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Published Date: Mar 14, 2014

SDPI Press Release (March 14, 2014)

Fearless and a formidable fighter, Asma Jahangir sees
a progressive revolution in society towards female and she recognizes
women for their effort & strength but also for more suffering that
they tolerate.

They
were speaking at an event, “Inspiring Change – SDPI in Conversation
with Asma Jahangir”, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy
Institute to mark International Women’s Day. Dr. Maleeha Aslam, Head of
Gender & Human Security, SDPI moderated the event.

Asma
Jahangir talked about her earlier struggle by sharing that in 1980, she
and her sister Hina Jilani formed the first law firm established by
women in Pakistan, which has provided legal services to several women
and members of minority groups of Pakistan.

During
the conversation, she exposed about government suppression in the form
of public harassment, degradation, pressures & propaganda. “My
family has equally suffered abductions, attacks & life threats, but I
have continued my struggle for justice”.

Further
she said that the struggle initiated by women had brought changes in
controversial laws like the Hudood Ordinance. About Women Protection
Laws (2006) she said that women used to be highlighted as forbidding and
hostile when they were involved in false cases, but now things have
become better” noted Jahangir.

While
talking about the “honour killing” she said it does take place in
Muslim countries mostly i.e. Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen etc. Judicial bias
& gender discrimination give constant threat to women in Pakistan
and apathetic response of government is unbearable. Making l
egislation is not simple but its implementation required a proper mechanism and institutional reforms as well.

She
has also proposed interactions on the civil society level through
social exchange combined with efforts to uplift the status of women and
also encouraged Non-government organizations (Ngo’s) to start an
advocacy campaign on grass root level to create awareness among women,
specifically in labor class for their rights and privileges.

Jahangir
shared about the current political situation in Pakistan and also
showed concerns over talibanisation, sectarian conflicts and
constitutional violations in Pakistan.

Later,
Dr. Abid Qayium Suleri presented SDPI shield to Asma Jahangir in
recognition of her services to human rights. The event was attended by
prominent individuals from Pakistan civil society, lawyers and foreign
delegation.