NCSW condemns ban on women PCO operators
LAHORE: The Policy Advocacy and Policy Research Units of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has strongly condemned the order of the Criminal Justice Coordination Committee (CJCC), District Haripur Hazara, to ban female operators at PCOs.
According to research conducted by S Viquar-un-Nisa Hashmi, NCSW policy research officer, a sessions judge and the district coordination officer had ordered the ban because of the involvement of a female PCO telephone operator in three murders that took place in front of the SP’s office. “It is unjust, discriminatory, unconstitutional and against the international commitments of the government of Pakistan,” said Hashmi.
“Such a situation calls for addressing the particular situation and should not be generalised to the disadvantage of women and they should not be excluded from the profession,” she added.
“All the government policies have to be in line with principles of policies explicitly enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, which requires the full participation of women in national life (according to the Article 34) and the promotion of the social and economic well-being of the people (Article 38). The subject order of the CJCC has not only ignored the said principles of policy but also negated the constitutional guarantees of the inviolability of dignity of (Article 14) freedom of trade, business or profession (Article 18) and equality of citizen (Article 25),” she added.
The Policy Advocacy Unit protested at the premise of the ban, which suggested that the induction of women in the mainstream promotes immorality. “This approach is highly objectionable as it demeans women’s status and their image in society,” it said. “Women’s status is already unpromising in the present scenario where professional and educated women like Dr Shazia Khalid are leaving this country for security and justice. Our justice system has to answer the serious question of justice denial in the case of Mukhtaran Mai,” it added.
The Policy Research and Policy Advocacy units demanded that the order of the CJCC be withdrawn, the jobs of the sacked female PCO telephone operators be restored, they be compensated by the Haripur district government and all policies made by any of the governance tiers undergo strong monitoring in order to prevent decisions, which violate the Constitution and hunt women’s status. staff report