Human Rights Federal Minister Dr Shireen Mazari has said the government is working on devising new legislation and bill to protect the rights of people with disabilities have been approved by cabinet and will be tabled in parliament in next session.

She was addressing the seminar on “Harassment faced by women with disabilities in Pakistan” in Islamabad on Friday. Besides, UN Women Executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UNDP Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne in Pakistan and people with disabilities were also present on the occasion.

“We have made comprehensive bill adding that it should have done this many years ago. Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the rights of our citizens without any discrimination. So it is the responsibility of state to ensure the equal rights and it is part of duty to provide equal rights to all citizens”, she added.

Dr Mazari said as the government has signed seven international conventions including the people with disability and we are party to that and we are putting all our endeavours to ensure all provisions through legislation. She in this regard said we are not only making legislation but also putting all out efforts to ensure the implementation of these laws.

Federal minister said the government is committed to protect the rights of our citizens adding that besides implementation of laws we need to change the societal mindset and that comes with awareness. She said the ministry is also working on creating awareness about the laws especially for the people who are differently abled, when the country would be able to create awareness and change the mindset of society then she can move forward substantively.

Mazari said the issue of harassment faced by women with disabilities is global issue. She said the state of Pakistan does not discriminate but the actual discrimination comes from level of family and society. She said our laws provide equal access to women and we need to tackle the real issue on priority which the women have been facing especially with disabilities at the level of society and families. If women suffered that impacts whole family, she added.