Model policy on violence against women drafted


A model policy on Violence against Women and Girls has been drafted to help address all forms of violence against them as well as honour killing.
Remedial measures have been proposed in this draft policy which would help promote women’s rights in the country.
Also a model policy on Home Based Workers (HBW) including women has been drafted to recognize and accept HBWs through legislative and administrative action, accord legal equality, focus on their needs, concerns and demands, sources at Human Rights Division said.
The sources said the government gives immense importance to protection of women rights in the country and has taken steps in this regard.
Under legislative reforms, the major laws have been promulgated including : Criminal Law (Offences relating to Honour Killing) Act, 2016, Hindu Marriage Act, 2017 and Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Act, 2018. Board of Governors of the Fund has recently been notified to operationalize the fund.
The Bills under process are: Legal Aid and Access to Justice Authority Bill, 2019, Christian Marriage and Divorce (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2019.
The sources said National Action Plan to improve human rights situation in the country prepared by Ministry of Human Rights is being implemented in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. The Plan sets protection and empowerment of women as a priority area for interventions including national policy guidelines on Gender Based Violence; review of all discriminatory legislation against women, establishment of new crisis centres for women and strengthening of existing centres/services at district level.
A helpline 1099 which operates throughout Pakistan has been established to offer legal advice, redressal and referral mechanism, the sources said and added a group of 213 pro bono lawyers have been registered with the Helpline from all over the country to provide legal assistance.
Also conducted national training throughout Pakistan for sensitization and capacity building of prosecutors and court officials on women specific laws by creating awareness and responsiveness.
The other step included: Shelter home, Family Protection and Rehabilitation Centre and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Centres for Women in Islamabad provide free legal, psychological and medical aid to women victims of violence including women having fear of honour killing.
Commemoration of national and international days to raise awareness among public regarding women’s rights.
Besides, Independent National and Provincial Commissions on Status of Women (except Balochistan) have been established to monitor women rights in the country.
A research study has also been carried out to review and identify legal provisions for harmonization of legislation in line with constitution of Pakistan, international commitments and human rights obligations and to provide recommendations for subordinate legislation to be enacted/amendments in the PPC and CrPC. The study is being launched in Ministry of Human Rights for dissemination.
Moreover, the sources said in line with directions of Prime Minister, a research report is under process to identify bottlenecks/handedness in delivery of inheritance property to women including specific proposals to ensure that women not only get their due inherited share but also able to get physical possession of their inheritance with ease. Legislation in this regard is under consideration.
The relevant Ministry created awareness through public service messages on women’s inheritance rights.
The sources said National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) is working to review and asses the laws, government policies, programmes and their implementation. It also makes recommendations to achieve gender quality, women’s economic empowerment and elimination of discrimination.—APP

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