A Landmark Bill for Women in Pakistan

News | November 16, 2011

The National Assembly of Pakistan on Tuesday passed a landmark bill on the “Prevention of Anti-Women Practices.” Dr. Donya Aziz, a member of parliament and part of the EastWest Institute’s Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention, spearheaded the effort to pass the historic bill.

The bill criminalizes exploitative and discriminatory practices such as forced marriages and denial of women’s rightful inheritance. People who engage in these practices, which are customary in some parts of Pakistan, are now subject to hefty fines or up to 10 years in prison.

Though Pakistan’s parliament has a greater proportion of women than the U.K. Parliament or the U.S. Congress, Pakistani women parliamentarians must constantly work against gender bias and prove themselves as serious contributors in the legislature.

The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention congratulates Dr. Aziz, a member of its Executive Council and a leading member of its working group on Women, Peace and Security. It also congratulates the many female lawmakers who work to improve women’s and human rights in Pakistan. We are proud to continue to work together to support women in their active role in public life.

Click here for more information on the bill.

The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention is an international, non-partisan, standing structure with a membership of almost 180 parliamentarians from 58 countries across the globe. The Network connects members of parliament to mobilise efforts towards the prevention of conflicts turning violent through diplomatic initiatives and effective collective action. The latest report from the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention’s working group on Women, Peace and Security is available here.