Women rights mean privileges and freedom equal to those of men. Women rights refer to the fundamental rights in the political, economic, civil, social and cultural spheres.
Constitutional Provisions Regarding Fundamental Rights
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides equal rights and the chapter on Principles of Policy underlines the principle of equal rights and equal treatment to all citizens/ persons, without any distinction including on the basis of sex.
Following articles of Constitutional of Islamic Republic of Pakistan broadly cover the women rights:
- Article 3 calls upon the State to eliminate all forms of exploitation.
- Article 4 provides for the right of individual to enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with the law. This applies to the citizens as well as “to every other person for the time being within Pakistan” without distinction. This article also clearly states that certain rights cannot be suspended.
- Article 25 ensures equality before the law and equal protection of the law and states that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone.
- Articles 25(3) and 26(2) allow the state to make special provisions for the protection of women and children.
- Article 26 & 27 provide for equal access to public places and equality of employment in the public and private sector.
- Articles 11 & 37 (g) prohibit trafficking in human beings as well as prostitution.
- Article 32 makes special provisions for the representation of women in local Government.
- Article 34 directs the state to take appropriate measures to enable women to participate in all spheres of life and social activities.
- Article 35 asks the state to protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child.
- Article 37 (e) directs the state to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for ensuring maternity benefits for women in employment
- Articles 51 & 106 provide for the reservation of seats for women in the legislatures.
Pakistan’s International Commitments on Women Rights and Gender Equality
Pakistan has accessed and ratified a number of conventions on women rights and gender equality; some major International Commitments are as under:
Pakistan and the CEDAW
Pakistan acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on 29th February, 1996, being the 174th State-Party while declaring that accession by Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the [said Convention] was subject to provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and entering a reservation on Article 29(1), “The Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan declares that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph 1 of article 29 of the Convention". Read More
Our Policy regarding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Government of the Punjab discourages gender discrimination and exploitation of basic human rights. It resolves to eliminate negative customary practices by increasing awareness of women about their fundamental rights convergent with provision of support system for facilitating their access to law and justice. Ensuring effective implementation of existing legal frameworks and introduction of legal reforms for removing gender disparity are the fundamentals of the policy of Government of Punjab which is inclined to synthesize its dedication on legal empowerment of women with international women rights, treaties and commitments to come in confluence with other nations.