Posts Tagged ‘acid attack’

It will not stop in Pakistan, until and unless the adequate law is passed….

August 9th, 2011

July 2011 Acid thrown on girl after foiled rape bid in Daska: Three unidentified persons threw acid on the face of a girl when they were foiled in their attempt to rape her in the limits of Sadar police. The accused entered the house of Fazal and attempted to rape his daughter when she was alone in her house. When she raised a hue and cry, they threw acid on her face and fled. The injured was shifted to Civil Hospital.
(Daska, 26 July, 2011)

Study, surveys, reports: professionalism has to be the rule…

August 9th, 2011
Myra Imran
Saturday, July 02, 2011

The representatives of mainstream civil society organisations working for women rights in Pakistan and human right activists have challenged the findings of Thompson Reuters Foundation’s report, which has ranked Pakistan as world’s third most dangerous country for women.

In a meeting organised by the National Commission of Women (NCW) and UN Women EVAW Alliance, the women rights activists expressed serious reservations over the method adopted by the organisation Thompson Reuters Foundation to conduct the study.

They said that it was technically a bad study that has based its analysis over the opinion of only 213 experts. The report declares Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia as world’s five most dangerous countries for women. It says that Pakistani women experience the highest risk factor in the category of culture, tribal traditions and religion.

Sameena Nazir from Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) said that the research fails to fulfil some of the basic criterion of social science research. “On the basis of my worldwide research, I can take the name of many countries that have worst record than Pakistan,” she added.

She said that Pakistan has a free media, which reports the cases of violence against women more frequently than any other country in the world. “That does not mean that Pakistan becomes one of the most dangerous countries for women in the world,” she opined. Eminent human rights activist, Tahira Abdullah, said that the findings were based on the perception of 213 experts rather than facts. She said that Pakistani civil society, government and its people are continuously fighting with the issues related to culture, tribal traditions and religion. “Women rights movement is an indigenous movement in Pakistan and we consider the issues related to culture, tribal traditions and religion as an internal matter of our country,” she added.

She said that concerns can be raised on international level over any research that is based on the study of 180 million population of the country. “Only 213 experts can not declare any other country a dangerous one for women only on the basis of their perception. We simply reject this report,” she added.

Executive Director Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Valerie Khan raised objection against the language used for the report title. “The word ‘dangerous’ is not an appropriate word for a scientific study. At least, the title should include ‘perceived dangerous’ instead of dangerous as the report is based on the opinion of a selected group of people,” she said.

Among 213 experts, 85 per cent ranked Pakistan highest in acid attacks on women, 93 per cent of experts believed that Pakistan has highest number of forced marriages in the world where as 82 per cent opined that Pakistan has the highest risk of girl child marriages. Interestingly, 100 per cent voted for lack of access to health for women in Pakistan and 92 per cent believed that Pakistani women suffer domestic physical and mental abuse.

The meeting also decided that NCW will file appeal in the Supreme Court to demolish parallel legal system in the country. Some members opined that instead of completely demolishing, the parallel legal systems should be brought under some legal framework binding them to only conflict resolution.

The EVAW members also decided to write letters to the prime minister and the president requesting them to play their role for constituting larger bench in the Supreme Court for Mukhtaran Mai case. Mukhtaran Mai was also present in the meeting.

The EVAW Alliance was launched by UN Women in 2007 to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. The alliance currently comprises representatives of women’s organisations, NGOs, networks, donors, UN agencies, international NGOs, government, media and academia. Future plans include expanding the network to the provincial and district level with the support of organisations having provincial and district outreach.

Acid Survivors Foundation survivors present at UN women report launch :In pursuit of Justice.

August 9th, 2011

“Progress of the World’s Women 2011-2012: In Pursuit of Justice”‏ by UN Women.

By Myra Imran

Raising numerous serious questions regarding lacunas in the prevalent justice systems around the world, the UN Women launched its first major report titled ‘Progress of the World’s Women 2011-2012 — In Pursuit of Justice’ in Pakistan on Friday.

Presenting a comparative analysis of global statistics, the first major report following the organisation’s launch in early 2011, mentions that justice remains out of the reach of millions of the world’s women. It says Domestic violence is outlawed in 125 countries of the world but globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime.

Laws based on custom or religion, which exist alongside state legislation, frequently restrict women’s rights within the family, in marriage, divorce and the right to inherit property. “Much has been achieved in the private and public spheres in the last century. Yet discrimination and gender injustice remain prevalent around the world.”

The report says that 117 countries have equal pay laws yet, in practice, women are still paid up to 30 per cent less than men in some countries and women still do more unpaid domestic and caring work than men in every region of the world.

