Posts Tagged ‘gender justice’
Event Report: Sister Bilquees, In-Charge Of ASF NCRU Participates In FPAP Training On Gender Based Violence,July 10th, 2010
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE SCREENING
JUNE- 29TH AND 30TH
SANGAM HOTEL MUZAFFARABAD
BACKGROUND RAHNUMA- FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF PAKISTAN:
Rahnuma started serving poor and marginalized people of Pakistan as the Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) way back in 1953, as one of the pioneers in providing family planning services and advocating for the small family norm. The government later embraced the cause by establishing the Ministry of Population Welfare in 196-. In about a decade, Rahnuma -FPAP had grown up from one-room operation at Karachi, Lahore and Dhaka to an infrastructure of district branches with model clinics and information centers extending the message to men and women. It expanded its work through community based infrastructure by establishing the family welfare centers in urban and rural areas. Now the organization has the biggest infrastructure by an NGO in Pakistan, which consists of the Family Welfare Centers, Family Health Hospitals, Focus Area Programs and a wide network of referrals from the private practitioners. Rahnuma – FPAP has also pioneered in the concepts of social marketing of contraceptives, family welfare centers and reproductive health services.
Rahnuma has been working on various innovative programs to increased access of people to quality and affordable health services, advocate for a right-based agenda, empowering the communities, especially the women and young girls, and strengthen the civil society in Pakistan. To meet these ends, the organization widened its scope to cover sexual and reproductive health of the whole family as an offshoot of organizational concern for the total well being of women, children, families and communities, after the 1994’s International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo. Rahnuma is also working on its poverty alleviation program, as the health and wellbeing of people is directly linked with the socio-economic conditions.
Rahnuma – FPAP to lead a right based movement using the ICPD holistic development paradigm which strengthens family well being, enables empowerment of women, supports youth and protects children.
Holding of two-days training for Service Providers (LHVs/LHWs) at Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir for “Institutional Strengthening and Awareness Raising to Combat Extreme Forms of Gender Based Violence against Women (particular in Burn Cases)”
Project on Gender Based Violence was started in May 2009 in the Districts of Muzaffarabad, Bhimber, Bagh and Mirpur of AJ&K, Gujrat ,Gujranwala and Sialkot of Punjab while Mansehra and Abbottabad of N.W.F.P., with financial assistance of United Nation Office for Project Service(UNOPS).
The purpose to conduct the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Screening training is that the service providers are involved in the protocol development process because routine screening may require changes to patient flow or clinic procedures, and because providers are ideally positioned to judge whether the protocol will be feasible and efficient. In this regard, two-days training of Service Providers (LHVs/LHWs) was held at Muzaffarabad AJ&K.
OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTATION:
Identifying, strengthening and improving the implementation of the existing legislation with the help of LHVs/LHWS and other medical experts and to enable them to record the statement or the dying declaration of the burnt patient. In case the patient or the family cannot register a FIR. and give acid burn survivors access to comprehensive rehabilitation services, to guarantee & safeguard their basic human rights in line with the Constitution of Pakistan and International Conventions such as CEDAW, CRC.
- 1. INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND AND EVENT OBJECTIVES:
The DHO Muzaffarabad gave a welcome speech to all the participants in which he not only explaining the agenda of the screening meeting & the role of participants but also encouraged them to continue showing interest.
Dr. Anjum gave a detailed introduction and explained the tasks of everyone. Participants were assigned partners who they later introduced. He also distributed stationery and relevant accessories which signified strong social messages such as ‘’Zero tolerance against violence’’.
Ms. Asiya Parveen, National Project Manager, explained the purpose and the expectation that the host team had. She also briefed the participants about sec 174 (A) which informed them about the new law change stating that a Grade 17 Medical Officer can in the absence of a police officer, record the statement of the patient. She showed a case study regarding two victims and asked us what possible psychological effects the violence may have caused. She also explained that FPAP with the support of UNDP UNOPS DFID Gender Justice & Protection (GJP) Project title ‘Gender Based Violence’ is in the process of sensitizing medical staff to record the dying declaration of a burn patient under the existing legislation.
Dr. Asma Hasnat explained about the possible health outcomes of gender based violence and the emergency management of such reports.
Dr. Anjum and Dr. Asma conducted an activity in which ten participants were selected and given roles to present a scenario of violence and the problems attached to it. Rest of the participants were asked to identify the problems in relation to crimes related to Gender Based Violence and Domestic Violence.
They also displayed a Hope Tree on the Notice Board in which all participants had written down their hopes and expectations for the eradication of all forms of violence.
We also discussed the risks attached to helping survivors of gender based violence and how we can overcome these risks.
In the end there was a question-answer session taken by UNDP Representative, Mr. Zishan Ahmed and certificates were awarded to all participants.
- Patients’ confidentially and privacy is of vital importance.
