PR No. 267 Islamabad

A national consultation to discuss draft fifth periodic report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was held on Tuesday in Islamabad. Senator Sehar Kamran and Senator Farhatullah Babar also attended the consultation. The Convention was n ratified by Pakistan on 29th February 1996.

Ministry of Human Rights disseminated matrix on Articles and concluding observations as well as hold provincial consultations with relevant stakeholders and prepared a zero draft of the report.

Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights welcomed the participants who came from all over Pakistan to attend the consultation. She stated that in line with Article 18 of the Convention, Pakistan has already submitted its four periodic reports and an interim report to the UNCEDAW Committee. On the basis of available information, a zero draft has been prepared which highlights number of legislative, administrative and institutional measures taken by Federal and Provincial Governments to develop and empower women of Pakistan. She invited participants to comment on the draft report as well as to share new initiatives to be reflected in the report.

Senator Farhatullah Babar appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Human Rights and suggested that legislative measures which are in pipeline as well as which have been either rejected or withdrawn by the Parliamentarians shall be made part of the report. This will reflect efforts of Senators, Members National and Provincial assemblies to address the issues of women in all spheres of life.  He further elaborated that Pakistan shall reflects its challenges which are being faced by federal and provincial governments and relate them to the achievements.

Representatives of federal and provincial governments, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations appreciated the zero draft of the report and furnished comments as well as highlighted new initiatives and programmes which have impact on the daily life of women. it was highlighted that today women enjoy better status in society, therefore, that shall be reflected positively at the international forum. It was further highlighted that the main concern of the UNCEDAW Committee has always been with data to show proper implementation of policy, legislative, administrative as well as institutional measures.

After analyzing and compiling information, the report will be submitted to the Foreign Office for onward submission to the UNCEDAW Committee by end of March this year.