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Acid Survivors Foundation always continues with its project Burning Voice as part of its Communication for Change Campaign: our doctors, patrons and partners regularly interact with partners.
It is important as we need 1) better implementation of criminal law amendment act 2011 and the passage of Acid and Burn Crime bill, stay tuned!
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.
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.