Pakistan ~~ November 25, 2008 Tuesday Ziqa'ad 26, 1429
Govt asked to implement women-friendly laws
By A Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: Speakers at a ceremony here on Monday called upon the government to ensure implementation of women-friendly laws in the country and make amendments to the existing laws where necessary.
They were speaking at the launching ceremony of ‘We can campaign’, programme aimed to change the attitudes and beliefs of a critical mass of ordinary people through simple and small actions to end violence against women.
The nationwide campaign under the slogan `We can end violence against women’ was initiated in 2005 by Oxfam which is working for ending poverty and improving lives of individuals particularly women in more than 80 countries.
The speakers called upon the government to approve and implement the Domestic Violence Bill to redress the grievances of women in distress.
The campaign encompasses 1,000 events and aims at raising awareness among the masses for breaking silence about violence against women.
From November 25, 2008 to March 31, 2009, the scheduled 1,000 events per district in two dozens districts will consist of seminars, rallies, funfairs, interactive dialogues and meetings with community members, theatrical performances, debates in educational institutions and many other activities aimed at promoting a ‘violence free’ society.
The events will take place in districts where the incidence of gender-based violence is high. According to the Asian Development Bank, 85 per cent of women in the country have experienced violence at some time in their lives.
Iftikhar Khalid, country director of Oxfam, said, “Although our message touches everyone but its focus is the rural or semi-urban population which needs to be mobilised to undo those taboos and customs which promote anti-women attitudes in society.”
He said our nominated change makers will arrange 24,000 events which would influence 500,000 people directly or indirectly.
The objective of this campaign is to promote awareness on the issue of violence against women.
Sharing the change maker theory, he said, “An individual becomes a change maker when he pledges to refrain from violence in his own life and to convert other people to become change makers as well.”
Currently, there are 144,000 volunteer change makers engaged with the campaign in 1,036 union councils, 90 tehsils of 29 districts. The target is to reach 700,000 change makers by the year 2011, he added.
These change makers represent all strata of society including students, teachers, lawyers, farmers, housewives, ulema, policemen, mediapersons, traders and policy makers.
The campaign is steered by 400 national allies, while Oxfam supports their initiatives and participates as an alliance member. This campaign is a regional level initiative and the 1,000 events are being launched simultaneously in six South Asian countries. Across the region, the campaign has engaged over 1.2 million change markers through 18,000 alliance members.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Exposing violence against women through biting depictions
By Mahtab Bashir
ISLAMABAD: Nomad Gallery on Tuesday organised a painting exhibition at the launch of a 26 days long campaign against gender violence.
Women activist and poetess Kishwar Naheed inaugurated the exhibition, titled 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has collaborated with Nomad Gallery for the holding of the exhibition where works of Khuda Bux Abro and Dr Altamash Kamal was displayed.
Posters and calendars related to violence against women were also put on display there.
Kishwar Naheed condemned violence against women and called for better public awareness of women rights.
She read out her poem highlighting the misery of women recently buried alive in Balochistan.
UNIFEM-Pakistan Country Director Alice Shaklford said the UN recognised the services of women living and working in rural and suburban areas of Pakistan and would work for their rights.
Nomad Gallery Director Nageen Hayat said Abro’s colours were reminiscent of a flame.
“His blue shades are cold yet meant to provoke a spark. His orange hues are not bright, but shocking just like a flame,” she said. She said Abro’s paintings had all the drama, mystery and intense content that could make one sit up for a watchful gaze.
A look at Kamal’s portrait photographic works shows that the artist has portrayed social issues facing womenfolk and social attitudes towards them in society effectively with a passion. Kamal chose to photograph people in their own private spaces.
Hence, the location or ambience in which his subjects were shot captured the essence of their lives, even though the concentration was solely on the face.
Khuda Bux Abro’s works depicted a complete humane aspect of a woman in such a manner that woman comes across as the nurturing spirit that she is, and not just as a victim of circumstances.
The women painted by the artists are breathing, full-fledged, complete, human beings and not merely props in his grand designs. Abro’s works were about woman – not the woman who inspires a brush with beauty, but the woman who has yet to revolt against societal injustices.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
‘Punjab has highest rate of violence against women’
LAHORE: Punjab has the highest rate of violence against women and the province is still without a women development minister, it was said in a conference on Monday.
The White Ribbon Campaign organised the conference in connection with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is on November 25 (today).
The speakers said Pakistan was one of the six countries with the highest rate of violence against women.
“Men should be educated that their masculinity can be used in a healthy and positive way instead of in violence and sexual assaults,” White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan Director Omer Aftab said.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Punjab: Violence against women on the rise
* As many as 1,592 cases reported in third quarter of year as compared to 546 cases in first quarter and 828 cases in second quarter
LAHORE: Violence against women has risen in the Punjab during the third quarter of the year (from July to September) and almost twice the number of cases of violence have been reported during the third quarter as compared to the second quarter.
As many as 1,592 cases were reported throughout the province during the third quarter of the year. In the first quarter, 546 cases had been reported while 828 cases were reported during the second quarter. These figures were disclosed by The Aurat Foundation at the Lahore Press Club, a non-governmental organisation working for the rights of women. The Aurat Foundation attempted to gather details of the cases of violence, however, they were denied access to the data as it was confidential.
Statistics: During the third quarter, 508 cases of abduction; 242 cases of murder; 127 cases of rape; 137 cases of suicide; 120 cases of physical injuries; 100 cases of gang rape; 95 cases of torture; 35 cases of attempted suicides; 31 cases of sexual assaults; 21 cases of honor killing; 13 cases of burning; eight cases of attempted murder and 155 other cases of violence were reported. In 439 of the 490 cases of abduction that had registered a first information report (FIR), there was no information available about the abductor. An outright majority of the murder cases had been committed by husbands. In 67 cases of murder, there was no information about the murderer.
The representatives of the Aurat Foundation said that the only way to curb rising violence against women was to strengthen the role of the civil society in all spheres of life. They laid emphasis on the need to lobby female parliamentarians and women councilors to raise their voices in their respective houses. Pakistan ~~ November 26, 2008 Wednesday Ziqa'ad 27, 1429
Elimination of violence against women stressedMULTAN, Nov 25: White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan and Ali Organisation for Development staged separate demonstrations outside the local press club to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women here on Tuesday.
Carrying banners and placards, participants chanted slogans to end all kinds of violence against women.
Addressing the participants, Ayaz Ali Sheikh, of the Ali Organisation for Development, said that people’s right to live free of violence and discrimination was being violated all over the world and the women were the prime victim of such violence which destroyed families and communities besides retarding social and economic progress.
He said that despite constituting over 50 per cent of the population, women in Pakistan were considered second grade citizens and incidents of rape, murder, domestic violence, and acid-throwing were common in society. He said that it was matter of great concern that Pakistan was one of the six countries with the highest rate of violence against women.
He said that men should be educated that their masculinity could be used in a healthy and positive way instead.
He said that there was a need to make world a safer place for women and the first step towards this goal was effective policing.