore High Court Chief Justice as a protest against the discriminatory

Zina and Hudood ordinances. The peaceful protestors faced violent attacks from the police and were put behind the bars.

The march catapulted women’s rights issues onto the national scene. In memory of that incident February 12 is observed every year as a day to highlight sufferings of women.

This year a number of events are being organized on the day, including workshops, seminars, discussion forums, painting and photo exhibitions, walks etc. to highlight plight of women and the challenges being faced by them.

Talking to APP here on Tuesday, Executive Director Sisters Organization, Rehana Hashmi, said Pakistan had passed a number of legislation to protect women rights, but still a proper mechanism was to be devised for their implementation.

She said with the pivotal role and endeavour of women politicians, rights activists and civil society, women had been able to get many slots in national and provincial assemblies, which was encouraging.

Their contribution in the parliamentary business was remarkable.

“For the last 12 to 13 years, Pakistan is going through extraordinary circumstances due to war on terror and other challenges.

However, despite all odds, major steps have been taken to secure women rights”, she added.

She said due to lack of awareness and illiteracy, women of rural areas did not know these laws. The women working in fields were still facing a number of hardships. So it was time to focus on establishing a concrete strategy for implementation of these laws and get their trickle-down effects at the grassroots level.

Executive Director, Potohar Organization for Developing Advocacy, Samina Nazir said economic empowerment of women was not possible without a conducive working environment and security was the main issue in that regard.

She said until and unless the women felt protected and had free mobility, they could not contribute to national development according to their potential.