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February 15, 2020

‘Understanding dynamics of violence against women key to end it’


February 15, 2020

Islamabad : Understanding of law enforcement agencies about the dynamics of violence against women (VAW) is the key to end such violence from the society.

These views were expressed by the officials of police department participating in a two-day capacity building workshop with police personnel on ending violence against women (EVAW) organised by Individualland Pakistan with support from UN Women.

The initiative is part of UN Women’s project on “Ending Violence against Women (EVAW) through Access to Justice, Services and Safe Public Spaces in Pakistan” supported by the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

One of the significant components of this project is capacity building of police personnel from five districts in three provinces of Pakistan, Khairpur, Dadu, Karachi, Quetta and Rawalpindi on understanding issues related to gender-based violence and handling survivors of violence.

The training workshop, moderated by Mushoud Ali and Sundas Syeda on behalf of Individualland Pakistan, began with a discussion on dissecting power dynamics in which the term power was deconstructed and types of power were also discussed. The constitutional and legal framework of Pakistan was also shared with the participants. The social, economic and psychological impacts of violence were discussed as well as types of violence which include structural violence, cultural violence, physical violence, and economical violence came under discussion.

A key element covered was how the police can support survivors of violence as first responders, and play a critical role in ensuring access to justice. It was agreed that many mistakes that happen in the judicial process occur due to the negligence, lack of support or weak understanding and categorization of the forms of violence which impede the correct enforcement of legal articles.

The first component of this initiative was the development of a Police Training Manual through needs assessment, literature review as well as a consultative process engaging duty-bearers and stakeholders from the three provinces. In the second phase, trainings were commenced in Khairpur in October 2019 and are continuing in the five project districts till February 2020 with the objective to train 700 police officers. A total of five batches are being trained in each district engaging senior, mid-level and junior police officers.

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