LAHORE: The government, media and other social institutions have ignored the issue of gender violence and women discrimination and it was hard time to focus on this problem, said speakers of a seminar on gender security, held at the Variety Book cafeteria on Saturday. The seminar was organised by the Punjab University’s Institute of Social and Culture Studies, Centre for Peace and Security Studies (CPSS).
Former MPA Humaira Awais Shahid was the keynote speaker, while director of the centre, Naveed Elahi, media analyst and academician Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori, Ch Akram Gujar, Saima Khan, Khurrram Shahzad, Muneeb Cheema, civil society activists and students were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Humaira highlighted the issue of gender security and violence against women in various continents of the world, including America and Europe. She said it was a fashion to speak against women rights abuse in the Muslim world; however, she said that during her stay in America and other countries, she notice the issue everywhere, even in the advanced parts of the world. She said that the government and the media had ignored the issue of violence against women in Pakistan. She said that in the male-dominated society, sometimes it became really hard for women to move around in markets and other places. To a comments regarding contribution of women’s economic independence to their gender security, she showed her partial agreement, while saying that in the West, despite all economic independence, the life of women is very miserable. “Women there (in the West) have become sexually independent and not economically independent.”
She said that society was somehow losing the respect for women and it was really a challenge to ensure safety of women during war and other disaster situations when women become the most vulnerable.
She said that the media, while reporting crimes against women, portrayed the glamorising picture and sensationalised the case instead of providing some remedy to the victims.
Naveed Elahi said that according to the given statistics, Pakistan was the third most sensitive country with regards to gender security and violence against women.
He said things were getting better, because the government had showed its commitment to focusing on education, especially women education.