President Dr. Arif Alvi has expressed displeasure over the Capital Development Authority (CDA)’s discriminatory and misogynist act of non-allotment of a residential quarter to a woman employee on the plea that quarters could only be allotted to adult-male-working dhobis (washermen)as per past practice. He said that CDA had discriminated against the female employee, and upheld Wafaqi Mohtasib’s orders directing CDA to allot the quarter to the female employee.

While rejecting CDA’s representation against the orders of the Wafaqi Mohtasib, President Dr. Arif Alvi said that the most unfortunate part of the CDA’s defence was that allotment could only be made to a male and could not be made to a female for the same services. “This is highly discriminatory, CDA is directed to improve its rules that are ensuring such misogynist practices and send the report to Wafaqi Mohtasib of the same in 60 days”, he said.

President Dr. Arif Alvi further underscored that Pakistan could not progress if its female equal members of the society were discriminated against in such a manner. He said that it was against the spirit of the founders of Pakistan, against the fair practices of Islam, and against the Constitution. He further directed CDA to comply with Wafaqi Mohtasib’s orders and redress the grievance of the complainant and, if so required, approval of the competent authority/forum should be sought without further loss of time.

As per details, Ms Shahnaz Begum (the complainant) had alleged that her late husband was an ex-Washer Man attached with CDA, and he had applied for allotment of a Dhobi quarter. She joined CDA as a Washerwoman, after the death of her husband, and made a request for the allotment of a quarter, but CDA issued the same to another employee who was junior to her in the Seniority List. Feeling aggrieved, she approached Wafaqi Mohtasib who passed the order that maladministration on the part of CDA was evident as it had discriminated against the complainant and was recommended to issue allotment orders for the quarter in question to the complainant and submit a compliance report within 30 days.

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CDA filed a representation against the orders of the Wafaqi Mohtasib and contended that from the beginning, the accommodation had been allotted to CDA’s male employees (washermen) and it had never been allotted to any female (washerwoman). CDA further argued that Dhobi had been defined as an adult male working Dhobi and relatives of Dhobi meant adult blood relations viz. father, brother, and son.

After perusal of the record and hearing the parties, it was observed that CDA had already issued allotment of another quarter to a female Lady Washer Woman in the year 2000. The President, therefore, rejected CDA’s representation and upheld Wafaqi Mohtasib’s orders to issue the allotment letters of the quarter in question to the female Dhobi.