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Equal opportunities for women demanded

Our Correspondent
Monday, Feb 13, 2023

LAHORE: Women’s Action Forum (WAF) chapters from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Peshawar and Quetta at a national convention on Sunday analysed key issues confronting women and others today.

WAF condemned the indifference of the power elite who have failed the people of Pakistan. This has led to the dire economic, social and political crises citizens are facing today, with women and other marginalised people bearing the brunt of the fall-out.

The 2022 floods demonstrate the urgent need to be prepared for climate change impacts and to reorient our inappropriate development planning that is extractive consumer-oriented and anti-poor. WAF demands the provision of immediate rehabilitation and support in consultation with affected people in a fair and transparent process.

WAF demands urgent reforms of systems and structures to avoid more detrimental borrowing. WAF acknowledges that the 18th Amendment helped decentralisation but it cannot be effective without empowered local government with adequate fiscal authorities.

Women’s Action Forum stresses the state’s irrevocable responsibility for upholding its citizens’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, security and dignity. WAF calls on the state to protect agricultural land as this is the only safety against food insecurity. Agricultural land must not be allowed to be taken over by housing societies or other private sector interests to the detriment of people. WAF demands that every woman be granted land ownership to ensure food security and livelihoods.

WAF is concerned that laws relating to gender-based violence in particular are passed in haste for political point scoring; without passing enabling legislation including rule of business, and without putting into place the required mechanisms and necessary budgets for effective implementation.

WAF demands that information on laws and policies be widely disseminated including to lower courts and all responders.

The current system of decision-making, resource allocation and priorities is untenable. WAF calls for a renewed of social contract that supports a truly democratic system in which the parliament can reclaim its role of legislation and oversight to protect the interest of the citizens instead of engaging in a battle over power at the cost of the interest of the people. participation.