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Rally taken out against gender-based violence

Legislation against domestic violence and violence perpetuated by state machinery must be passed to make these acts punishable crime, this was demanded by the speakers during the rally entitled ‘Protect Women against Violence’ staged by Peace and Human Development (PHD Foundation) and Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) in collaboration with Aitbar Foundation, CARE Foundation, ASDP, ARADA Network, RASTA Network and LEHR Network to observe the international day for the elimination of violence against women.

The rally was led by MNA Ms Khalida Mansoor. Speaking on this occasion, the director of the AWAM, Nazia Sardar said, “The government has set up crises centres to protect women victims of violence, but it is pity that the funds are not being released to crises centres to stay functional.” “Women face economic exploitation and violence.

The government must legally recognise the unrecognised women workers engaged in informal sectors, including home-based workers, peasant workers and domestic workers, as part of the labour force, and must ratify the ILO conventions protecting rights of home-based workers and domestic workers,” she demanded.

The co-ordinator of the AWAM, Shazia George said, “The forced sterilisation of the women with disabilities is horrible act, which cause their reproductive inability. The violence in the domestic sphere is also objectionable; therefore, government must approve legislation protecting women against domestic violence”. The executive secretary of the AWAM, Naseem Anthony said, “The greater acceptance of violence is the root cause behind all forms of violence against women patriarchal society, which promote violence and discrimination in society. Violence is a serious violation of human rights, but majority of the people do not recognise many forms of gender-based violence as crime in Pakistan, and consider it a part of our culture and fate of the women”.

The director of the PHD Foundation, Suneel Malik said, “It is sad that the elements responsible for protecting citizens are also found involved in the gender-based violence in jails and shelter homes, therefore the government must pass a legislation banning violence perpetrated or condoned by the state machinery.” The leader of the Aitbar Foundation, Nasreen Bukhari said, “The passage of pro-women legislation is not only stepped to protect women, but the main action towards safeguarding human rights of women is the strict enforcement of all such legislation.”

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