Lahore: Punjab government has taken a historic step in ensuring approval of eight Bills from the Punjab Assembly in order to safeguard and protect the rights of women, and credit for this goes to the Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and the government of Punjab.
These views were expressed by the representatives of Civil Society and NGOs, at a meeting held here today at Assembly Committee Room to express their gratitude for legislation for protection of women rights by the Punjab Assembly. The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood, while it was attended by Aurat Foundation, South Asian Partners, WISE, SPO, Shirkat Gah, National Commission for Justice and Peace, Working Women Organization, WAR, Bonded Labour Organization, Arman, Godh, Finex Research Foundation, Homenet and others.
Addressing the meeting, Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood deeply appreciated the role of NGOs and civil society in ensuring legislation for women. He said NGOs are playing the vital role of torch-bearer in providing valuable services for the guidance and welfare of the society. He stressed the need for greater mutual liaison to ensure progress of the society and election of true public representatives. He said our loyalties lie with Pakistan and we have to strengthen our own country and institutions. Rana Mashhood said that public welfare and prosperity is the true vision of Punjab government. He said Punjab government does not believe in empty slogans but believes in taking practical steps to bring women into mainstream of national progress and prosperity, which is reflected by the fact that Punjab Assembly has granted approval to eight Bills aimed at protection of and promotion women rights. He said promoting democratic traditions is part and parcel of democracy, while following democratic values is essential for all of us.
Addressing the meeting, Mumtaz Mughal of Aurat Foundation, Bushra Khaliq of WISE, Hina Hafeez Advocate, Ghulam Fatima of Bonded Labour Organization, Ume Laila of Homenet, Naureen of Shirkat Gah, Peter Jacob of National Commission for Justice and Peace and Salman Abid thanked the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Women Development Department for approval of Bill for Protection of Women Against Harassment at Work Places, Punjab Land Revenue Amendment Bill (Urban and Rural), Women University Multan (Amendment) Bill, Government College Women University Faisalabad Bill, Government College Women University Sialkot Bill, Government College Women University Bahawalpur Bill and for the approval of Gender Mainstream Act.
They also stressed the need for legislation for eradication of domestic violence, formulation of provincial commission for women, early appointment of Provincial Ombudswoman, effective implementation /monitoring of the approved laws, eradication of underage marriages, and formulation of home-based workers and providing financial and legal protection to the aged persons.