LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly building was decorated with orange lights to mark 16 days of an activism campaign against gender-based violence and reaffirm the commitment of the Provincial Women Development Department (WDD) to end discriminatory attitude against women.
Speaking on the occasion, Minster for Women Development Department Punjab, Hameeda Waheed-ud-Din said the Punjab government is committed to put an end to violence and discriminatory attitude towards women.
She said that as a part of international campaign against gender-based violence, WDD has launched “Her talk 2017” campaign about rights of women and their importance in the process of national development and prosperity.
The colourful inaugural ceremony was addressed by Provincial Secretary WDD Bushra Aman, country representative of UN Women Jamshed Kazi and MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik.
Shaista Pervaiz Malik called an 8-year old boy Eeasa Bilal Diwan on stage as a good will gesture where boy promised he will respect girls and women throughout life.
USAID: Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, Consul General of USAID, has said there is no doubt that we all live under the threat of violence, including men who are also victims but the sad fact is that women are most often the victims.
She emphasised that through education, girls have the opportunity to 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 was addressing the launching ceremony of 16-day activism campaign “Let’s go together! “No more violence”.
Punjab Assembly Standing Committee for Gender Mainstreaming Chairperson Raheela Khadim Hussain said violence roots are everywhere. This is time to educate youths to end violence. The Punjab government has shown a strong political will to prevent and fight gender-based violence through implementing Women Empowerment Packages 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. She urged that we should join hands to make Pakistan a safe place for all.
Mumtaz Mughal, Resident Director, Aurat Foundation said 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. Despite making a lot of effort unfortunately we are still facing a number of challenges regarding women empowerment.
Wazir Khan, young women rights activist from Gender Studies Department of Punjab University said education is a human right and without it we can’t achieve equality, development and peace.
Campaign: Punjab Commission on the Status of Women has launched a 16-day activism campaign to end violence against women all over the Punjab.
Each year, from November 25th to December 10th, the United Nations, international agencies, governments across the globe, non-government organisations and community-based organisations working for the promotion of women’s rights, partake in an international campaign to end violence against women.
The campaign begins on 25th November, International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10th December, International Human Rights Day.
In this connection, addressing a press conference held here PCSW Chairperson Fauzia Viqar stated that as a society and as a nation we must fight to end discrimination against women and ensure that women are protected adequately. She said the stability and growth of any society is directly linked to the status of women. Therefore, any act of violence against women must be taken as an attempt to sabotage the social order.
Commissioner Lahore Division Abdullah Khan Sumbal said the government is taking measures to end violence against women who have a big share of the whole population. It is needed to adopt progressive approach for human development.
Women’s role: Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu, in his message on the eve of anti-violence day against women, has said the Punjab government is committed to empowering women as they have an indispensable role in socio-economic development of the country.