It points out that globally, 53 per cent of working women — 600 million in total — are in vulnerable jobs, such as self-employment, domestic work or unpaid work for family businesses, which often lack the protection of labour laws.

Highlighting another such dimension, the report says that by 2011, at least 52 countries had made marital rape a criminal offence. And yet, over 2.6 billion women live in countries where it has not been explicitly criminalized.

It mentions that in countries where there have been steep increases in women’s representation in Parliaments, progressive laws on women’s rights have often followed yet there are still less than 30 per cent of women in parliament in the vast majority of countries. It further mentions that donors spend US$4.2 billion annually on aid for justice reform, but only 5 per cent of this spending specifically targets women and girls.

The report also recognises the positive progress made and says that 139 countries and territories now guarantee gender equality in their constitutions but it also shows that too often, women continue to experience injustice, violence and inequality in their home and working lives.

To ensure justice becomes a reality for all women, UN Women calls on governments to repeal laws that discriminate against women, support innovative justice services, put women on the frontline of justice delivery and invest in justice system that can respond to women’s need.

It stresses the need to ensure that legislation protects women from violence and inequality in the home and the workplace and demands innovative justice services such as one-stop shops, legal aid and specialised courts, to ensure women can access the justice to which they are entitled.

The report says that across the board, existing laws are too often inadequately enforced, the report finds. Many women shrink away from reporting crimes due to social stigma and weak justice systems. The costs and practical difficulties of seeking justice can be prohibitive — from travel to a distant court, to paying for expensive legal advice. The result is high drop-out rates in cases where women seek redress, especially on gender-based violence.

The thought provoking and colourful launching of report was attended by a large number of women right activists, representatives of civil society organisations, lawyer’s associations and law enforcing agencies. Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza was the chief guest on the occasion.

Others who spoke at the event included Federal Ombudsperson for Harassment Act Mussarat Hilali, President Lawyers for Human Rights Zia Awan, AIG Islamabad Ehsan Sadiq and Country Director UN Women Alice Shakleford.

The speakers stressed the need for collaborative efforts to create an enabling environment for women in pursuit justice. They pointed out that enough legislation has been formulated in Pakistan for women in past few decades but the real issue is the effective implementation of these laws. They also demanded elimination of discriminatory laws.

Besides formal speeches made by the guests, the event included an interactive session with the stakeholders and poetry recitation by UN Gender Expert Salman Asif who read some of the very fine verses by eminent social worker Bilqees Edhi urging everyone to feel for women in distress and help them.

Another unique feature was the audio of inspiring stories of women survivors played for the guests. These women faced extreme forms of violence against women but were brave enough to fight back and become a role model for others.

Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza said that no system can claim to be democratic and participatory if it fails to include and address the issues concerning its women. She said that women’s pursuit for justice stretches back beyond recorded time to the myths and legends told by ancient seers in all cultures and civilisations.

“Societies were always hesitant in accepting them on a par with their men. It is high time that we make our society realize that gender roles, inequities and power imbalances are not a ‘natural’ result of biological differences, but determined by the systems and cultures in which we live.”

She highlighted the efforts of Pakistan People’s Part to bring women in the lime light at every level. She said that in the last three years of its 5-year tenure, the women Parliamentarians ran 60 per cent of the business in the National Assembly and the government has passed 77 bills in which more than a dozen relate to women and children.

“Laws hold a critical balance in shaping societies although they alone cannot bring a change in mindsets. No government, no matter how democratic in nature, can bring about a revolution on its own if it is not backed by a strong and committed public opinion,” she opined.

She said that Pakistan will hold the seventh meeting of the Women Speakers of Parliaments around the world in November this year, where the women speakers will focus on making parliaments more gender sensitive. At the Saarc Speakers Conference in Delhi, she has also proposed the creation of a Saarc Parliament which could allow the Parliamentarians of the region to jointly address issues of social injustice, the speeding up of the MDGs and the realization of an equity-based gender-balanced mutually beneficial Saarc community.

Saturday, July 30, 2011
National Commission on the Status of Women-Pakistan
Government of Pakistan
Phone: +92-51-9224875,9209885

Workshop On Acid Violence As A worst Form of Gender Based Violence And Child Violence.

June 16th, 2011

Zaigham Khan, ASF Media and Communication Specialist and participants

Short intervention of DR Khadija, ASF psycho therapist and Valerie Khan Yusufzai, ASF Chairperson

naila and Nusrat, ACid survivors and change makers talking to journailsts abot the phenomenon and the need fora ccomprhensive legislation.

