“Orange the World: End violence against women now!”
PESHAWAR: Speakers at an event on Thursday stressed the need for concerted and collective efforts to prevent and address the issues of gender-based violence.
Every year individuals, institutions and organizations across the world plan activities to highlight that violence against women is a breach of human rights, calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
This international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” runs from 25 November through 10 December. This year’s theme is “Orange the world: End 4 Violence against women now!”.
To mark the 16 Days of Activism, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with UN Women and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) organized an event. Head of UNHCR’s Sub-Office in Peshawar, Mr. Gayrat Ahmadshoev,
Minister for Labour and Culture Shaukat Yousafzai, chairperson and members of Women Parliamentary Caucus, Social Welfare, Special Education & Women Empowerment Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Ombudsperson Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ms. Rakshanda Naz, members of the civil society and other UN and government officials attended the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the provincial minister said that Pakistan has taken measures to prevent gender-based violence. “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province that has done a lot when it comes to making legislations and reforms to address this issue,” he said.
Provincial Secretary Social Welfare Department, Zulfiqar Ali Shah said that Social Welfare is concerned with the wellbeing and uplift of the community at large and the vulnerable groups. “our focus of programmes will be for the neglected, disadvantaged and exploited section of our society including women and children.
Gayrat Ahmadshoev said that UNHCR there is a dire need to mobilize communities around the world to end all forms of violence on the basis of gender. He said that out of the 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, some 46 per cent are females adding UNHCR Pakistan is striving to support Afghan refugee females from economic dependence to self-reliance. “Self-reliance gives women opportunity to contribute to family income and confidence to tackle gender-based violence,” he said.
Through Livelihoods interventions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Ahmadshoev said that UNHCR in collaboration with different partners and government institutes enhanced the skills of thousands of women and helped in established small businesses by provision of in-kind support.
UNFPA Representative Mahjabeen Qazi, quoting UNFPA Executive Director said that they will continue to mobilize decision-makers, communities and individuals and galvanize advocacy to respond to gender-based violence in all instances. “We must unite to disrupt this devastating, destructive trend and ensure that everyone can exercise their absolute right to feel safe and thrive wherever they find themselves,” she said.
UN Women representative in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ms. Zainab Qaiser said, women rights advocates have played a major role for reforms in pro women legislations, creating robust mechanisms for women and girls focused service delivery and formulation of policies targeting ending GBV. “We will continue our support and efforts in order to achieve of CEDAW milestones.
As part of the UN comprehensive approach, there are several initiatives that the UN system is implementing in support of national priorities to end gender-based violence.