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USAID is committed to end gender-based violence in Pakistan : Elizabeth Trudeau

Lahore : Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, Consul General USAID 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, girls and women 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 we all of us, needs 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 VIOLENCEalong with Pakistan Gender Collation

The launch attended by community women, women rights activists, elected representatives, government officials, academe, media, lawyer and representatives of development partners working on women rights.

Chairperson, Standing Committee for Gender Mainstreaming, Punjab Assembly, Raheela Khadim Hussain said that roots of GBV are everywhere. This is time to educate youth to end GBV. Women/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 2012, 2014, 2016 & 2017. She urged that we should join hands to make Pakistan safe space for all.

Mumtaz Mughal, Resident Director Aurat Foundation said that the situation has marked Pakistan as ‘off-track’ on the global obligations and Pakistan is ranked 143 out of 144 countries according to The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. Instead of, a lot of effort has done for promoting gender equity in Pakistan; unfortunately, we are still facing a number of challenges in regards to women empowerment i.e. patriarchal behaviors & 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 and terrorism etc.  The situation of VAW is highly alarming in all over Pakistan and in Punjab.

According to the data on VAW gathered by Aurat Foundation in 2017, 5979 cases have been reported in Punjab. 178 women are killed on the name of honor killing, 1086 women and girls are rape/gang raped, 1626 women & girls are kidnapped, a number of honor crime, sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, customary practices on the name of  culture and tradition are still continue. Young girls are out of school due to 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, when girls are educated, generation’s flourish, when violence against women ends, peace prevails.

Wazir Khan, young women rights activist from Gender Studies Department of Punjab University said that education is a human right without it, we can’t achieve equality, development, and peace. He said that youth is 60% of Pakistani population, this arising force can contribute to achieve global commitments with regards to SDG target 4 and 5 to eliminating gender disparities in education and assure equal access at all levels of education by 2030.  

Sehrish Advocate, Member Pakistan Gender Collation said that Violence against women and girls is one of the most common and tolerated violations of human rights in existence today. Every women and girl face violence in her life. GBV cases should be speeded up and implementation of courts and administrative decisions should be accelerated. We must work to implement and maintain a strong network of services by and for raise awareness, which is very low, and there is an urgent women who have survived violence. Critical organs of the state, such as the development. Police and judiciary, must be sensitized. Profound legal and legislative changes are needed to ensure and protect women’s rights.

Members of Pakistan Gender Collation plugged that Together We Can End GBV in Education! Together we will end GBV in Education!

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