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International Women’s Day on 8th By Muhammad Saleem

The ‘International Women’s Day’ will be observed by different member states of the United Nations, including Pakistan, on March 8 with a, pledge that efforts for giving due status to women in the society would continue.

The day is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the progress made to advance women’s equality, to assess the challenges facing. Women in contemporary society and to consider future steps to enhance the status of women and, of course, to celebrate the gains made in these areas.

Women on all continents often divided by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, and come together to celebrate the day.

Rallies, marches, fairs, receptions, shows, films and debates are held around the world to celebrate the achievements for women’s equality.

GENDER VIOLENCE: Today the elimination of gender violence is not seen only as a women’ s issue for women to battle on their own but as the society’s responsibility, with men and women from the government, NG0s and the corporate sector all coming together to find concrete ways of ending the violence in our communities.

Amnesty International brings the energy and determination of its 1.8 million members and supporters from all over the world to join women and men already leading brave and inspiring campaigns against gender violence.

In its global ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ campaign to be launched on the 8th of March 2004, Amnesty International will bring the power and persuasion of a human rights framework to this campaign.

To mark the day, various NG0s and organizations across the country would organize different functions in a bid to create spirit for protecting women’s rights.

According to experts, violence affects the lives of millions of women and children world wide, in all socio-economic and educational circles. Violence against women constitutes a violation of basic human rights and is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Some females fall prey to violence before they are born, when expectant parents abort their unborn daughters, hoping for sons instead. In other societies, girls are subjected to such traditional practices as circumcision, which leave them maimed and traumatized.

EARLY MARRIAGE: In others, they are compelled to marry at an early age, before they are physically, mentally or emotionally mature, they said. Early marriage followed by multiple pregnancies can affect the health of women for life. Sexual harassment not only degrades the woman, but also reinforces and reflects the idea of non-professionalism on the part of women workers, who are consequently regarded as less able to perform their duties than their male colleagues, they said.

According to the World Health Organization, 85 million to 115 million girls and women in the population have undergone some form of female genital mutilation and suffer from its adverse health effects.

According to experts, health problems of the Pakistani women are congruent to the global issues of gender equity, violence and psychological well-being. Partner abuse can take variety of forms, including physical violence, assault, such as slaps, kicks, hits and beatings, psychological abuse, constant belittling, intimidation, humiliation and coercion sex.

It frequently can include controlling behaviour such as isolating women from family, friends and monitors her movements and restrict her access to resources.

Women, who experience physical violence or sexual assault, use health care facilities more than other women do. Over a lifetime, they seek more services of physician and psychiatrist and visit hospitals and emergency centres, regularly, they said.

Source: Business Recorder