Posts Tagged ‘gender 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!

3rd consultation: Acid Crime And Prevention Bill!

September 14th, 2010

ASF team proposing the new law on acid to ministry of women development with the support of UNIFEM and NCSW

Naveed Khan, legal consultant, presenting the law before q/a session.

Yasmeen Rehman, advisor to the Prime Minister on Women Affairs was tehre to host the consultation and officialise the government will to eradicate acid violence.

Strong supporters of gender justice : Fahmida Iqbal and Dr fauzia Saeed from NCSW.

Hands up for the press, as usual, our Pakistani fellows were there to support ASF cause!

These pictures are highly encouraging and ASF applauds Ministry of Women Development and National Commission on The Status of Women for commiting to propose a law in the Parliament. But more efforts are needed, we are on the right path but the journey is not over! ASF is determined to bring a sustainable change to stop a non human phenomenon,  major human rights breach, for this, we will need your support, get ready!

Better Late Than Never…

August 2nd, 2010

Billing acid criminals Acid Crimes Prevention Bill comes a little too late for acid crime victims, but better late than never

By Alefia T. Hussain

Throwing acid is a cruel way of dealing with rivals in love and even business in Pakistan. And shamefully enough, it is a crime which often goes unpunished.

That perhaps is about to change – as activists, lawyers and parliamentarians are actively pursuing legislation on acid crimes. The final draft, titled Acid Crimes Prevention Bill, informs Yasmeen Rehman, adviser to the PM on Women Development and a PPP parliamentarian, will be submitted to the Ministry for Women Development this week, which subsequently will be sent to the Ministry for Law for approval.

The bill, drafted after exhaustive consultations with lawyers and civil society organisations, including UNIFEM, proposes amendments to the Sections 332 and 336 of Pakistan Penal Code and to the Poisons Act 1919. It recommends strict punishment for the perpetrators of this crime which could range between life imprisonments to a fine up to Rs500,000 — depending on the severity of the crime.

Also, the bill prompts restrictions on manufacturers, distributors and retailers of acid. Their license may be revoked if the practices are found to be threatening public health.

Though this bill comes a little late for hundreds, if not thousands, of victims of this heinous form of violence against women but, as they say, better late than never. This will energise activists long-demanding laws to prevent such attacks and pressing for justice for acid burn survivors — such as Yasmeen who was attacked by her husband last week in Karachi because she demanded khula; Sultana, whose husband burnt her with acid while she was asleep one night last month as he suspected her of having an affair; or two sisters, aged 13 and 11, in Dalbandin, Balochistan in April followed by another attack on three sisters, aged 20, 14 and 8, a couple of weeks later in Kalat for stepping out of the house unescorted by a male member of the family.

The list of women who have been disfigured, blinded and maimed by acid crimes is long. According to statistics collected by Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), an NGO advocating laws on acid crimes, about 400 women fall victim to acid attacks every year but due to underreporting, only 1500 cases have been documented over the past 10 years. Such attacks are usually triggered when the perpetrator’s ghairat (honour) is presumably threatened, or refusing a marriage proposal, failing to give birth to a son — or even something as frivolous as cooking badly.

More exact statistics collected by ASF reveals family disputes lead to some 48 percent of attacks, 25 percent for refusal to accept a proposal, 12 percent for collateral damages and the rest for various other reasons such as land and money disputes, robbery and professional jealousies.

These findings account for a fraction of the overall incidents of violence against women. The fact is, acid attacks are most heinous. The victims’ life becomes worse than death. They are mutilated, maimed – and socially isolated. In most cases people carry out such attacks because they know they will go scot-free. They are either not arrested or their trials linger on, thus encouraging others to use acid as a weapon too.

“If passed,” opines Valerie Khan, Executive Director ASF, “this bill will definitely be an essential element in preventing acid attacks — by not only limiting access to acid but also by instilling fear among the perpetrators; as the security of impunity will not be there anymore.”

On a more pessimistic note, she adds, “The bill will face the challenge of implementation which is why we are introducing the implementation mechanism in the bill, and why we are also proposing to some donors to help in the monitoring of the implementation.”

But she is certain the bill must not stay in the books — “We are going to fight for it to become a reality at the grassroots level. This is our commitment.”

The fight for survivors’ rights and the prevention of future attacks must continue — not only on the legal but also the social front. The greatest challenge undoubtedly is to build public opinion against such crimes — and shift the focus from the victims’ character and behaviour as a cause of violence to an attempted murder.