Media representatives gathering information before starting their support journey for eradication of acid violence

Nazeeran? What are the news?

June 9th, 2011

Nazeeran has now her own house, she decorated it and equiped it, her two daughters are going to school, see you soon to get more news!!!

ASF team.

Nazeeran, and her two daughters, happy with their new life...

nice crockery

colourful environement...

Ready to cook!

Civil Society Press Statement

May 18th, 2011

Civil Society Calls for a Comprehensive Legislation to Eradicate Acid and Burn Crimes in Pakistan

Islamabad: Civil society organizations have called upon legislators to pass a comprehensive law to eradicate crimes involving acid throwing and other burn attacks and provide support to victims of such crimes. While welcoming an amendment in the Pakistani Penal Code adopted by the National Assembly of Pakistan to enhance the punishment for acid crimes, the civil society has emphasized the need for a more comprehensive legislation for the purpose.

Through a statement issued on May 17, a number of civil society organizations welcomed the amendment as a significant achievement “as it acknowledges the gravity of acid crimes and enhances punishment for acid crimes”. However, they declared that the bill was not enough to eradicate acid crimes from Pakistan. They demanded that in the light of a verdict made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the parliament should adopt a comprehensive legislation on the model of the Bangladeshi law.

Pakistani government and law makers need to follow the example of Bangladesh where number of acid throwing incidents, have dropped from 500 a year in 1998 to 60 a year more recently because of effective legislation and improved compliance.

The current amendment does not address the investigation process that often faces delays and is biased against survivors and their families. There is a need to make investigation and police officer accountable and ensure protection to victims and witnesses through law. Length of trial also needs to be fixed and accountability should be set in case of an unfair trial.

There is strong need for an authority or a forum to support victims in medical treatment, socio-economic rehabilitation and legal support, besides collecting and maintaining data and establishing an appropriate surveillance/funding system that could facilitate implementation, awareness and preventive steps.

The civil society calls for early legislation of the proposed Acid and Burn Crimes Act 2011 that was drafted in light of the order of  the Supreme Court of  Pakistan after extensive process of  stakeholders’ consultation involving civil-society, legal and medical experts, local communities, law enforcement agencies, international organisations, media and survivors.

ACtive and committed to generate sustainable change and eradicate acid and burn crimes in Pakistan.

GBV TOT training with UN WOMEN: a new productive experience!

February 14th, 2011

Trainees and trainers

Mr Mohammad Khan, ASF executive director attended a 5 days GBV TOT (training of trainers), organised by UN WOMEN.

This was the occasion for ASF ED to enhance his own capacity but also to share experience with other development professionals addressing VAW.

Next phase: train trainers and sensitise communities to create a gender sensitive environment where GBV has no place…

Nazeeran’s Progressive Path Towards Empowered Social Life…

December 2nd, 2010

Nazeeran, ASTI volunteer Dr Teri Kelly, Valerie Khan Yusufzai ASF chaiperson.

Dr Teri Kelly visited Islamabad and availed the opportunity to congratulate Nazeeran’s for her book and for the opening of her own bank account, Nazeeran’s next step wil be to get her cheque book ad design her future life! Exciting and challenging perspective!

More About 15th October…

October 18th, 2010

15th October is the UN Rural Women Day, and has now been also declared a national day in Pakistan: PODA organised the event with UNIFEM, Aurat Foundation and Sungi and Ministry of Women Development and invited other organisations to participate in the conference. You can get the report of the event if you contact ASF.

The main focus for ASF was to lead an advocacy panel in which issues such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, child protection and criminal burns would be discussed and addressed so that relevant legal framework would be established and implemented in Pakistan. Aurat Foundation, Bedari, Rozan, Acting For Life also participated in the panel. Theater plays, musical events were also organised, a nice but powerful way to remind the civil society, the communities and the stakeholders that  rural women, all over the world, are too often deprived of their basic rights…

ASF did not forget : 90 % of the women victims belong to rural areas…

Floods In Pakistan: A Tragedy Hitting 90% Of The Survivors…

September 16th, 2010

A global view of the extend of the damages...

Many lost their home...

Others managed to save a bit of wealth...

ASF immediately participated in the first relief efforts

These pictures clearly illustrate the violence of the floods that washed away entire villages in Pakistan. ASF team will depart to Muzzafargarh (one of the most affected districts) and distribute relief goods and relocate the survivors who now live in camps, shattered houses, outside…

We would like to thank our Pakistani and Australian donors for their financial support in the matter: A$270 and Pak Rs 35000 from individual donors.

This action will be further documented after the 2nd mission, ending 22nd September 2010.