Activists from the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) have demanded that all parallel systems of adjudication, whether military, religious or non-formal, in particular, Military Courts, Anti-Terrorist Courts, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), the Federal Shariat Court, jirgas, panchayats, musalhati committees must be abolished, especially because they operate outside the ambit of the constitution of the country and/or principles of due process and a fair trial. They stressed that the State must strengthen the civil judicial system at all levels for the process of democratization, ensuring complete independence and to improve access to justice for all without discrimination, especially for women.

On International Women’s Day, WAF members have also reasserted women’s right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life; ownership of property, just and favorable conditions of work and equal pay for equivalent value of work; participation in all political activities and the right to hold any public or private office; equal qualityeducation and health care and the right to choose partners and freedom to contract personal relationships while being recognized as equal partners in development in astatement.

WAF activists have also highlighted the often overlooked fact that Pakistan is a State Party to, and therefore has obligations under, several international conventions and treatise regarding women’s rights, in particular Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). In light of the constitution of Pakistan and the international conventions and treatise, WAF has demanded that women’s right to life, liberty and dignity and the fundamental rights of women, children, transgender persons and men must be upheld. While reaffirming their commitment to a secular, democratic and peaceful society, WAF activists have categorically condemned all sexual, physical, emotional abuse and exploitation of women in the private and public sectors.

The activists were dismayed at the increasing levels of violence and brutality in society, and the apparent lack of political will to overcome impunity. Since all violence against the lawful citizens of the country remains a crime against the State, the State itself cannot be allowed to withdraw from its prime responsibility for guaranteeing the security of all persons without discrimination.

In addition to these statements, WAF has also demanded the rescinding of the Law of Qisas and Diyat which undermines justice, supports impunity for crimes through ‘settlements’ and negates the concept of justice.

WAF also stands for the abolishment of death penalty and all other forms of inhumane and cruel punishments.