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Event Report: Sister Bilquees, In-Charge Of ASF NCRU Participates In FPAP Training On Gender Based Violence,

July 10th, 2010






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.
As the organization has celebrated over fifty years of momentous achievements and encouraging history, its name did not reflect the scope of its work. So FPAP renamed itself to ‘Rahnuma’, which means a guide for development and prosperity. The change in name and logo was an outcome of a management review, in which a comprehensive analysis of management and human resource was done to enhance the organizational capacity for meeting its development agenda and serving the communities in a better way. Currently, Rahnuma is working on its strategic framework of 5 A’s that include: Adolescents and catering to their needs; combating HIV/AIDS; minimizing the risk of unsafe Abortions; increasing Access to services, particularly for the poor and the marginalized; and Advocacy for the Rights.

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.

Rahnuma – FPAP is committed to :-

  • Promoting Family Planning and Sexual & Reproductive Health as a basic human right.
  • Providing sustainable and quality sexual & reproductive health and family planning services to men, women and youth in partnership with government, NGOs and civil society.
  • Improving the quality of life of the poor and marginalized.


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.


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.



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.

ACCPB Legal Consultation Report.

July 10th, 2010

studious lawyers



JUNE 24 2010





Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) is a Pakistani, non-profit organization working since 2006 to eradicate acid violence from Pakistan, and to promote the human rights of acid burn and other burn survivors, through a peaceful democratic process. It was officially registered in August 2007 under Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies(Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961.

1.1. Goal and directives of the organization

Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Pakistan has aimed for a four-component approach;

  • To stop acid violence and prevent the proliferation of attacks
  • To ensure survivors have the best available medical treatment in the long run as well
  • To ensure survivors get justice, enjoy their human rights in accordance with Pakistani constitution and provide legal support to survivors.
  • To assist the survivors in their rehabilitation process and provide rehabilitation services, including counseling and welfare support, skills training and income generating activities so that they survivors end up as proactive, empowered and autonomous citizens.

1.2. ASF standing

  • At the regional and global levels, ASF receives the benefit of support and advice from the UK-based organization, Acid Survivors Trust International ASTI (
  • ASF-Pak is also an active member of EVAW (Eradication of Violence against Women) Alliance in Pakistan.
  • ASF Pakistan has successfully completed a project with UNDP, UNOPS & DFID, Gender Justice and Protection (GJP) project.
  • ASF Pakistan is coordinating and being supported by UNIFEM, UNDP, INGAD & Civil Society Organizations for holding consultations over the Acid Control & Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 so that it can successfully become an Act of Parliament at a national and provincial level.

1.3. Achievements of ASF

  • Establishment of a Nursing Care & Rehabilitation Unit (NCRU), the only Nursing Care Rehabilitation Unit for burn victims in Pakistan.
  • Establishment of a Victim Notification Unit.
  • The current statistics depict that acid violence prevails in majority areas among the citizens of Pakistan mostly in domestic settings and against women & girls (59% as per the ASF Notification Unit).
  • 304 burn victims identified.
  • 86 patients treated.
  • 256 admissions (including 174 surgical interventions).
  • Psychological counseling of all the patients.
  • Provision of legal referrals, aid and support (42 Cases till date as per the ASF Legal Support Report 2009)
  • Provision of socio-economic support & rehabilitation.
  • First acid attack case taken to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (2009) based on a suo moto action taken by the Chief Justice, making it the first Pakistani Court Decision ever (November 20, 2009) publicly and officially, requesting the Government of Pakistan to formulate the relevant legal framework to deal with the issue of acid violence in Pakistan.
  • A national consultation process over the Acid Control & Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 (as tabled in National Assembly on January 26, 2010) with the support of UNIFEM, UNDP, INGAD and civil society organizations.


Acid violence is a global phenomenon highly present in South Asia. Acid violence is a particularly atrocious form of violence, usually occurring, with regard to Pakistan, in domestic settings and most often directed against women. Acid is cheap and freely available in cotton-growing districts of Pakistan, particularly in the Seraiki belt of southern Punjab and Northern Sindh. It is used as a tool of violence, usually directed at the face of the victim.

Acid can be thrown for a variety of reasons such as family feuds, land dispute, refusal of marriage, suspected infidelity or rejection of a sexual advance. The effects of acid violence include serious physical harm such as loss of eyes and limbs, corrosion of organs, and subsequent infections as well as social ostracism. Throwing acid on someone, therefore, not only means destroying their face but also their life. Despite the horrific nature of this crime, to date there are very few services available for victims. According to ASF Notification Unit (2009), 304 burn cases have been notified till date out of which 290 are acid attack cases.

Recently, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Mr. Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took a suo moto action in an acid attack case and ordered the Government to pass legislation related to acid violence and acid trade as done by Bangladesh in 2002. He also ordered the Government to provide free medical care and rehabilitation facilities of acid burn survivors in Pakistan, in addition to acknowledging the work of ASF Pakistan.

