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Need stressed for national level data on violence against women

ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women jointly held an initial brainstorming session on Violence against Women (VAW) indicators.

The meeting was chaired by Chairperson NCSW Khawar Mumtaz, while participants from various organisations such as ILO, UNFPA, Aurat Foundation-GEP, DFID, ASF, Rozan and Gender Crime Cell (GCC) were present in the meeting.

The session aimed to invite suggestions from key stakeholders to develop standardised indicators that could be used for future surveys and research. Discussed in the session were the problems of collection of information on sensitive issues such as trafficking due to numerous definitions and social issues; under-reporting of violence against women crimes that gives an unclear and suppressed picture of real trends; and absence of analysis of data that is available e.g. in the GCC. The meeting underscored the need for national level data on VAW in order to successfully address various dimensions of VAW and develop appropriate policies and interventions.

The points of reference for the discussion were the nationally owned indicators such as SAARC Gender Information Base (SGIB), international conventions e.g. CEDAW concluding observations and UN’s statistics division indicators. The backdrop was the volume of large and small studies on VAW.

The meeting noted that ongoing development of PBS’s five year plan, gives a good opportunity to push for gender mainstreaming of data. The NCSW in collaboration with UN Women and other national/civil society and international development organisations has taken responsibility to take the lead in designing national level indicators and the meeting was a first step towards this process.

The Nation

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