Government is scared of MMA: women
ISLAMABAD: Women activists from a number of social organisations on Friday accused the government of backtracking on the women’s rights issues and ‘enlightened moderation’ out of fear of the Muttahida-Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).
Women activists at a press conference here on Friday expressed concerns over the use of violence against female participants of marathons in Gujranwala and Lahore. A mixed marathon race is being held in Lahore today (Saturday). Representatives of various organisations including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pattan Development Organisation, Sungi Development Foundation, Actionaid and Rozan were present at the press conference.
“The MMA’s anti-women agenda was evident from the time of their alliance with military dictator Gen Ziau Haq who introduced discriminatory laws against women. The military regime of Gen Zia and his anti-women legislation were supported by all component parties of the MMA,” said Dr Farzana Bari, a women’s rights activist.
The activists said the MMA government’s anti-women policies in the NWFP were an attempt to divert public attention from their failure to reduce poverty, unemployment and maintain law and order in the province.
The activists accused the MMA government of introducing ‘Talbinisation’ in the province by banning cultural activities; keeping women from seeing male doctors and segregating them from medial colleges; defacing billboards; attacking wedding parties; targeting NGO workers for mobilising women voters, banning women’s at call centres and their participation in sports.
The activists said that all components parties of the MMA were non-democratic as they had always supported and worked with military dictators for political gains. “The religious parties are extremist in nature and have been using fascist tactics to impose their narrow mindedness,” they added.
“MMA leaders are hypocrites as they supported President Gen Pervez Musharraf in introducing the Legal Framework Order to get his support in continuing the Hudood Ordinance,” they said. “We don’t consider the attack on mixed marathons by the MMA an isolated act of terrorism.” The human right activists said that liberal democratic forces should condemn the MMA’s anti-women policies as they had no right to impose their will on the majority.