"Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill 2008" approved by the Assembly

The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the "Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill 2008" aimed at prohibiting certain practices leading to exploitation and discrimination against womenfolk.
The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2008) was recommended for approval by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly concerned. Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza had deferred the bill during the last session as a number of suggestions were floated for incorporation in the bill by the parliamentarians.
The bill moved by Dr Donya Aziz was pending since 2008. In the statement of objects and reasons, Dr Donya said that there were several practices and customs in vogue in the country which were not only against human dignity but also violated human rights. She said the bill provided that such customary norms, which were contrary to Islamic injunctions, should be done away forthwith and the persons who continue such practices be dealt with severely by providing penal and financial liabilities.
The bill recommends punishment for giving female in marriage or otherwise in 'badla-e-sulah', wani or swara. The bill says, "Whoever gives a female in marriage or otherwise compels her to enter into marriage, as 'badla-e-sulh', wanni, or swara or any other custom or practice under any name, in consideration of settling a civil dispute or criminal liability, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years but shall not be less than three years and shall also be liable to fine of five hundred thousand rupees."
Besides the bill proposed prohibition of depriving woman from inheriting property, prohibition of forced marriage and prohibition of marriage with the Holy Quran. The violators will be handed over either imprisonment or a fine of five hundred thousand rupees for each crime.

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