Ban on women at picnic spots condemned – 22 Jul 2022

LAHORE: The Women’s Action Forum Thursday condemned the decision of a tribal Jirga about banning women’s entry at picnic spots in Bajaur.

In a statement, the WAF said the decision was not only a blatant violation of several fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution of 1973, including, Article 25 on Equality of Citizens and Article 26 on Non-Discrimination in respect of access to public spaces, it also raised serious questions on extent of application of the writ of the state and the increasing audacity of the informal sittings of all-male local elders issuing such proclamations in defiance of the Constitution.

The WAF also denounced the practice of all-male informal sittings denying women their agency and rights to take their own decisions. “Such proclamations imply that women are not fully autonomous, are unable to exercise rights over their person and are therefore not to be included in decisions that impact them,” the statement maintained.

The WAF demands the provincial government ensure that no pressure groups are able to violate the Constitution and deny women their rights under any circumstances. “We also demand that women’s autonomy and rights be respected and ensured by all citizens and authorities who should be proceeding in accordance with law and Constitution as opposed to initiating an investigation into the issues to find out the circumstances under which the Jirga made the verdict given that the practice itself is against the rule of law and writ of state.”

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