ISLAMABAD  – Though a lot of measures are already in place to secure women rights in the country, a concrete strategy is urgently needed to implement the respective laws at the grass root level.

The government’s endeavour was aimed to safeguard women from acid throwing, harassment, domestic violence and honour killing, said an official of ministry of human rights while talking to APP here on Sunday.

Elaborating details of these laws, he said Women In Distress And Detention Fund Act, 2011 has been enacted to provide funds to the following categories of women, adding, this law, would assist Women in detention, disabled women, deserving women suffering from serious ailments including mental ailments or those who are in distress and need medical aid, burn cases, distressed women and their minor children in need of shelter, women seriously maltreated by their husbands, similar cases of grave distress and legal help to women in detention or distress.

Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act, 2011, commonly known as Acid Control and Acid Crime Act, has been enacted in 2011 to provide protection to women against defacing women through acid throwing, he added.

The official said the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2010 enacted in 2010 is an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 in clause 509.

This amendment added a clear definition of any kind of harassment and articulates that this behavior, may it happen at workplace, markets, streets or home, is a crime and is punishable by law. The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010 requires that all public and private organisations adopt an internal Code of Conduct and establish a Complaint/Appeals mechanism with aim to provide a safe working environment, free of intimidation and abuse for employees.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004 made changes in the Criminal Law to deal effectively with offenders of honour killing (Karo-kari), the HR ministry official said. He stated that the Protection of Women (Criminals Laws Amendment) Act, 2006 has been enacted to provide relief and protection to women against misuse and abuse of law and to prevent their exploitation.

To address the issue of Domestic Violence in the Federally Administrated Territory, the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2012 moved by Senator Nilofer Bakhtiar, in February which was supported by the Ministry of Human Rights as the subject legislation will address the Domestic Violence at Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) level.

He further informed that a draft Domestic Violence (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill, 2012 has been prepared by the National Commission on the Status of Women, adding, the proposed bill is aimed to amend the Pakistan Panel Code (PPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP).