Ditching anti-women narrative must for social development

Karachi, September 12, 2020 (PPI-OT): For realization of social development, it is necessary that the state should change its anti-women narrative, said the speakers of a protest demo here on Saturday. According to details, Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), National Trade Union Alliance and Shehri Awami Mahaz jointly staged a big protest demo in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) to express the anguish on growing incidents of rape, torture and murder of women and girls.

Addressing the demo, led by HBWWF general secretary Zahra Khan, the speakers said the growing violence against women, children and trans-genders show the increasing tendencies of violence, intolerance and sexual frustration in our society. They said the horrific gang-rape incident on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway and very negative statement on CCPO Lahore on it depicts the reactionary thinking that was introduced in our society by Dictator General Ziaul Haq.

They said today a girl playing in street, boy going to seminary, female students of schools and colleges and women at the workplaces are not safe from the sexual violence. Even the dead bodies of women are not safe from this menace.

The speakers said that the government is promoting a narrative that the real place of females is inside their homes. They are not considered equal citizens. However, even inside the four walls of their homes, women and girls are not safe from violence. They said when women demand equal rights they are opposed on the basis of religion and morality and their struggle is termed a tool of Western propaganda.

The speakers said that those people who are criticizing protests over incidents like Motorway gage-rape, rape-murder of minor girl Marwa, killing of Shahana Shaheen in Balochistan and mysterious death of Dr Maha, and honour killing of a transgender in Peshawar want to push back the society to dark ages. They said democratic values, tolerance, social justice and freedom of expression are under constant attacks. The society is being torn apart by religious, ethnic, linguistic and gender-hatred extremism. The rulers think that by promoting these negative trends they could lengthen their rule but in fact they are weakening the foundations of our society.

The speakers said that for protection of the vulnerable sections of society including women, girls, children and trans-genders, all progressive, liberal and pro-humanity social and political workers should join hands. They said this is the last chance for judiciary and administration to play their role in checking the growing tends of violence and hatred. They said the dictatorial stances added to constitution and law should be expunged and women, minorities, nationalities and workers should be accepted as equal citizens to build a justice-based progressive society.

They participants of the demo demanded that all discriminatory laws against women and minorities should be withdrawn. The CCPO Lahore should be immediately sacked. Government should take firm steps to end violence and discrimination to women, girls, transgender, children, minorities and workers. Homes, workplaces and offices should be made safe for women. Vigilance committees should be formed at work places to stop harassment of women. Laws should be strictly implemented to end sexual violence at workplace. The law enforcers should be given awareness about gender-related issues. Anti-women propaganda in media should be stopped.

Those spoke included Zehra Khan of HBWWF, Nasir Mansoor of NTUF, Khaliq Zadran of Shehri Awami Mahaz, Saira Feroz of United HB Garment Workers Union, Shabnam Azam of HBWWF, Gul Rehman of NTUF, Habibuddin Junaidi of Peoples Labour Bureau and Karamat Ali of PILER, Sajida Shah of HBWWF (Sanghar), Qazi Khizer of Human Right activist and Rahman Baloch of Shehri Awami Mahaz and other.

For more information, contact:
Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF)
726, Mashrique Centre, Block 14, Gulshan-e-Iqbal,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-37075324