ASF with the support of UNIFEM & Ministry of Women Development is in the process of holding a series of consultations on the proposed Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill with legal experts and activists. This will be done in close coordination with EVAW Alliance and GRAP.  It will be an important tool to safeguard the rights of acid burn survivors against this atrocious and heinous crime and will go a long way for an Acid Violence Free Pakistan!


Identify strengths and improving areas in the proposed legislation with the help of lawyers and legislative experts to establish an efficient legal framework which would regulate and monitor acid trade, punish perpetrators, 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.



Ms. Valerie Khan, Chairperson, Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Pakistan, gave a welcome speech to all the participants explaining the agenda of the consultation meeting & the role of participants in this meeting. Participants were also asked to introduce themselves.

She explained that the Acid Control & Acid Crime Prevention Bill was previously passed as a ‘Private Member Bill’ by Women Parliamentarians, Ms. Marvi Memon, Ms. Anushay Rehman and Begum Shenaz Wazir Ali, but due to the shortcomings in this Bill it could not be taken up to the Senate. By virtue of this consultation, we would not only critically assess the loopholes in this Bill but would also discuss the recommendations for the new draft of the Bill, which would then be presented in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) as a ‘Government Bill’.


Ms. Sana Masood, Head of Projects & Legal Coordinator, Acid Survivors Foundation, explained the Acid Burn Phenomenon in Pakistan, which is prevalent in the Seraiki/Cotton Belt. Acid in these areas is largely used for agricultural uses, but has other uses as well, such as industrial, commercial and domestic uses. Due to weak licensing and monitoring mechanisms acid is freely and widely available to the general public which is why in most cases acid is used as a tool of violence, especially in cases of domestic disputes (48% as per ASF Statistics 2009). Other reasons are refusal of marriage proposal, indecent or sexual advance (25%), in which the face of the victim is usually targeted with acid. This may cause permanent disfigurement, loss of limbs, loss of eyesight and even death. Majority of the victims are women but men and children have also been a target of this heinous form of violence. Men usually get attacked due to money disputes or professional animosities. Children, are often the collateral damage of  acid attacks on their parents or siblings, or if they are present in the same vicinity at the time of the acid attack.

She also explained that acid violence is a global phenomenon and is also occurring in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Uganda, Columbia, UK, etc. However, these countries including Pakistan have realized the need for specific legislation dealing with acid violence & acid trade, and are working towards it.


Barrister Naveed Khan, Legal Consultant working with ASF and UNIFEM to draft the new Bill, gave a speech regarding the current legislation in Pakistan and the flaws in the Bill presented in the National Assembly on January 26 2010. He also referred to the Chief Justice’s Decision and expressed the need to incorporate the clause related to free medical care and rehabilitation for acid burn survivors in the new Bill, and the need to establish a licensing mechanism to monitor and regulate acid trade.

He directed the lawyers to first critically analyze & assess this Bill in groups of three and four, and then noted down all criticisms group-wise.

After the tea break, the second part of the consultation substantially focused on the recommendations for the new Bill. A set of questions were distributed to all the participants in order to discuss the mechanisms and solutions for different issues pertaining to acid violence in Pakistan. All recommendations for the new draft discussed at the consultation were duly recorded in writing by the ASF team and the Legal Consultant.

At the end of meeting, the ASF team thanked the participants for their contributions and welcomed detailed feedbacks over email. Ms. Valerie Khan also made an announcement of the Second Consultation on the Bill with CBOs, NGOs, Human Rights Activists, Stakeholders and Lawyers which is due end of July 2010.

An Article From Zofeen Ibrahim, In Australia.To News

June 4th, 2010

PAKISTAN: Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks

Monday, 31 May 2010 12:36

Written by Zofeen Ebrahim

E-mail Print PDF

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
Punjab province.

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,”
she said.

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,
said Khan.

”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.

When A Woman Speaks…

June 4th, 2010

A woman activist delivering her speech in Multan at GJP final consultation.

A press articles showing all the women activists who had attended the consultation to say no to acid violence and urge the Pakistani government to pass a relevant law to regulate and monitor acid sale and punish the perpetrators and facilitate victims' rehabilitation.

Acid Violence And Hope In Pictures : Mohammad Hussein, Associated Press.

January 29th, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010



Picture This

Marked for Life


These are the folded hands of 25-year-old Nusrat Aflal, as he sits in front of a television. He is the victim of an acid attack, which left behind the brutal scars. He is a member of the Acid Survivors Foundation in Islamabad, Pakistan, a group which offers medical, psychological and legal help to acid attack victims. The perpetrators often come from the victims’ own families, making the attacks even more difficult for the victims to overcome. It is not uncommon for acid attack victims to commit suicide.

Check out the Picture This archive here.

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