Posts Tagged ‘EVAWG’
Kindly find hereby a press article and a few photos that highlight the event and the interface between survivors and parliamentarians. To us, these exercises are essential as they are contributing to promoting democratic processes such as dialogue between elected representatives and constituencies, and demand to access and obtain justice.
The final outcome of this event was simple and needs further follow up: parliamentarians promised that they would support both laws when submitted in the chambers (domestic violence bill, comprehensive acid and burn crime bill), but till then, how to ensure the submission? How to make bureaucracy deliver and work for the citizens who are paying taxes and are therefore entitled to be served by this very same bureaucracy? No tangible solution was presented, although its seems that one option could be the following: question from parliamentarians on the national assembly floor to the relevant administration, so let us ask for a question from parliamentarians: when will the Ministry of interior send the comprehensive acid and burn crime bill back to the NA secretariate so that the bill can be tabled in the NA?
A performance at the event. PHOTO: THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE
In a moot trial on Thursday, a jury of women affected by violence called on parliamentarians to legislate for greater protection for women and better accountability for perpetrators of violence, said a press release.
The moot court, conducted at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, was convened in a bid to collectively mark 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Girls and Women, an annual campaign that lasts between November 25 and December 10.
Parliamentarians, civil society members and UK Deputy High Commissioner Alison Blake attended the court.
As the mock court case progressed, proceedings transformed to resemble those of parliament, making a candid point that ending violence against women is a legislative issue which then needs to be implemented and enforced effectively in the courts. The debate focused specifically on acid crimes and domestic violence. The debate also touched upon the political empowerment of women and getting more girls into school.
UK Deputy High Commissioner Alison Blake said, “Investing in girls and women is transformational — for themselves, their families, and their communities. The UK is deeply committed to supporting Pakistan to empower women and to end violence against them.”
Over the coming years the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) aims to help a million more women vote, and will provide important support for some two million girls in school.
Renowned showbiz personalities Sania Saeed, Haseena Moeen, Ayub Khoso and Samina Ahmed participated in the event as petitioners, whereas parliamentarians from different political parties including Senator Saeeda Iqbal of Pakistan Peoples Party, Members National Assembly Tasleem Siddiqui of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Sufyan Yusuf of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and Asiya Nasir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) participated as respondents.
The event was sponsored by the DFID. Groups including UN women; AAWAZ, the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Alliance; IHI; We can Campaign; Men Engaged; Women Action Forum; Legislative Watch Group; and Raising Her Voice, spoke to demand stronger legislation to protect women.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is an international campaign that originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2012.
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 email@example.com
- 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
Need to implement pro-women laws’
LAHORE, June 27: Participants in a seminar have urged the government and the civil society to make joint efforts to ensure implementation of pro-women laws in letter and spirit.
The seminar on ‘Law enforcement for pro-women legislation and the Domestic Violence Bill’ was arranged by Mumkin, an alliance of 18 civil society organisations, at a local hotel on Wednesday.
Chief Minister’s Adviser Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said the attitude of the society towards domestic violence was deplorable as it was considered a family matter in which the law and state should not intervene.
Some 610 incidents of domestic violence were reported and around 10,000 women were identified as victims of violence or forced marriage in the country, she said and added that it was the responsibility of the state to protect its population, especially the most vulnerable segments like women, elderly people and children, and to punish perpetrators.
Ms Shahnawaz said the Punjab government was encouraging the pro-women legislation and would effectively implement the Domestic Violence Bill after its passage from the provincial assembly after which such issues would be addressed amicably in Punjab and no-one would dare to torture the vulnerable people.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan General Secretary I.A Rehman said the government should be persuaded to implement in letter and spirit all laws in general and those pertaining to vulnerable segment of society in particular.
He said that it was the duty of the civil society to see how many cases were reported and how many were in courts.
Hina Hafeezullah Ishaq of Nasreen Trust explained various clauses of the draft domestic violence bill and its provisions, punishments and central demand for survivors of violence.
She urged the government to take proper action to protect vulnerable persons irrespective of gender.
Acid Survivor Foundation President Valerie Khan stressed the need to adopt law enforcement mechanisms for the pro-women legislation.
Vulnerable persons, especially women, had been facing a lot of problems to get cases registered in the police station concerned, she said.
Punjab Bar Council president Rana Muhammad Asif Saeed highlighted various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code regarding family disputes and domestic violence issues.
Social Welfare and Baitul Maal Secretary Sardar Akram Javeed spoke about the measures taken by the government for the betterment of women victims of violence.
He specifically mentioned the 35 shelter homes in Punjab where some 10,000 or so victims were accommodated free of cost annually.
Mumkin advocacy manager Summiya Yousaf said that 6,188 cases of violence against women had been reported in Punjab in 2011.
The passage of the Domestic Violence Bill and its implementation should remain key challenges and the Punjab government should be the model province for women rights.
Dr Rukhshanda Parveen’s testimony: “Justice DELAYED is Justice DENIED! I was touched when men who were standing there as SPECTATORS joined us.When a man from Baluchistan agreed to my Yelling ( if no Man is ready to lead fateha we women will do it) and offered Dua- He mentioned FAKHRA as Shaheed-Perhaps for the first time an Abondoned wife was given the status of Shaheed:’) Thank you all boys and men who stood with women likemyself -the “sinner ungrateful women” as in the words of Kiswer naheed…”