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Workshop in Gwadar on Violence Against Women

Date: December 06-08, 2006

Location: Karachi

A three-day workshop on “Violence Against Women” was organized by the PPF at Gwadar, Balochistan commencing December 6, 2006. Twenty-eight participants, including 14 women, attended the workshop.

Detailed discussions were held at the workshop on gender-based violence against women and ways to reduce the incidents. It was observed that violence on women was present all over the country and raising awareness was essential to tackle this issue.

PPF Feature Service Editor, Bilqees Jehan, said violence was inflicted on women because they were regarded as commodities in a male dominated society. She said this discrimination could only be eliminated when parents and the society stopped preferring their sons to daughters and treating both equally.

Fazal Qureshi, Chairman, PPF informed participants about the aims and objectives of the workshop. He said in societies where the literacy rate was low, women underwent mental torture. Some examples include married women being prevented from visiting their parents, demand of heavy dowries at weddings, being subjected to brutal physical torture and sexual harassment and in extreme cases their ears and noses being cut off to punish them.

Abdul Wahab, representative for “Sehar”, a non-government organisation, Gwadar, said incidents of violence on women were common in some rural areas of Sindh and Punjab provinces, but at Gawadar no such case had been reported because in their society due respect was given to womenfolk. Even minor acts as eve teasing were unthinkable.

Radio compere Samina Baloch, said in their area the males and females were treated equally. Noor Mohsin agreed with Samina Baloch and added that in Gawadar parents often lavished expenses more on their daughters than their sons.

Sakeena Baloch, Member, Gwadar Women Development (GWD), said violence on women was rare in Balochistan, where they had the freedom of choice regarding marriage. She also mentioned that in the entire region of Makran, women were treated with respect.

Taluka Nazim, Gwadar, Abdul Majid Suhrabi, speaking as chief guest on the occasion, said the media had recently gained freedom to a large extent and it had helped in raising awareness of womens’ rights.

He confirmed that there was no gender-based discrimination in Gawadar despite it being widespread throughout the country. He strongly emphasised on the importance of all citizens playing a role to end gender-based violence.

During sessions on capacity development, Fazal Qureshi delivered a lecture on the methods of press release writing with the aid of practical exercise and said well written press release had higher chances of being published, while lessening the workload of sub editors in newspapers.

The awarding of certificates was honoured by the chief guest to the participants.

The workshop was facilitated by the PPF Chairman, Fazal Qureshi and PPF Feature Editor, Bilqees Jehan. PPF District Coordinator, Noor Mohsin was the local organizer.

List of Speakers
Bilqees Jehan
Feature Editor
Fazal Qureshi
Abdul Wahab
Samina Baloch
Radio Compere
Sakeena Baloch
Gwadar Women Development-GWD
Abdul Majid Suhrabi
Taluka Nazim