National Commission on the Status of Women

Government of Pakistan

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Campaign To Engage Men In Eliminating Violence Against Women

Nov 24, 2017

ISLAMABAD, November 24, 2017: To observe International Day on Violence against Women (VAW) and launch 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), in collaboration with White Ribbon, UN Women and Ministry of Human Rights, launched a campaign to engage men in elimination of VAW in 70 districts of Pakistan.

The campaign which includes dissemination and display of information material, television and radio shows and gatherings outside the local press clubs, will take pledge from the men and boys across the country that they will become part of the solution to prevent and end violence against women and girls. The male participants of the campaign would pledge to “leave no woman or girl behind” by prioritizing their dignity and calling for their protection and prevention against violence. In doing so, they would also pledge to make their districts ‘violence-free zones’ for all women and girls’.

The main launching event of the campaign was organized in the capital on Friday where pledge was signed by known activists, civil society representatives, academicians and Parliamentarians. The gathering was addressed Senator Farhat Ullah Babar, Chairperson NCSW Khawar Mumtaz, Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya (MoHR) Javeri Agha, Chief Executive White Ribbon Omer Aftab and Secretary NCSW Samina A Hasan.

Speaking at the event, Chairperson NCSW Khawar Mumtaz said that violence against women (VAW) affects women across classes and regions. She stressed the need of measuring both challenges faced by Pakistan women and the progress they have been making in addressing VAW.

She said that Pakistan is one of the most legislated countries with regards to VAW. “There are more than 60 support organizations working in country. The challenge is to implement the laws and make those support mechanisms functional as only existence is not enough,” she said.

Quoting a research conducted by NCSW, she said that during past 10 years, 153 cases were registered under Women Protection Act 2006. “Among the total number of registered cases, only 4 convictions were made which shows the state of the implementation of laws in the country,” she added.

Senator Farhat Ullah Baur suggested NCSW to form a national register to catalogue crime against women and to lobby for the establishment of special public prosecutor for crime against women. He said that women are the worst victim of security related and faith driven violence.

Secretary MoHR Rabiya Javeri Agha talked about the measures taken by the government to address violence against women. “Pakistan has a strong legislative framework for the protection and enforcement of human rights. In addition, the government has formulated a draft National Policy Framework for promotion and protection and human rights Helpline 1099 has been established for legal advice to the victims of human rights violations. We have women police stations, women banks, women complaint cells and women are performing in all sectors of the society,” she said adding that men must come forward as agents of change,” she said.

Omer Aftab said that violence against women is a global phenomenon affecting 1 in 3 women, and Pakistan is no exception. As the world observes 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, this day also marks the start of the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence” lasting until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Deputy Representative, UN Women Pakistan Sangeeta Thapa shared that UN Women wants to see elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls so that women and girls are not discriminated against, and are able to live a life of dignity and respect, which is violence free. “UN Women acknowledges the important role held by Pakistani men and boys in taking unified stand to prevent and end violence against women and girls,” she added.

The event ended with the lighting of candles and signing of the pledge by the guests.

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