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ISLAMABAD: The need for a clear policy and legislation

ISLAMABAD: The need for a clear policy and legislation to address women issues was stressed in a meeting of the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Alliance on Monday.

EVAW is a group of NGOs working for women’s empowerment. United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) sponsored the meeting. The participants called for coordination between different civil institutions to identify and control violence against women. “The role of police could not denied as they are connected with domestic violence on daily basis,” said a speaker, adding that the police should be made gender-sensitive and more efficient. In addition to the police, academic institutions also have an important role to play and students of gender studies should research the source of domestic violence, speakers said. “Many universities now have departments for gender studies where students can be assigned various topics for research on violence against women,” a speaker said. Later, EVAW members were divided into three groups to prioritise short-term goals to reduce violence against women this year.

Sameena Nazir, of PODA, said a national complaint mechanism should be put in place where women could lodge their complaints without any fear. “This 24-hour complaint registering service will help identify violence cases,” she said.

Dr Fauzia Saeed, of AASHA, said legislation should be formed to stop domestic violence and the procedure for registration of rape cases should be reviewed.

She said a system to guide donors should be set up by highlighting allocations for women issues in the budget.

Dr Naghat Saeed, an NGO activist, called for deeper research on causes of violence against women. The group will now meet in March and arrange programmes on International Women Day on February 12.

The EVAW alliance was launched on November 29, last year, in collaboration with the UNIFEM, the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD), National Commission on the Status of Women, UNAIDS and several other NGOs.
Source: Daily Times