Published Date: May 14, 2019
CII Need To Have Women’s Representation: Riaz Fatyana
Chairperson, National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Riaz Fatyana Tuesday said the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) need to have women’s representation as the Council takes up issues, mostly related to women.
"The government is trying to introduce panchayat system in the country and alternative dispute resolution laws in the parliament. It will reduce burden on courts and provide transparent, cost effective and speedy justice to the people, especially to women and vulnerable groups," Riaz Fatyana said.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘Understanding Barriers for Women’s Access to Justice in Pakistan’, jointly organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the UN Women, Pakistan here, Fatyana said there were so many laws to protect rights of women, some of them were even contradictory to each other, a press release said.
These laws required consolidation coupled with setting up a proper process to avoid conflict and provide immediate relief to the women in distress, he added.
He said, "The proposal of Qazi courts is also under consideration of incumbent government, where victim don’t require lawyers and will be provided with affordable and speedy justice." Chairperson, National Council on the Status of the Women (NCSW) Khawar Mumtaz said any dispute resolution system or justice system introduced by the government should be based on consensus and must be backed by a legal and regulatory framework.
She said the scale of the issue of women’s access to justice was much bigger than we imagine.
The challenge for us was to make our society more inclusive, especially for our minorities, who were vulnerable due to lack of access to justice, she added.
Mumtaz said violence and fear of violence were the biggest barriers for women victims to get access to justice, where conviction rate was already negligible.
The Commission had identified three key areas for intervention to ensure women’s access to justice. They include: Enhancement of women’s participation at the highest decision-making levels, especially in the courts and other state institutions, Economic empowerment of women and combating all forms of violence against women, she mentioned.
Former Judge and advocate, Riffat Butt said all social, economic and legal barriers were interconnected and embedded in our traditional social and religious system which discouraged women to raise their voice in getting access to justice.
She urged the government and relevant authorities for the most advanced interpretation of our social and religious customs, norms, values and laws.
Senior Research Associate, SDPI Rabia Manzoor said that though women’s access to justice had been improved over the time, but there were some social, legal and economic challenges which were hindering women’s access to justice.
She said Pakistan was ranked among the second-worst out of 149 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report and ranked at 117 out of 126 countries in Rule of Law ranking by the World Justice Project.