-Steadfastness of survivors termed as inspiration for drive against gender-based violence
ISLAMABAD: Rich tributes were paid to the brave survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) for standing up against all odds, with the reiteration of the commitment to make Pakistan a country free from GBV during an event held on the occasion of International Human Rights Day at the Family Protection and Rehabilitation Centre for Women as a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Human Rights and United Nations (UN) Women.
Addressing the ceremony, UN Women in Pakistan Country Representative Jamshed Kazi expressed concern that in spite of great strides towards improving the situation of women in the country, GBV continues to be prevalent in all geographic regions of Pakistan.
“It is present in both rural and urban areas, and across all ages, ethnicities, socio-economic classes, and faith groups. The bravery and steadfastness shown by survivors of violence is a source of inspiration for UN Women in our efforts to end violence against women,” he added.
The UN Women Country Representative appreciated the work done by the Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) at the level of policy and legislation to improve the framework for promoting gender equality in Pakistan. He pledged that UN Women would to continue to collaborate with key partners like the MoHR until we see a Pakistan where men and women are equal and gender-based violence is no more.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Shireen M. Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights, expressed the government’s commitment to help GBV victims break the vicious cycle of fear and abuse, and lead an honorable life with dignity and empowerment.
She emphasized that the government can play a critical role in promulgating legislations on women’s rights and ensuring their implementation. However, to end GBV in all its forms, success will not be possible without changing the mindsets of the people, families and society overall. She also highlighted the government’s initiatives to support women who experience violence, equip them with skills to lead an independent and dignified life, and enhance awareness on the issue among the public. The Federal Minister announced that the Ministry would establish a computer lab at the Centre to equip survivors with contemporary skills for achieving financial independence.
Saira Furqan, Manager of the Family Protection and Rehabilitation Centre for Women highlighted the efforts made by the Centre to provide free shelter, medical and legal assistance along with training and counseling services to the victims of violence. Survivors of GBV who had received services from the Centre gave testimonies and a tableau was also presented on women’s rights.