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HYDERABAD, Oct 8: Speakers at a seminar on women’s rights criticised flaws in the country’s system, especially the feudal system, which they held responsible for injustices faced by women.

Titled ‘Anti-women Practices Act 2011’, the seminar was organised by the Association for Betterment and Development of Human Being (ABAD) at the local press club on Tuesday.

Strengthening Participatory Organisation regional manager Ghulam Mustafa Baloch said the county was responsible for the poor system which contained many flaws regarding Wani, Karo-kari (honour killing), underage marriages and other injustices in the interior of Sindh.

He said girls and women were being kept from proper education because feudal lords, landlords and chieftains thought it was education which could transform the entire system of the land and harm their interests. He said those narrow-minded people were afraid of women’s education as women empowerment posed a threat to their monopoly. He said those people ruined primary and middle education for women. Many educational institutions had been turned into their sitting places and the people were being forced to serve them as slaves. He said the landlords perpetrated excesses and cruelty and decided the peasants’ fate.

“It is really shameful that police stations situated in areas of such landlords are manipulated by them and police seem to be helpless in administering justice there,” he said.

ABAD executive director Rafia Bangash highlighted problems faced by girls and women in the country. She said women were not empowered in a society like Pakistan as there were laws, but vested interests prevented their implementations.

She said women who faced injustices could not get justice on time owing to weak implementation of laws. She slammed landlords who took decisions of communities in backward areas of the province. She appealed to the people from all social strata to play their role in empowering women in society so that the country prospered.

Sindh Development Society representative Shabana said 133 cases of honour killing had been reported this year in Sukkur while there were 122 cases recorded in Ghotki besides other districts of Sindh.

She said women fell prey to cruelty in the interior of Sindh while nobody raised their voice for them. She said women were a vital component of society but they were being ignored.

Journalists and other speakers belonging to civil society organisations also highlighted problems of women at the seminar attended by a number of women from the interior of Sindh besides representatives of civil society organisations.