Press notice for Pakistan media
Friday 30 November 2012
16 days of activism to end VAWG (Violence against Women and Girls)
Safety at Home, Public and Work Spaces
This year, to mark the 16 days of activism against VAWG in Pakistan, the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF-Pakistan) has called on Pakistani policy makers to do more to speed up the passage of the “Comprehensive Acid And Burn Crime Bill” in the provincial assemblies.
Although the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill is currently being processed in KP, Punjab and ICT, no provincial assembly had tabled this comprehensive acid and burn legislation yet.
Last year (12th December 2011) ASF-Pakistan, with support from the UK’s Department for International Development, led a campaign which resulted in the unanimous passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 made acid and burn violence a crime against the state and imposed fine worth ‘One Million’ Pakistani rupees, along with a punishment of minimum seven (7) years to life time imprisonment.
The legal milestone was widely welcomed but campaigners say it does not go far enough to eradicate acid violence, arguing that legislation needs to go further to include the trial and rehabilitation process. There is also concern that a lack of monitoring mechanisms will jeopardise effective implementation of the law.
Over the last seven months, ASF have been pushing provincial assemblies to pass the ‘Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill’ to strengthen pro women legislation to curb violence against women.
During this16 days of activism, ASF will remind policy makers at the “Safety at Home, Public and Work Spaces” event, that the results of past efforts to stop acid violence are not enough andthat survivors – mostly women and girls should be able to fully exercise their basic human rights.
The “Safety at Home, Public and Work Spaces” event hosted jointly by UK aid and the AWAAZ consortium, with support of the EVAWG alliance, IHI (InsaanHaqoodItehad), the ‘We Can’ Campaign, UN Women and the UNDP will take place on 6th December.
The event is anticipated to have theatre performances and interfaces with parliamentarians, media, students and above all survivors of violence will call on the Government of Pakistan to devise a common strategy to enhance safety for women and girls in the country.
Acid survivors turned into ‘agents of change’ will be given an opportunity to raise their voice and demand protection, safety and peace. The message they will deliver this event is “our work has just started!”
The UK Government is supporting Pakistan to empower women and girls, to end violence against them, and help Pakistan harness the talent, productivity, and economic dividend of half its population.
Recently (Wednesday) the UK Government launched a new initiative to help prevent violence against women and girls living around the world.UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“It is shocking and unacceptable that in the 21st century one in three women is still beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. This matters for development: girls who experience violence are less likely to complete their education, find it harder to earn a living, and have a significantly higher risk of maternal death and vulnerability to HIV and AIDS.
“The UK is leading the international community to prevent violence against women and is working to get a better understanding of what works on the ground so we can stop it for good.”
Priorities for the UK aid for women and girls in Pakistan over the next few years include supporting more girls in school; tackling all types of violence against women, including domestic violence and honour killings; enabling more women to vote in elections; support women’s political engagement at all levels; supporting women to be trained in new skills; and helping women access financial services such as micro-loans;
Till date, acid attacks are spreading quantitatively and geographically in Pakistan; In year 2009, 43 attack cases were reported to ASF notification unit, 55 cases in 2010, 150 cases in 2011, this year 93 cases. More attacks are to be reported as many victims feel reprisal and therefore remain silent. The conviction rate for acid violence remains very low: 6% as per ASF data.
- · For DFID in Pakistan, contact DFID-Pakistan media team on + 92 (0) 51 201 2516 / 2580.
- For ASF in Pakistan, contact Valerie Khan on firstname.lastname@example.org
- How UK aid is helping acid victims in Pakistan – Case study on Acid Survivor“Nusrat Parveen”can be viewed on: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Stories/Case-Studies/2012/Violence-against-women-Pakistan-case-study/
- Photography of DFID’s work in Pakistan can be downloaded from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinpakistan/collections/72157627681220367/
Notes to editors
- TheDepartment for International Development (DFID) is the UK’s Government department responsible for promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty. The central focus of DFID is a commitment to the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. Further information here http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where-we-work/Asia-South/Pakistan/
The Acid Survivors Foundation – Pakistan is a Pakistani non for profit organization that aims at eradicating acid violence -one of the worst forms of gender based violence- in the country. It was established in 2006 and registered under Voluntary Social Welfare Ordinance, it has been partnering with UK Aid since 2009. Further information available on www.acidsurvivorspakistan.org; Facebook: acidsurvivorsfoundationpakistan.facebook.com