The civil society has lauded the passage of the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill by the National Assembly, hoping that it will help protect women’s rights once it sails through the Senate.
Hilda Syed, a senior member of the Women Action Forum, told The News that it was a wonderful piece of news, adding, however, that the task now was to pass the bill from the Senate as well.
“The domestic violence bill stayed in the Senate for three months after which it lapsed but we are adamant to pass it through. Similarly, as soon as the amendments are made to this bill, it should come into force so that its efficacy is not compromised,” she said.
Zohra Yusuf of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that the unanimous acceptance of the bill by the NA was a positive sign for sure as it made certain “evil practices” illegal. But given the history of such laws being interpreted wrongly or not implemented at all, awareness of the law enforcement authorities is also needed.
She said that the bill was focusing on the punishment aspect at the moment, and it should also take into account the problems women faced while reporting inheritance issues.
“Recently, Bangladesh announced equal property rights for women on International Women Day which did not go down well with the clerics (there). But at least it is a step in the right direction. We need to focus on that as well.”