LAHORE: USAID Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau said that there’s no doubt that we all live under the threat of violence, including the men and boys. But the sad fact is that it is girls and women who are most often the victims.
USAID Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau said that there’s no doubt that we all live under the threat of violence, including the men and boys who are also victims. But the sad fact is that it is girls and women who are most often the victims.
She emphasized that through education, girls have the opportunity make an economic contribution and add to the community’s prosperity. She said that USAID is committed to working with the government, civil society, and community leaders who are bravely working together to end gender-based violence in Pakistan. She stressed that all of us need to come together to end GBV in education.
She was addressing on the launching ceremony of 16 Days of Activism Campaign “LET’S GO TOGETHER! “NO MORE VIOLENCE” along with Pakistan Gender Collation. The launch was attended by community women, women rights activists, elected representatives, government officials, academics, the media, lawyers and representatives of development partners working on women rights.
Punjab Assembly Standing Committee for Gender Mainstreaming Chairperson, Raheela Khadim Hussain said: “The roots of gender-based violence are everywhere. It is time to educate the youth about it. Women and girls are our future, the Punjab government has shown a strong political will to prevent and fight gender-based violence through implementing women empowerment packages in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. She urged that we should join hands to make Pakistan a safe space for all.
Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mumtaz Mughal said that the situation has marked Pakistan as ‘off-track’ on the global obligations. Our country is ranked 143 out of 144 countries according to The Global Gender Gap Report 2017.
She said that unfortunately, we as a country are still facing a number of challenges in regards to women empowerment i.e. patriarchal behaviors and attitudes towards women empowerment, gender disparity in education, high mortality rate, death resulting from GBV, poverty, drop out of girls from school, unemployment among youth, protection of rural and agrarian women rights, extremism, terrorism etc.
The situation of violence against women is highly alarming in all over Pakistan and especially in Punjab. According to the data gathered by Aurat Foundation in 2017, 5979 cases have been reported in Punjab. 178 women are killed in the name of honour, 1086 women and girls are raped/gang raped, and 1626 women and girls are kidnapped.
Customary practices in the name of culture and tradition are still in practice. Young girls are unable to go to school due to the non-availability of safety and security, toilets and boundary walls.
16 Days of Activism against GBV is a time to reflect and reaffirm that when women lead, democracies thrive and when girls are educated the next generation’s flourish. And when violence against women ends, peace prevails.
Member Pakistan Gender Collation Advocate Sehrish said that violence against women and girls is one of the most common and tolerated violations of human rights in existence today. Critical organs of the state, such as the police and judiciary must be sensitized. Profound legal and legislative changes are needed to ensure and protect women’s rights.