KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday observed the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Studies conducted by Aurat Foundation under its Gender Equity Program (GEP) registered that vast majority of people, including women themselves view domestic violence as a serious issue.
The findings revealed that violence has long lasting effects on women and children and the children often repeat the violence they see at home.
Aurat Foundation’s GEP, supported by USAID and implemented in collaboration with Asia Foundation, strives to facilitate behavioral change, enable women to access information, resources and institutions, acquire control over their lives and improve societal attitudes towards women and their empowerment.
Combating gender based violence is one of the four major objectives of GEP, said Rubina Brohi and Shireen Khan closely associated with the project. Talking to APP they said research studies on GBV are part of GEPs efforts to pursue this objective that is directly linked with development of women in the country.
According to them findings and recommendation of these studies have not only helped to assess the enormity and patterns of different forms of GBV prevalent in Pakistani society, but have also proved to be an invaluable asset to offer seamless service to victims and survivors of violence.
They also referred to a research that has established that factors which assist internal trafficking to thrive in Pakistan include criminal intent, financial gain, poverty, illiteracy, patriarchal views and injustices imbedded in deeply held beliefs and customs in context to women.
Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, said all women and girls must live free of fear and violence.
According to a press release issued by the UN Information Centre (UNIC), violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights today, IRNA news agency reported.
Globally, as many as seven in ten women report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at one point in their lives. Violence occurs in all countries, across all socio-economic groups.
This violence is a major barrier to development and an affront to individual dignity, which prevents girls and women from exercising fully their human rights – notably, the right to education.
Missing in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls should be recognized as essential to the pursuit of gender equality in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
Education is a starting point to halt violence. This is why UNESCO is working to prevent gender-based violence in and around schools, and to ensure that the right to education for all is not violated.
Violence against women draws on deeply rooted attitudes. UNESCO is supporting research to identify these roots in order to transform them, working with women and men, girls and boys, to promote positive representations and gender-equal attitudes.
This includes efforts to foster cultural values and to eliminate harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting. In March 2013, I signed a Joint Statement on Ending Violence against Women and Girls with other Heads of United Nations agencies.
This statement confirmed UNESCO’s readiness to strengthen synergies throughout the United Nations system and redouble its efforts in creating a more just world of equal dignity for all.
Nomad Centre and Art Gallery in collaboration with UN Women have started a 16-day campaign to end violence against women and girls by working with all segments of society for a peaceful and tolerant Pakistan.
The event was inaugurated by Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson – National Commission on the Status of Women and will continue till Dec 10.
In this regard, various programmes were arranged including “Art for Social Change, Peace and Empowerment” focuses on awareness raising and communicating a strong message on “Tashaddud Namanzoor (Voilence; not acceptable)” through an inspiring exhibition of Paintings and Installations.