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Laws to protect women’s rights need proper implementation; Zia Awan

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Noted human rights attorney of Pakistan and president of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) Zia Ahmed Awan has said that there are many laws to protect the rights of women, but sadly these laws need proper and strict implementation.

Speaking at a ‘4th National Women Conference’ arranged by Justice Helpline in a local hotel, he said that many laws for the rights of children and women are there, but they are not being properly implemented.

He said he has conducted a lot of training programs for legal professionals including judges, prosecutors, protection officers and lawyers and as a result of these training it was observed that many legal professionals do not have proper knowledge about many laws about women and children.

Zia Awan said there is also conflict of law which needs to be resolved. He said there is a law in Sindh that marriages of people below the age of 18 years is prohibited, but there are many decisions of high court in which a bride aging 16 years is allowed to live with her husband.

He said it is encouraging that the number of women judges and women lawyers is rising; however, their proper training, sensitization and awareness raising is the need of the hour.

Zia Ahmed Awan said the government should allocate resources for this purpose. He said Pakistan is signatory of many international conventions regarding protection of the rights of women and children and it is our individual and collective responsibility to meet the requirements of these conventions.

He said mobility of women is a big problem. He said in big cities there are some avenues for women to get justice, but in small towns and villages women find great difficulties to reach courts and seek justice.

He said the government and its policymakers should give a serious thinking to this problem.

He said that women in Pakistan are now more aware and more assertive, hoping seeing so many women lawyers and law students here, it could be said that the Pakistani women would get their due rights soon.

Justice Helpline President Nadeem A Sheikh, MPA Shehla Raza, Majida Rizvi, Nuzhat, Shirin, Shuhab Sarki, Saleem Micheal Advocate and others also spoke.

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