Women’s welfare, protection top priority of govt.: Mazari

ISLAMABAD, May 25 (APP): Minister for Human Rights D. Shireen Mazari has said that the Government of Pakistan had played a critical role in ensuring welfare and protection of marginalised segments of the society and taken concrete steps to curb gender-based violence.

Addressing an online Women’s Forum marking 70 years of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations, the minister highlighted the measures taken by the incumbent government to ensure the protection of women and girls during the lockdown amid Covid-19.

The forum was organized by the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing in collaboration with the All China Women Association and All Pakistan Women Association, with a special emphasis on women’s rights, poverty alleviation and the role of women in post-COVID recovery.

It was aimed to foster institutional linkages between leading representative women organisations of the two countries.

Dr Mazari also highlighted the achievements of women and girls in China and Pakistan, especially since “pandemics exacerbate existing gender inequalities”.

The minister stressed the importance of the two countries’ strategic partnership, and the opportunities which CPEC would create in Pakistan.

She said, “We hope to see women being included in the vocational and technical training being conducted under this vital strategic partnership.” “CPEC is, and will continue to be a game changer not only for the two countries but for the lives of ordinary citizens in both countries.”

The minister emphasized that the Pakistani government had taken crucial steps towards strengthening legislation regarding violence against women, harassment, sexual abuse and discrimination.

She apprised the participants that with the efforts of Ministry of Human Rights, the Parliament had passed the Domestic Violence Bill 2020 to establish an effective system of protection, relief and rehabilitation of women, elders and any vulnerable person against domestic violence.

During the pandemic, the Ministry of Human Rights also published a report on the impact of COVID-19 and disaster vulnerability in Pakistan, she added.

The research was carried out with the objective to improve understanding of the multifaceted impacts of Covid-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Pakistanis, and facilitating a people-centred approach to the pandemic, she added.

Dr Mazari said the “analysis can serve to guide the State’s strategic, operational and policy endeavours to combat the COVID 19 crisis in a more holistic manner”.

Concluding her remarks, the minister emphasized on cementing relationship of both the neighbouring countries and to create opportunities for their citizens, including women empowerment.