Posts Tagged ‘society’

Safety At Home, Work And Public Space.

December 7th, 2012

Dear all,

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?

In a moot trial, parliamentarians asked to do more to protect women

Published: December 7, 2012

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.

Acid attack survivors requesting parliamentarians to talk to minister of Interior Mr Rehman malik to unblock the comprehesive acid and Burn Crime Bill

ASF Team Participating In EU Consultation With Civil Society On Its Human Rights Program.

October 17th, 2012

ASF Pakistan Joins Civil Society Rally To Protest Against Violence Against Children.

October 11th, 2012
Weather: Karachi | Lahore | Islamabad
Editor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

Myra Imran
Thursday, October 11, 2012
From Print Edition
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Islamabad

The civil society activists have demanded the government to declare October 9, the day when child peace activist Mala Yousafzai was attacked in Swat, as National Day for Girls Education.

A large number of civil society representatives and human rights workers gathered in front of National Press Club to condemn the assassination attempt on the 14-year-old Malala when she was on her way back home from her school. Malala Yousafzai, a social activist from Swat, stood up and spoke for children’s rights and peace in the time of militancy in the area. She was hardly 11, when she spoke to media for the right to education in Swat, which was banned by Taliban.

Even during the worst terror and peak of extremism in Swat valley, she was actively involved in action by writing a daily diary on BBC website with a pen name of Gul Makai. She is also the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for International Children’s peace prize by Kids Rights Foundation The protesters were holding placards inscribed with statements of praises for Malala’s courage and pledges to take forward her mission of educating girls. They raised slogans against Taliban. Jamaat-e-Islami workers also joined the protest. The protesters made speeches and marched towards Super Market.

The protesters urged the government to take full responsibility of the safety of its citizens and take substantive action against the perpetrators. They said that it was not only an attack on a Malala but it was an attack on the right of girl’s education.

“This is the right time that we all should stand against these forces leaving aside our political differences,” said human rights activist Nasreen Azhar, read statement of Women Action Forum (WAF).

The statement demanded all political parties, judiciary, media and civil society to collectively speak out against those who are terrorizing the country.

Talking to ‘The News’, Tahira Abdullah said that the attack has left her horrified and shocked. “It makes a mockery out of false and tall claims by the government and armed forces made in summer 2009 that they have cleared Malakand from militants. We have known this since that time, but the attack on Malala has provided us with the proof,” she added.

Farzana Bari said that the civil society has declared October 9 as National Day for Girl Education and demands the government to declare the same officially. She said that the civil society has also made a call for a nationwide march in the favour of girl education, which they plan in the middle of November.

Rehana Hashmi from Sister’s Trust Foundation said that the new trend of targeting women is completely against Islam and also the Pakhtun culture. “They have tried to create an environment of fear for girls,” she said terming it a conspiracy against the country.

Naeem Mirza from Aurat Foundation said that murder attack on Malala is a desperate act of extremist forces to frustrate youth of Pakistan particularly girls who have spoken courageously for their rights including right to education. “But they have failed as the incident has united the nation behind Malala’s vision,” he said.

Samina Nazir from Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) said that she strongly condemn the shameful act and demand strict action against the perpetrators. “This is one of the many times when the human and women’s rights activists were threatened and attacked. The government must provide protection to those raising their voices for the rights,” she added.

Valerie Khan from Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) said that the incident was the extreme violence against children and urged the government to pass pending legislation for the protection of children.

ASF Launches Ambulance of Hope in Collaboration With the French Senate: Programme.

May 17th, 2012
Program Time

Welcoming Note By the Host

—5pm——————

Prayer

——-5.05 pm————–

Call Valerie Khan Yusufzai for Profile Presentation of ASF

—–5.15 pm—————

French Ambassador and survivors

1 :     Ambassador’s Speech

2 :     Handover the key to one of the survivor

3 :     Survivors thank you Notes

—-5.30pm—————-

Dr Hamid Hassan  to give  a

PowerPoint Presentation

—5.40 pm—————

Speeches :

Dr Charles Viva

UK representative

—–5.50 pm————

M. Khan announces the Awards and distributes the certificates

——6 pm————-

Outreach Program On Acid Violence Starting With Youth And HEC…

April 16th, 2012
Myra Imran
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Islamabad: To build public opinion against acid crimes, the Oscar-winning documentary ‘Saving the Face’ by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will be released soon in Pakistan with translation in national and regional languages.

The information to this effect was shared during a panel discussion on ‘Acid attack and its effect on society.’ The discussion, attended by an audience of more than 150 university students and officials from across Pakistan, was sponsored jointly by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Aurat Foundation, and the Acid Survivors Foundation with the US support. Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, wife of US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, moderated the event.

The panel included Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Professor Hamid Hassan, a doctor who heads the burn unit at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi, Dr. Khadija Tahir, a psychotherapist that treats acid survivors, Barrister Naveed Muzaffar Khan, a lawyer who defends victims of acid attacks, and Executive Director of Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Valerie Khan and Aurat Foundation representative and activist Samina Naz. HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari also spoke on the occasion.

The panelists called for an end to acid attacks and other violence against women and urged all sections of society to come forward and demand strong legislation against the crime and its effective implementation. They said that to bring the change, the whole nation has to reject the acid crimes.

Sharing statistics, Executive Director Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Valerie Khan said that around 200 such attacks occur annually in the country with most of them reported in southern Punjab and northern Sindh. She said that 70 per cent of acid crime victims are women whereas 30 per cent are men and boys. “In 60 per cent of cases, the reason is domestic dispute,” she said.

Applauding the efforts of the Pakistani legislature to pass acid attack legislation, Dr. Marilyn Wyatt asked the attendees to work to end gender-based violence, specifically acid attacks. She said that the main objective of the event is to raise awareness among university students about the devastating effects of acid attacks and acid crimes on Pakistani society.

“Pakistan’s youth demographic represents 60 per cent of the nation’s citizenry, it is important that you sensitise yourself to this important issue so that your mothers, sisters, and daughters do not suffer from this gruesome crime,” she said.

Dr. Wyatt said that acid victims face acute physical and psychological sufferings; they lose their identity and are deprived of their relationships and friendships. “It is our responsibility to help these victims and play our role in the implementation of the legislation against the hideous crime.”

Sharmeen said that her achievement shows the power of telling story. “The stories of acid crime make headlines in the media but we actually fail to see what these victims have to go through once they survive the attack.” Giving credit to the acid crime survivors, she said that she was lucky to find the strong voices that were brave enough to break the silence. She stressed on the need for educating women about the existence of law against acid crime. “We need to take them out of the mindset that they are responsible for what happened to them,” she said.

Responding to a question asked by a university student regarding the fact that the documentary on acid victims has given Pakistan another bad headline in international media, Sharmeen said that the headline was always positive for Pakistan and was about a Muslim woman receiving the highest documentary-making award. “It has given the image of a country that has the courage to face and solve its problems,” she said. Her answer received appreciation from the young crowd, who expressed their consent with clapping.

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Men Engage: And A Miracle Happened…

March 31st, 2012

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…”

For Fakhra's vigil, a man from the crowd said : "I am with you", he is in this photo, behind Samar Minallah. And then the other men passing by joined the crowd and shouted slogans to demand justice for Fakhra, joining the civil society in the prayers...

Dr Rukhshanda among demonstrators