Women greet each other after Eid Al Adha prayer at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore on July 21, 2021. The government has approved a law ensuring women’s property rights and their protection against harassment/coercion Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has approved two laws ensuring women’s property rights and their protection against harassment/coercion and welfare of senior citizens.

After appoval by President Dr Arif Alvi, both the bills — “Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights (Amendment) Bill 2021” and “Senior Citizen Bill, 2021” — have come into immediate effect as acts of the Parliament.

Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate had earlier unanimously passed the bills.

The Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights protects women’s right of ownership and possession of property and ensures that their rights are not violated by means of harassment, coercion, force or fraud.

“It offers an effective and speedy grievance redressal mechanism under which any woman deprived of ownership of property or possession of her property, may file an appeal to the ombudsman if no proceedings in a court of law are pending regarding that property,” the law says.

The law is a step forward in the right direction as it puts time restrictions in resolving disputes relating to women’s property.

Under the second law, steps will be taken for the welfare of senior citizens of Islamabad.

Under the law, a Senior Citizen Council and ‘Darul Shafqat’ (old age home) would be established for the elderly and those over 60 years would be eligible for the senior citizen card.

According to the law, the senior citizens will get free entry into museums, parks and libraries and will also be entitled to treatment facilities, subsidies on medicines and separate wards.

Financial assistance would also be provided to deserving senior citizens, including a 20 per cent subsidy on air and railway travel, according to the bill.

In April this year, Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari in her statement of objects for the senior citizens bill had stated: “It is the duty of the state to provide protection, either directly or by means of institutions established to provide financial assistance to senior citizens. Every person has the inherent right to a healthy and comfortable home, a healthy diet, adequate clothing, care of physical and moral health, as well as the right to means of recreation, work stability and respect.”

According to the law, the division concerned shall establish and maintain an old age-home to be known as Darul Shafqat at an accessible place to accommodate indigent senior citizens of Islamabad.