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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on discrimination against girls in Pakistan, in particular the case of Malala Yousafzai

23.10.2012 - (2012/2843(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Jean-Luc Bennahmias; Marietje Schaake; Kristiina Ojuland; Edward McMillan-Scott; Ramon Tremosa i Balcells; Marielle de Sarnez; Izaskun Bilbao Barandica; Robert Rochefort; Sonia Alfano; Leonidas Donskis; Jelko Kacin; Charles Goerens; Sarah Ludford; Johannes Cornelis van Baalen; Graham Watson on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0477/2012

Procedure : 2012/2843(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
Documentencyclus :  
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European Parliament resolution on discrimination against girls in Pakistan, in particular the case of Malala Yousafzai


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights and democracy in Pakistan, in particular of 20 January 2011 as well as those of 20 May 2010 and of 12 July, 5 October, 15 November 2007 and 13th December 2011.

 having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 18 December 1979 and to the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women of 20 December 1993,

 having regard to the EU guidelines on violence and discrimination against women and girls and the EU guidelines on children and armed conflict,

 having regard to its 26 November 2009 resolution on the elimination of violence against women;

 having regard to the Council conclusions adopted on 16 November 2009 on freedom of religion or belief, in which it underlines the strategic importance of this freedom and of countering religious intolerance,

 having regard to the Council Conclusions on intolerance, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief, adopted on 21 February 2011,

 having regard to the EU-Pakistan Joint Statement of 4 June 2010, in which both sides have reaffirmed their determination to jointly address regional and global security issues, to promote respect for human rights, and to cooperate to further strengthen Pakistan’s democratic government and institutions,

 having regard to the Council conclusions on Pakistan and on Afghanistan of 18 July 2011,

  having regard to Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),

 having regard to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief,

 having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  Whereas Article 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union states that the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights and civil liberties are fundamental principles and aims of the European Union and constitute common ground for its relations with third countries; whereas EU assistance in trade and development is conditional upon respect for human rights and minority rights.

B.  Whereas over one third of Pakistan's population is younger than 14, while two-thirds of all Pakistanis are younger than 30.

C.  Whereas 20 million children receive no formal education in Pakistan, at least 7 million children are out-of-school, and one in two adults is illiterate.

D.  Whereas 30% of Pakistan’s children receive secondary education, while 19% attend upper secondary schools, and only 5% of the eligible age group attends tertiary education.

E.  Whereas almost one-third of young women in the country are married before the age of 18 years. One out of ten girls between the ages of 15 to 19 years is already a mother or is pregnant.  

F.  Whereas in 2011 alone there were an estimated 8,539 documented cases of violence against women, including 1,575 murders, 827 rapes, 610 incidents of domestic violence, 705 honour killings and 44 acid attacks.

G.  Whereas it is estimated that only 60% percent cases of violence against women are reported and of those reported cases only 40% are registered with police.

H.  Whereas in the last twelve months at least two activists working on women’s education, Farida Afridi and Zarteef Afridi, were killed in a wave of targeted attacks by the Taliban and other groups.

1.  Condemns the brutal attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai by Taliban insurgents on the 9th October 2012 and the serious wounding inflicted upon two of her classmates.

2.  Calls on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to take all appropriate measures to bring those responsible to justice and to protect young girls from persecution and violence.

3.  Abhors statements by the Taliban justifying the attack and notes the reaction of 50 Islamic scholars from the Sunni Ittehad Council and others who have publicly denounced attempts by the Pakistani Taliban to use religious justifications for the shooting of Malala Yousafzai.

4.  Regrets that some Government officials in Pakistan have refrained from publicly criticizing the Taliban by name over the attack and highlights the importance of a respect for fundamental human rights.

5.  Welcomes the campaign "I am Malala" which demands that Pakistan formulates a plan to deliver education for every child by 2015.

6.  Welcomes the cooperation and medical assistance provided by both Pakistan and United Kingdom authorities, including staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and calls for this to be continued and for Malala to be protected from future persecution, in particular given that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the militant group that has said it shot her, has threatened to attempt to kill her again if she recovers.

7.  Remains deeply concerned about the situation of women and girls in Pakistan, in particular in north-western Pakistan, where particularly female activists live under constant threats from the Taliban and other militant groups.

8.  Welcomes the passing of the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 and the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill 2008, aimed at protecting women and increasing penalties for perpetrators of gender-based violence; believes that this legislation must now be implemented pro-actively by the Government of Pakistan.

9.  Calls on the Pakistani Government to urgently reform its blasphemy laws and review, as appropriate, laws including Qisas and Diyat, law of evidence, and the Hadood ordinances, in particular with regard to their effect on religious minorities, as was seen in the recent case of Rimsha Masih.

10.  Demands that much more be done by the Pakistani Government to trace the hundreds, if not thousands, of victims of enforced disappearance in Pakistan, including children, some of them girls as young as nine and ten years old. Calls for the results of internal Government investigations into the scale of this problem to be published.

11.  Believes that much more must be done to ensure all children, regardless of gender, have access to and receive a basic education, especially in rural areas where only 3-8% of the female population is literate.

12.  Calls on the Government of Pakistan to develop a robust state inspection regime to ensure the delivery of a basic approved curriculum and to broaden the education in madrassas which are often the only source of education especially in rural areas.

13.  Calls for more assistance to ensure that education infrastructure that has been damaged by attacks to be rebuilt, especially girls’ schools, their rights to a basic education guaranteed and their safety assured.

14.  Calls for the development of innovative solutions for rebuilding education infrastructure that has been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters.

15.  Believes that the prevention of the practice of child marriage is vital to ensure that the fundamental rights of adolescent girls in Pakistan are fulfilled. Welcomes the work of the United Nations Adolescent Girls Task Force Pakistan (UNAGTF) in helping to secure a UN joint statement urging all stakeholders to accelerate efforts to eradicate child marriage in Pakistan.

16.  Urges the Government of Pakistan to tackle some of the bottleneck issues keeping children out of school such child labour, child brides, children with disabilities.

17.  Insists that women's and girl's rights be explicitly addressed in all human rights dialogues, and in particular the combating and elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, including all forms of harmful traditional or customary practices, forced marriage, domestic violence and femicide;

18.  Urges the competent EU institutions to insist that the Government of Pakistan adhere to the democracy and human rights clause enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;

19.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the European External Action Service, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of Pakistan.