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October 17, 2019

Consensus evolved on multi-sectoral response mechanism to GBV


October 17, 2019

PESHAWAR: Representatives of health, justice, police and social services sectors identified areas of collaboration providing a multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls at a consensus-building meeting.

The “Essential Service Package (ESP)” was jointly launched by Social Welfare Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with support from UNFPA, UN Women, UNODC and WHO for strengthening public institutions capacity in addressing the GBV.

The package reflects on vital components of the coordinated multi-sectoral services for the GBV survivors that should be provided by the health, social service, police and Justice sectors.

The two-day meeting started with presentations on the mapping of sector-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines used in the province for responding to or preventing GBV against women and girls.

It followed discussion around the issue. Recommendations were made to build a consensus on the multi-sectoral response.

Speaking as a chief guest, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member Provincial Assembly Ayesha Bano reiterated her commitment to improving policies and legislation to help the women survivors of violence.

Social Welfare Department Secretary Muhammad Idrees Khan, committed to ensuring quality, timely and coordinated response services for the GBV survivors through multi-sectoral response mechanism.

Rukhshanda Naz, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ombudsperson for Protection of Women Against Harassment at Workplaces, highlighted the gaps in the criminal justice system. She called for ensuring budgetary and resource allocation for the implementation of laws.

Riffat Sardar, Chairperson, KP Commission on the Status of Women, assured her support for multi-sectoral prevention and response mechanism to the GBV.

Earlier, in her welcome remarks, UNFPA Focal Person Dr Farhat Sheikh said UNFPA’s Gender Equality Strategy focuses on empowering women and girls by strengthening institutional accountability and implementing an integrated approach that is rights-based, participatory, people-centred, transformative, and evidence-based.

The official said UNFPA was collaborating closely with the government for the development and implementation of a coordination mechanism on the GBV Prevention and Response in humanitarian and development settings.

She said it has been providing technical assistance and support to the government institutions to build their capacity, strengthen systems, and improve the implementation of policies and programs.

As an outcome of the meeting, action points were identified for inter-departmental coordination for a referral to ensure greater access to a set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls, who have experienced GBV.

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