New Delhi/Jammu: The Indian army on Wednesday handed over to Pakistani authorities a middle-aged woman, who had inadvertently crossed over border along Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, a defence official said.
Defence spokesman, Lt Col Manish Mehta, said that on June 21, a middle-aged woman, identified as Shabana, resident of Pakistani Kashmir crossed the Line of Control in Naoshera Sector. The woman, who appeared mentally disturbed and in a state of shock, was apprehended by troops maintaining vigil on the border.
“On establishing the fact that the lady had crossed unknowingly without any mala fide intentions, the army authorities provided her with food, clothing and medical aid,” he said.
A woman medical officer was present throughout her stay to attend to her needs and provide solace, he added.
Lt. Col. Mehta said the army asked Pakistan authorities to identify the woman for subsequent handing over to them as a humanitarian and goodwill gesture.
She was handed over to Pakistan authorities from Chakanda Bag Crossing Point on Wednesday.
Mehta said that keeping in view the holy month of Ramadan and the ethos of the Indian Army, she was presented with new clothes and dry fruits before being sent back.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.
Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.
The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.
The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.
“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”
Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.
Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.
While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.
Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.
Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.
A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.
In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.
“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”
Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)