KARACHI                   -             Women from different walks of life have stressed the need for implementing laws pertaining to the protection of women’s rights.

Talking to APP here on Sunday, they appreciated the efforts made by the government from time to time for the protection of women’s rights such as introduction of pro-women laws, but regretted that their implementation was always impeded.

Qurat Mirza, one of the organisers of Aurat March on International Women’s Day, told APP that although there were laws to prevent domestic violence, still the housewives continued to become victims of the menace because of so-called norms of the society.

Similarly, she said, housemaids were ignored by the society, though they provided comfort to the respective families by doing their chores at nominal wages and sometimes even had to face violence from their employers.

“In this year’s women march, we demanded social security for housewives and recognition of the labour of maids,” Qurrat said.

She said different provinces had different laws pertaining to the women. “Sindh has more explicit laws in this regard, which should be replicated by other provinces,” she stressed.

Qurat was of the view that implementation and procedural definitions of the existing women-related laws were important.

“Without training and capacity building of the officials concerned, the implementation of such laws would remain a challenge for the government,” she added.

She emphasized that the number of female medico-legal officers be increased, pointing out that there were only two woman officers in the mega city. “There is a need to replace the out-dated mechanism of medico-legal examination,” she underscored.

Qurat further said that number of women parliamentarians should also be increased, so that they could have representation in the policy making.

She said women could be empowered by ensuring their full access to education, basic health facilities and active participation in politics, besides implementation of the relevant laws in letter and spirit.

Zahra Khan of Home Based Women Worker Federation said the implementation of existing women-related laws was imperative for their empowerment instead of doing fresh legislation. She cited the example of ‘Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act’, which was enacted in 2010, but unfortunately a large number of federal and provincial institutions /departments, besides the private organisations, had not formed mandatory inquiry committees to address harassment cases despite passage of a decade.