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WDN Member Achievement: Donya Aziz Champions Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan– Dr. Donya Aziz, a WDN member, was the driving force behind the passage of legislation aimed at prohibiting the exploitation and discrimination of women in Pakistan. The legislation entitled, The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices, increases women’s rights in Pakistan by prohibiting forced marriages, the denial of women’s right of inheritance and the exchange of women as a means of conflict resolution.
As a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Aziz, working with the Honorable Attiya Inayatulla, authored the bill and mobilized support across party lines over the past three years. In November 2011, Aziz’s hard work culminated when the bill was unanimously passed in the lower house of parliament. One news source describedthe passage of the bill as “a watershed moment in the struggle for women’s emancipation in Pakistan.”
With the support of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the women parliamentarians pushed the legislation through the Senate, where it passed with overwhelming support. After the passage of the bill, Prime Minister Gilani congratulated the women parliamentarians for their work and vowed to continue advancing progressive women’s legislation.
With the legislation now law, Aziz hopes that it will put an end to the inhumane and un-Islamic customs that has caused the suffering of countless women. She hopes the enactment of this new law will empower women to take charge of their lives and avoid falling victim to discrimination.