Tuesday October 19, 2021

Summer programme to protect women rights launched

July 13, 2017

Lahore :Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) has started its annual summer internship programme in collaboration with Social Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Lahore Students Union (LSU).

This programme will continue for two weeks and currently has eight interns from various universities and colleges within Pakistan and abroad.

The interns will be tasked with conducting four research-based studies on various subjects which are key to PCSW’s mandate of securing women’s rights and enabling their empowerment.

The first study on the criminal justice system aims to identify the causes for undue delay in criminal cases of violence committed against women, especially rape and crimes committed in the name of honour.

The research will also attempt to highlight the reasons for non-prosecution in cases of rape and "honour" crimes, and accordingly conclude with a set of recommendations which will be disseminated among all stakeholders, and used to make the criminal justice system more accessible and efficient for all survivors of violence.

The second study, Audit of Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA)’s Women Safety Smart Phone Application, will bring forth the success rate of the application, analyse the data obtained through the application, assess whether key functions within the application are being used widely, and accordingly put together a set of key recommendations which can be used by Punjab Safe Cities Authority to achieve the objectives of the application and make Punjab a safer province for all citizens.

The third area of research relates to assessing the long-term impact of crime on women victims of violence. To access physical, psychological, economic and social impact of violence, the residents and staff of Punjab Commission on the Status of Women’s Transitional Home for Women Victims of Violence, Darul Aman and Human Rights Centre for Women in Lahore will be approached and interviews will the conducted.

This research will aid development of victim advocacy toolkits, which will include a set of norms and procedures to be followed by every stakeholder involved, with a view to protecting victims' rights.

Lastly, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA) will be evaluated for impact and assessment of this vital piece of legislation promulgated last year. The researchers will be conducting a desk review based on academic literature, expert reviews, and the objectives of the Act itself.

Data on crimes committed and reported will be collected from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other official sources. It is hoped that this research will aid more effective implementation of PECA and ensure safety of victims. The summer internship programme will also include exposure visits to the institutions that house women and work for their protection and empowerment, such as Darul Aman, Darul Falah and the Human Rights Centre for Women in Lahore.