Call to honour women rights during conflicts
ISLAMABAD: Rights activists have urged the government to honour its obligations made to the international community regarding women protection and safety against combatants and armed elements during conflicts.
They were speaking at a seminar on ‘Effectiveness of UN resolution 1325 on lives of women in Pakistan’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Bedari, Insan Foundation Trust, CAMP and Paiman under the national campaign on Women Action for Peace here.
The speakers on the occasion called for recognising women participation and representation in peace-building and reconciliation process.
Member Planning Commission Dr Saba Gul Khattak highlighted women’s problems and victimisation besides lack of implementation on national and international instruments regarding women’s rights, adding rape and harassment had widely been used as weapons of war against women.
She said women always suffered victimisation such as displacement, sexual violence and abduction during both war and peace, referring to the incidents of women victimisation during 1947 and 1971.
Dr Khattak also referred to the shortcomings of the UN resolution and said it lacked specific timelines, weak prosecution aspects due to country-specific domestic laws, absence of concrete guidelines for the member countries and internal issues within the UN system such as infrastructure, security and sensitivity about the internal policies and matters of other countries.
Salim Malik, former executive director Bedari, said women’s rights and concerns should not only be protected and safeguarded during conflicts and disasters but also during peace times. He lamented that poor treatment of women during conflicts was a reflection of deep-rooted subjugation during peace times.
He said when conflicts and disasters occurred, vulnerable sections of society such as women and children suffered more. He cited the sufferings of women during national conflicts of 1947 and 1971 as well as during regional conflicts in Afghanistan and Iran.
Kishwar Sultana, executive director Insan Foundation Trust, said states were also bound to develop mechanisms for prevention of violence as per the resolution.
She said the resolution demanded of states to undertake relief and rehabilitation efforts for IDPs and refugee women, especially those who lived in campsin view of their special needs.
Anbreen Ajaib, the executive director of Bedari, said the seminar was part of the ongoing national campaign launched in the country by five civil society organisations for effective implementation of the UN resolution 1325 after the Jordan conference.