Landmark Bill for Women in Pakistan

November 19, 2011

On November 15, 2011, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed a landmark bill on the “Prevention of Anti-Women Practices.” Dr. Donya Aziz, a Member of Parliament and member of the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention, spearheaded the effort to pass the historic bill.

The bill criminalizes exploitative and discriminatory practices such as forced marriages and denial of women’s rightful inheritance. People who engage in these practices, which are customary in some parts of Pakistan, are now subject to hefty fines or up to 10 years in prison.

Though Pakistan’s parliament has a greater proportion of women than the U.K. Parliament or the U.S. Congress, Pakistani women parliamentarians must constantly work against gender bias and prove themselves as serious contributors in the legislature.

The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention congratulates Dr. Aziz, a leading member of its work on Women, Peace and Security. It also congratulates the many female lawmakers who work to improve women’s and human rights in Pakistan. We are proud to continue to work together to support women in their active role in public life.

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