ISLAMABAD: Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, the federal minister of law and justice, stated on Monday that it was essential to give women a suitable work environment with zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or any form of discrimination. Speaking at the National Women Police Conference’s opening session, which had the theme “Inspire, Empower, and Transform,” the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights (PCHR) made this statement.
Azam Nazeer Tarar, the minister of law, and Rana Sanaullah, the minister of interior, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring that women are safe and that everyone in Pakistan has access to justice. To advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the nation, they emphasized the necessity of cooperative efforts between government agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.
The law minister said that policing for women or by women was a need of the hour, adding that nothing including law and religion stops women from playing an active and productive role in a profession of their choice. He said that the legislation could give benefit only when the law was implemented in letter and spirit, adding that collective efforts were required for this purpose. The litigants were suffering due to the complexity of the law and jurisdiction issues, he said. Azam Nazeer said that society needed to bring changes in its attitudes towards gender issues to empower women. About 80% of women in the country needed cooperation and protection, he said.
“But when called by the court, he (Imran Khan) ask for exemptions from attendance citing health and security reasons. Instead of adjourning the hearing and delaying the hearing, the court should take action against Ladley (blue-eyed) Khan (Imran Khan),” Sherry Rehman said.
During his remarks, US Ambassador to Islamabad Donald Blome emphasized the importance of women’s inclusion in policing and the need for innovative policies to ensure equal access to justice. Highlighting the role of women in policing and acknowledging the challenges they face in their line of work, Ambassador Blome also discussed the need for collaboration and partnership between various stakeholders to ensure women have equal opportunities and access to justice.
Executive Director of PCHR Shafique Chaudhry briefed the participants on the efforts towards improving gender inclusion and responsiveness in Pakistan police. USIP Country Director Imran Khan shared details about various activities under the U.S. Embassy-USIP Police Awam Sath Sath (PASS) program that USIP is carrying out in partnership with police departments and civil society organizations nationwide.
The National Women Police Conference 2023 is part of a broader effort to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Speaking at the conference, Minister of Human Rights Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Federal Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman also highlighted the importance of gender-responsive policing in Pakistan.
The conference concluded with a summary of recommendations and a way forward, followed by closing remarks from U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Director Lori Antolinez.