Pakistan: Civil society, NGOs protest against treasury’s ‘gender-biased’ conduct

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Pakistan: Civil society, NGOs protest against treasury’s ‘gender-biased’ conduct

Aurat Foundation and other civil society organisations, including Legislative Watch Group, Violence Against Women Watch Group and Citizen Action Committees for Women Rights, expressing solidarity with women MPAs, strongly condemned the gender-biased behaviour of the treasury members, particularly MPA Sheikh Allauddin of the Unification Bloc during the Punjab Assembly session on Thursday.

In a joint meeting on Friday, Aurat Foundation and civil society organisations demanded the Election Commission and the custodian of the House to take stern action against all those members who misbehaved with women MPAs and used derogatory and indecent language as well as vulgar gestures.

Aurat Foundation and partner organisations urged political parties to adopt a code of conduct in order to avoid such incidents of harassment in the future, especially with women MPAs. The speakers went as far as to say that the Punjab Assembly speaker should arrange a training workshop for parliamentarians and political parties’ officials on gender sensitisation so that such incidents may not occur in the future.

They further said that the Speaker should adopt a holistic policy for combating gender-based violence and should ensure implementation of Women Harassment Act 2010 in the House. They also suggested that a centre be made in the Assembly Chamber that would work solely for addressing complaints of the parliamentarians.

Read the story at Daily Times, published 23 June 2012.