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December 15, 2020

Seminar: Gender analysis inclusion sought in arms control policies

Peshawar

December 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminary here on Monday called for including gender analysis in arms control policies, laws and programming in the context of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They were addressing a provincial level seminar on “Gender Mainstreaming in Small Arms Control”.

A non-governmental organization, Blue Veins, had arranged the event to mark the International Human Rights Day. The day is observed on December 10 under different themes. The civil society organisations (CSOs), national human rights institutions, academia, women rights groups, transgender persons and government officials attended the function.

The speakers called upon provincial and federal governments to integrate gender perspective into the small arms issue—understanding the different ways that men, women, boys, girls and non-binary gender persons engage in, are affected by and respond to gun violence.

Ms Sana Ahmad, Coordinator for Child Rights Movement and a programme officer at the Blue Veins, said: “The gender perspective plays an important role in shaping and understanding various aspects of gun control policies as far was our country is concerned.”

She said men are also victims of gun violence, but women and non–binary gender persons are several times greater victims. The speaker said bearing in mind their meagre share in firearm owners and perpetrators of firearm-related incidents, women and transgender persons experience a disproportionately higher frequency of victimization than men.”

Fida Jan, Co-chair, Elimination of Violence Against Women, KP government, said: “A primary obstacle to explaining the relationship between gender and guns, as well as other variables such as race and age, is the absence of a disaggregated data”.

He said it was due to lack of the political will, scarce resources, and the sheer difficulty of keeping track of firearms-related injuries in places with poor infrastructure and record-keeping capacities.

A transgender activist, Namkeen, said: “Women, men and transgender persons often have different attitudes towards the issue related to gun violence. She said women and transgender persons are more likely to see the presence of firearms as a threat to themselves and their families’ security.

The activist said an increased collaboration among legislators, policy-makers and CSOs is required to address the gun violence and illicit small arms trafficking from the gender perspective.