KARACHI - Experts and civil society activists have felt strong concerns for the women facing serious health issues related to breast, ovary, cervical and uterine cancer.

“A great number of rural women have been caught by breast cancer every year. Young women should not die of cancer and should not suffer because of lack of knowledge. We should create awareness about this lethal disease and make our society safe for them,” the experts said during a press conference at Karachi Press Club Monday.

The press conference was jointly organised by PMA, Tehrik-e-Niswan, APWA and AEIRC. Dr Shershah Syed, PMA’s Dr Qazi Wasiq, Sadaf Hameed of AEIRC and Sheema Kirmani of Tehrik-e-Niswan were among the speakers.

The first international women conference is also on the cards in Karachi to highlight the medical, social, cultural and women right issues in Pakistan.

The speakers told the media that the country’s health centers lack machinery to screen various types of cancers. “A large number of women are suffering and dying of Hepatitis-C. A majority of girls miss vaccination. In developed countries the incidence of cervical cancer is decreasing drastically. Soon cervical cancer will disappear in these countries. We must make our country a cervical cancer-free,” the media was told.

They also raised concerns over organised violence against women and failure of government in curbing the curse. “Victims of violence have no place to go and the judicial system has failed to provide justice to them. The three days conference we will highlight these issues related to women health and their status in society. We believe that the government and political parties are not serious about women issues, their right to life and health. It is our duty to help our women who need help and justice,” they said.

They demanded all women should have a right to have basic and emergency obstetrical care in country and no women should die during child birth.

“All tertiary government hospital should provide treatment of cancer to poor women living in rural areas and city slums. Free vaccination against Hepatitis-B and cervical cancer should be given to all young girls,” they added.

They said the government and judiciary should protect all victims of sexual violence, and the system should respect them and they should be able to rehabilitate themselves in community. “The women should be protected from honor killing, Vatta Satta, Vani and other anti-women traditions. All women should have equal opportunity in civil service and judiciary,” they held.