Articles

Articles on issues faced by NGOs or issues on which NGOs are working would be placed in this category.


Women and Care-giving in Pakistan

By Safeer Ullah Khan Culture plays a very important role in setting gender norms, and unfortunately, culture is heavily tilted against women. As the division of labor is very clear – man is supposed to earn, and woman is supposed to take care of the house. Man earns, so he has the control over finances. Woman takes up the role of the care giver, which is inherently unpaid job, so woman remains dependent on man (on father in her early life, on husband in her middle life, and on son in her later life). In rural areas, she has added […]


What is wrong with KP Domestic Violence Bill, 2016

by Safeer Ullah Khan with inputs from Benazir Jatoi and Valerie Khan   Bad laws are more dangerous than no law at all Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province that does not have a law that deals with domestic violence. Though a bill was prepared a year ago, but the coalition of right wing parties that rule the province unnecessarily sent this bill for review by Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). I say ‘unnecessarily’ because provincial assemblies are not legally/constitutionally bound to get CII’s opinion on any bill. It is interesting to note that in the four years of the […]


FAFEN Urges Parliament to Address Critical Weaknesses in Elections Bill, 2017

ISLAMABAD, August 16, 2017: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) urges the Parliament to address critical weaknesses in the proposed Elections Bill, 2017 to enhance independence and authority of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), repeal regressive measures to curb transparency, improve procedure of the appointment of caretaker governments and dilute monopolies of a few families on political organization. An exhaustive parliamentary discussion is required on the proposed electoral reforms in an effort to enact a legislation that reflects the aspiration of all political actors in the country. This will also potentially increase people’s trust over election system. The Elections […]


Jirga System – is there a way forward?

by Safeer Ullah Khan Public opinion seems thoroughly divided on Jirga system (Panchayat in Punjab). On the one hand, it has been scorned at by the modern and liberal people; the honorable courts have actually banned it. On the other hand, the general public especially people living beyond metropolitan cities continue to rely on this centuries old system to resolve their conflicts. Both the groups are right to some extent. The Jirga system has very serious flaws; it is always presided over by a feudal lord and decisions are often heavily biased and sometimes outright disgusting as in the case of revenge […]


Child Marriage Will Cost Developing Countries Trillions of Dollars by 2030, Says World Bank/ICRW Report

In a set of 25 countries (including Pakistan) for which detailed analysis was conducted, at least one in three women marry before the age of 18, and one in five women have their first child before the age of 18. “Child brides are often robbed of their rights to safety and security, to health and education, and to make their own life choices and decisions,” said Quentin Wodon, the World Bank’s Project Director and co-author of the report. “Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic […]


Still left behind: Pathways to inclusive education for girls with disabilities

Girls with disabilities are among the world’s most marginalised groups of society, resulting from social norms and cultural bias around gender and disability. Those agencies committed to gender equity in education overlook the specific situation of and added barriers faced by girls and women with disabilities, and those who are committed to disability inclusion and equity fail to apply a gender perspective. As a result, girls with disabilities have limited educational opportunities. The aim of this research was to provide a synthesis of the understanding of barriers to education for girls with disabilities and bring together evidence of effective or […]


How to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2017

by Irshad Danish World Breastfeeding Week is observed every year from 1-7 August, across the globe including Pakistan to put the spotlight on the importance of breastfeeding to save and strengthen children’s lives. WBW came up for the first time in 1991 with the goal to protect and promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous life ling health benefits, provides critical nutrients a child needs and protection from life threatening diseases and fostering mental and physical growth. The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.” #WBW2017 will call on […]


Majority of women face online harassment in Pakistan – DRF

By Safeer Ullah Khan Women are a tiny minority in the cyber world of Pakistan. More than 75 % of Facebook users are men. Pakistani women are facing online harassment, however we did not know the extent to which this was happening in the cyber world of Pakistan till Digital Rights Foundation or DRF conducted a detailed survey around on this important issue in Pakistan. They interviewed nearly 1800 women students and teachers of various universities. This survey helps us get a fairly good idea of how deep rooted this problem is, and what, if any, remedies we have. DRF, […]


Open Parliament – Bridging the gap between citizens and elected representatives

Parliament Watch and Reforms (PWR) is a project of Free and Fair Elections Network (FAFEN). Funded by the European Commission (EC), PWR strives to generate an objective discourse and action on performance of elected representatives and legislative bodies contributing to the parliamentary reforms. FAFEN began directly observing proceedings of the National Assembly in December 2008. This unique initiative produced a valuable set of information on the performance of the Lower House and its members. In July 2011, the direct observation was extended to the Senate and the four Provincial Assemblies. PWR website is an interesting portal for those interested in […]


What’s wrong with Punjab [Child] Marriage Restraint Act 2015

by Syed Miqdad Mehdi The fact that our policy-makers thought about this issue and passed this bill should be appreciated. However, I am surprised that the word ‘child does not appear in the title of the bill. It now reads as the Punjab Marriage Restraint Act 2015. Furthermore, this law is not in accordance with international commitments or the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children or the rights that are given by the Constitution of Pakistan. The definition that has been given in Section 2(a) of the act, regarding who exactly is a child, is flawed. According to it, […]