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Study highlights women's issues

Most non-Muslim females face sexual harassment, discrimination at work

Christian women at a Church seminar Christian women at a Church seminar
  • Yousaf Benjamin, Lahore
  • Pakistan
  • March 16, 2012
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Most Christian and Hindu women in the country face sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, according to a Church commission study.

The “Life on the Margins” study by Catholic bishop’s National Commission for Justice and Peace NCJP, which was published on Wednesday, interviewed 1,000 women in 26 districts of Punjab and Sindh provinces.

“Women from minorities are facing severe problems which need a response. The survey looked at the social, political and economic realities of minority women in the context of legal disparity, personal laws, religious and gender biases, and forced conversions,” said Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the NCJP.

According to the research, carried-out in 2010-11:

? Up to 76 percent of working women faced sexual harassment.

? Some 43 percent of women faced religious discrimination in the workplace, educational institutions and in their local neighborhoods.

? Around 27 percent faced problems getting admission into educational institutions and only 47 percent were educated.

? Most non-Muslim children were forced to take Islamic studies due to the lack of an appropriate alternative.

? There were 314 infant deaths among 3,050 births

? There was a high infant mortality rate among minorities (10.3%)

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