Women’s Bill Introduced in Pakistan

A bill to abolish laws that discriminate against women in Pakistan has been presented before Pakistan’s parliament. The Protection and Empowerment of Women Bill has received split views from members of Parliament. According to BBC News, conservatives want to keep the current laws because they were made in the name of Islam under General Zia-ul-Haw in 1979.

The bill also proposes equal participation of women in all areas, equal pay for equal work, the prohibition of violence against women, including honor killings, freedom for women to marry the person of their choice, and for one-third of the seats on the Council of Islamic Ideology, reports IRIN News.

In addition, a second bill will be introduced in Parliament next week that is specific to honor killings and will amend the current Criminal Procedure Code and Pakistan’s Penal Code, reports IRIN News.

Currently, Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinance states that a rape victim that cannot provide evidence of her case risks being accused of adultery. Consensual sex outside of marriage is an offense in Pakistan.

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BBC News 3/31/04; IRIN News 3/25/04

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