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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

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.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

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.

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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)

Next Story

Women with Sleep Apnea at Greater Cancer Risk, Warn Researchers

The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group

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Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The actress was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Pixabay

Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than men with the condition, warn researchers.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea, include snoring, disrupted sleep and fatigue.

“Our study of more than 19,000 people shows that the severity of OSA is linked to a cancer diagnosis,” said study lead author Athanasia Pataka, Assistant Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

“This link was especially strong in the women that we analysed, and less so in the men, and the study suggests that severe OSA could be an indicator for cancer in women, though more research is needed to confirm these findings,” Pataka explained.

In people suffering from OSA, the airways close completely or partially many times during sleep, reducing the levels of oxygen in the blood.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

The researchers analysed data from 19,556 people (5,789 women and 13,767 men) included in the European Sleep Apnoea Database (ESADA) to explore the link between OSA severity, low blood oxygen levels and cancer development.

The researchers looked at the number of times the participants experienced partial or complete airways closure per hour of sleep, as well as the number of times their blood oxygen levels dropped below 90 per cent at night.

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The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that people who experience more closures of the airways during sleep and whose blood oxygen saturation levels drop below 90 per cent more frequently are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people without OSA. (IANS)