Civil society group, Ending Violence Against Women Alliance, has expressed reservations over non-representation of women in the committee constituted by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to review Women Protection Act.
The act was passed unanimously by Punjab Assembly on Feb 24 this year. Since then religious fractions of the country showed their reservations and declared the bill contradictory to Islam.
An urgent meeting of the alliance was held in Lahore where member discussed CM’s review committee and said that this was undemocratic way to constitute any forum without proper representation of women and having names of women representatives.
The members express their concerns on the fact that the Punjab assembly has 76 women representatives in assembly but there is no representation of women in the committee. It is a shame to see all male members in the committee are reviewing a bill related to women, they said.
“It was really shocking to see that the bill was unanimously passed in the assembly after following a proper procedure of consultation and bringing all the political parties on board” they said.
The members said that the act only provides protection through protection orders in case the women face domestic violence and how it was possible to review the legislation related to the women without their representation in the committee.
They demanded the government to reconstitute the review committee and ensure inclusion of 33 per cent of women in the committee. They added that the rule of business for the law must be in place within 120 days.
The meeting was attended by representatives of different human rights and women organisations.