- Sensitized about the new legislation and responsibility of medical officers.
- Responsibility of service providers.
PAKISTAN: Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks
KARACHI, Pakistan, May 31 (IPS) - Almost seven years after Naila Farhat, 20, became another victim of an acid
throwing attack by a spurned suitor, she is finally seeing more vigorous efforts
toward the passage of a law seeking to amend existing legislation to reinforce
protection of women against violent assaults.
Farhat is the first to admit, though, that beneath her physical scars is a
smoldering anger that refuses to be pacified until she has exacted vengeance
against her violators.
”I want him to be doused in acid so he can feel not just the searing pain but
live with disfigurement day after day, for the rest of his life,” she said of her
main assailant over telephone from Layyah, a town in the southern part of
Yasmeen Rehman, advisor to the prime minister on women’s development
and a legislator, told IPS that the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD)
was doing further research on a draft law against acid attacks.
”It is seeking help from the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and the United
Nations Development Fund for Women, she said.
The ASF, in turn, is getting assistance from its parent organisation in Britain
and Cornell Law School in the United States, said Sana Masood, a lawyer
working with the Foundation, which provides medical, psychosocial,
socioeconomic and legal aid to acid survivors. ”We are currently involved in
extensive research to help the MoWD in coming up with another bill,” she
”Realistically speaking, I should say we will be able to present it in the
(legislative) assembly by July,” said Rehman
In November 2009, six years after Farhat filed a case against her perpetrators
ū a tailor and her elementary science teacher, who acted as an accomplice ū
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary urged the
government to pass a new law that would restrict the sale of industrial
strength acid and increase the punishment for acid attacks.
This came with his landmark verdict upholding the original lower court ruling
sentencing Farhat’s violators to 12 years in prison and ordering them to pay
1.25 million rupees (about 14,775 dollars) in damages.
Chaudhary also announced that the government would shoulder the cost of
her healthcare and educational needs.
Farhat said she decided to bring her case to the Supreme Court late last year
after the lower courts released one of her assailants, her former teacher, and
lowered the prime perpetrator’s sentence to four years and his fine to
110,000 rupees (1,300 dollars).
”The teacher bribed the judge and got himself released the very same day,”
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, three women parliamentarians filed a
”hurriedly drafted” bill, as Masood described it, seeking to amend existing
laws on violence against women.
”It does not seem to be a priority within the legislative assembly and has yet
to be taken up for discussion,” said Marvi Memon, one of the bill’s principal
Masood said the bill in its present form is inadequate, because it ”is
discriminatory and caters only to women and children when our findings
show that 39 percent of victims are males.” Men are also in danger of acid
attack, she said, usually as a result of issues like property disputes, financial
problems and professional jealousies, she said.
Furthermore, she said, the bill does not clearly define the ”role of the law
enforcement agencies or mechanisms for regulating and monitoring acid
trade,” said Masood.
Some female legislators, on the other hand, have dismissed the need for a
new law protecting women against violent assaults such as acid throwing.
”I think we’re already over-legislated,” said member of Parliament Nafisa
Shah. ”The laws are there. What is needed is strict enforcement of the
existing ones,” she said.
Rehman said ”special and specific laws are needed in a country where
violence against women is on the rise.” In an earlier interview with Agence
France-Presse, ASF’s Masood said they recorded 48 cases of acid attacks in
2009, up from 30 in 207.
Shahnaz Bokhari, president of the Islamabad-based Progressive Women’s
Association, which assists victims of domestic violence, said she has
supported 8,886 acid attack female survivors since 1994.
The incidence of acid attacks is particularly high in the southern part of
Punjab, the south Asian country’s cotton belt and second largest province,
”Lack of a regulating and monitoring framework regarding acid, cheap price,
low level of socio-economic development” are some of the factors underlying
these crimes, said Khan.
A bottle of concentrated sulphuric acid generally costs only 20 Pakistani
rupees per litre (about 23 U.S. cents), said Bokahari.
”Acid is used for textile industry and cleaning cotton seeds before being
replanted,” explained Khan, whose organisation has provided medical,
psychosocial, socioeconomic and legal aid to about 300 acid Punjab-based
survivors since 2006 when it was formed.
While Farhat has been unrelenting in her quest for justice, some victims are
afraid of taking action against their perpetrators.
Forty-something Naeema Begum, whose husband threw acid in her face
when he divorced her in 200,4 said, ”I don’t want to take him to court; I’m
scared he may take my kids away from me as revenge,” she said.
”Most have been threatened into silence,” said Bokhari. Their scars are not
just physical, she said. ”They go much deeper.”
Farhat sees beyond her disfigured body, her spirit resolute as ever to find
justice, which has not been so elusive, after all. A new law is in the offing and
her perpetrator is in jail. At the moment, though, six months since the CJP’s
directive, she has yet to receive the promised financial assistance.