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Tokyo Donor Conference and a fair Share for women in Pakistan

Tokyo Donor Conference and a Fair Share in Development Assistance for the Women in Pakistan Now! International pledges and women’s human rights in Pakistan Minister Koenders and leaders of international community are requested to safeguard the interest of women in Pakistan

The Hague: In the wake of institutionalizing of the Sharia Law by the President of Pakistan in Taliban governed areas of Pakistan, once more women in the region are used as political tools by local religious and political leaders. The new wave of public violence (flogging of a 17 years old woman by Taliban in Swat) against women and compromising of the state’s highest authority (Zardari’s approval of Sharia law) with conservative forces in the region have been alarmingly intensified in the past two months in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is however interesting to observe that last month just before leaving for the Hague to attend an international conference on Afghanistan, President Karzai, approved a bill against women in Afghanistan on demand of minority religious groups. Now that President Zardari of Pakistan was preparing to attend a Donor Conference on Pakistan to be held on 17th of April in Tokyo, he too finally approved the implementation of Sharia Law demanded by a minority religious group in Pakistan.

We, the signatory organizations regret the circumstances that have compelled President Zardari to endorse Sharia Law and hope that the international community will play its role to safeguard the human rights of women in Pakistan.

At this juncture of that the international community will pledge its support to Pakistan, the international leaders and organizations should be explicit to make sure that a fair share of their pledges will be used for women and development efforts in Pakistan now. It is important that before allocating funds to Pakistan, the international community must ask Pakistan not to discriminate its population on gender basis and to deal with its conservative groups without compromising on women’s human rights and right to a fair share in development. Press Release Gender Concerns International

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Noreen Gill

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