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`Mindset towards women`s status in country changing`

By Our Staff Correspondent 2017-09-12
HYDERABAD: Though mindset towards the status of women is changing, violence against women is still a big issue in the country.

This was stated by National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) chairperson Khawar Mumtaz while delivering a lecture on the `Status of Women in Pakistan` at a graduate seminar in the lecture theatre of the US-Pakistan Centre for AdvancedStudies in Water (USPCAS-W) at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology on Monday.

She said the NCSW was trying its best to work and lobby with lawmakers, parliamentarians and other decision makers for promotion of laws and regulations aimed at empowering women in social, economic and political spheres.

`The commission has prioritised safeguarding and promoting the interests of women,` she said, adding that it was engaged in evidencebased research related to women`sissues in Pakistan. She said the NCSW was working in the light of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and ratified by Pakistan in 1996.

She said provincial chapters of the NCSW were yet to be established in Sindh and Balochistan whereas laws had already been passed by provincial assemblies.

`Legislation in Sindh is progressive, but it is weak when it comes toimplementation,` she added.

She said that less than three per cent cases related to women`s issues were being disposed of in courts as a matter of routine, while the rest of the cases were pending due to one reason or the other.

She appreciated women lawmakers for their active role in legislation process regarding women`s issues in both houses of parliament and provincial assemblies.

She said that a pilot project regarding network-based quick response to cases of women wasbeing initiated in Sindh soon.

Before addressing the seminar, she chaired a meeting about developing strategies for activation of the Women Resource Centre (WRC) recently established in the MUET.

Dr Bakhshal Lashari, project director of the water centre at MUET, said the centre was a driving force behind establishment of the WRC with the support of the University of Utah, USA. MUET formed and implemented a Gender Equity Policy (GEP), the first in a public-sector universityinPakistan.