HYDERABAD: A conference of the Sindhiani Tehreek — the woman wing of Awami Tehreek — on Sunday called for abolition of jirga and tribal systems in Sindh.

The event was held to observe the fourth death anniversary of AT leader Zahid Sheikh.

The participants said that every attempt to save these cruel systems must be considered ‘anti-Sindh’ and ‘anti-people’.

Through a set of resolutions adopted at the conference, the Sindhiani Tehreek called for equal rights for women across the country as per the relevant international charter. It demanded that all anti-women customs as well as domestic violence be curbed effectively.

The conference was chaired by Subhani Dahiri, who was elected the new president of AT’s women wing during the deliberations.

Legislation should be made to negate the perception that children were property of their parents or guardians and as such they could be married off to anyone, it said, adding that marriages without consent of man and woman should be stopped through legislation. “Forced conversion of Hindu women in Sindh be stopped and made a punishable offence,” it demanded.

The conference said judicial inquiries into suicides by female students should be made compulsory by a sessions judge through an enactment. Murder of a woman for any reason by male member(s) of her family should be made act of terrorism. Every girl should be imparted free intermediate education in cities and villages; hostels should be built for them; and primary, middle and high

schools should be established at every five kilometre distance. Education among boys and girls be made compulsory and child labour in farm and homes should be declared an offence, it said.

The conference demanded that maternity homes be constructed in katchi abadis and villages. Women must have equal employment opportunities at a par with men in education, health, judiciary, police, army and other state institutions. They should be given representation in elected houses. Sindh’s women should be allowed to participate in international sports events. Women be given 30pc share in the markets and bazaars organised in cities. Handicraft centres should be opened in villages and products should be marketed in lieu of profit for female artisans.

Technical diploma courses should be held for women and industrialisation should be promoted for them. Driving licence centres should be set up at tehsil level. Legislation should be made to ensure higher wages for female domestic workers; protection be ensured to them and they be registered as labourers and be given retirement and pensionary benefits. It demanded that lady health workers also be provided pension.

Female staff should be appointed in police stations and other offices and separate women police stations should be set up at tehsil level.

Exhibitions and festivals should be held exclusively for rural women and libraries should be established. Legislation should be done for women to do away with disparity against women in law of evidence, qisas and diyat. All anti women and anti-human laws should be abolished.

International women day should be declared as gazetted holiday and programmes should be held at UC level. Playgrounds be established for girls at UC level and their sports be promoted.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2022

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