PPP government pledges to end violence against women

The present government led by Pakistan People’s Party  is  fully committed to the welfare of women and the ideology of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir, who had remarked, “women’s rights are inseparable from human rights
The empowerment of women is the PPP’s manifesto and we are quite sure that party in the  government  will accomplish it and would work to help women find their equal entity and human identity.
The whole nation already lauded the efforts of the present government in successfully passing the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill, 2010.

And the government has declared all the women of Pakistan as the beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani pledges steps to end violence against women
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has pledged to take all possible steps to seek an end to violence perpetrated against women.
In a message on the occasion of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the prime minister said,
“I urge all stakeholders, including women activists, political leaders, religious scholars and opinion leaders to come forward and play their due role in this regard.”
He said Pakistan was proud to join the world community to observe the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.
He said the day highlighted the various forms of violence and harassment that women had to face in the society to move up the social, economic and political ladder.
“The day draws our attention to the need for accelerating our efforts and joining hands for the resolution of problems facing womenfolk and seeking an end to the practice of violence against them in a creative and proactive manner,” he added.
Gilani said there was no denying that no nation could progress and realise its moral and material objectives without its women joining their men to achieve national development.
“The history of freedom struggle bears witness to the fact that women participated in the Pakistan movement and played a great role to achieve an independent homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent,” he added.
In his speech at Islamia College for Women on March 25, 1940, Quaid-e-Azam had paid a glowing tribute to women in historic words. “I have always maintained that no nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world, one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”
The premier pointed out that Islam conferred the same set of rights on women as it does on men without any discrimination on the basis of gender.
Gilani said Islam had ordained its followers to respect women and treat them most gently in a humane way, adding the Islamic history was replete with examples of Muslim women playing their roles in the mainstream national life.
He said those who used religion to justify their opposition to women’s advancement in fact violated the fundamental teachings of Islam.
“Our leader Benazir Bhutto, a woman herself, was a great champion of women’s rights and the subject of women’s emancipation and empowerment was dear to her heart,” he said, adding that she struggled relentlessly for conferment of rights on Pakistani women.
The prime minister said the government of Pakistan People’s Party was bound to take her legacy forward.
“We believe that the objective of women’s empowerment would remain a pipedream and they would continue to be vulnerable to different forms of exploitation and violence unless their economic and political well being is not achieved.” Gilani said the government had introduced critical political, administrative, and legislative reforms to attain this objective.
The enactment of “The Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010’ represented a giant step forward in the journey towards women’s empowerment and the PPP was rightly proud of this rare feat in line with its promise.
He said the government had also increased the women’s quota for recruitment to the federal services by 10 percent. The increased participation of women in the public sector would enable them to attain economic independence, he added.
The PM said Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the largest social safety net, was a world-acclaimed initiative of the government that focused on women.
The women of rural hinterland happened to be the major beneficiaries of this programme, which sought to enable them to stand on their feet, he added. app

History of the Day:

By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. Women’s activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

On 20 December 1993 the General Assembly adopted Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (A/RES/48/104).

Previously, 25 November was observed in Latin America and a growing number of other countries around the world as “International Day Against Violence Against Women”. With no standard title, it was also referred to as “No Violence Against Women Day” and the “Day to End Violence Against Women”. It was first declared by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia (18 to 21 July 1981). At that Encuentro women systematically denounced gender violence from domestic battery, to rape and sexual harassment, to state violence including torture and abuses of women political prisoners. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961). The day was used to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence.
The General Assembly:
Recalling the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993, and its resolution 52/86 of 12 December 1997, entitled ?Crime prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence against women?,
Recalling also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,2 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
Taking note of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women adopted by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States at its twenty-fourth regular session, held in Belém, Brazil, from 6 to 10 June 1994, and general recommendation 19 on violence against women adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its eleventh session,
Concerned that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace, as recognized in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which recommended a set of integral measures to prevent and eliminate violence against women, and to the full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
Concerned also that some groups of women, such as women belonging to minority groups, indigenous women, refugee women, migrant women, women living in rural or remote communities, destitute women, women in institutions or in detention, the girl child, women with disabilities, elderly women and women in situations of armed conflict, are especially vulnerable to violence,
Recognizing that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of their full advancement, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate positions, compared with men,
Recognizing also that the human rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights, and recognizing further the need to promote and protect all human rights of women and girls,
Alarmed that women do not fully enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and concerned about the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in relation to violence against women,
Recognizing with satisfaction the cooperation provided by the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and organs of the United Nations system to different countries in the fight to eradicate violence against women, in fulfilment of their respective mandates,
Recognizing the efforts made by civil society and non-governmental organizations that have contributed to creating a worldwide social conscience of the negative impact, both on social and on economic life, of violence against women,
Reiterating that, according to article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life,
1. Decides to designate 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women;
2. Invites, as appropriate, Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women.
Situation In Pakistan Grim and statistics are alarming:
According to statistics available with Daily Times, 5,722 cases of violence against women were reported in 36 districts of Punjab in 2009. A report – compiled by the Aurat Foundation – shows that 6,507 women and girls were victimised in Punjab between January 1 and
December 31, 2009. The organisation compiled the report – ‘Situation of Violence against Women in Punjab’ –in collaboration with the watch group Violence Against Women (VAW). Of the total of 5,722 offences in 2009, 30 percent were abductions, 17 percent murders, 14 percent rapes, 8 percent suicides and 1 percent acid attacks – while 5 percent of the cases were registered over domestic violence. Around 1,220 cases were of “miscellaneous nature”: vani, custodial violence, trafficking, juvenile marriages, incest, threats, harassment, attempted murders and attempted suicides.
The data shows that Lahore is the most aggressive city against women with 915 violence related offences, followed by Faisalabad with 742 cases, Sargodha with 474 cases, Gujranwala with 291 cases and Multan with 241 cases. The data also shows that violence against women in urban areas is 10 percent higher compared to rural areas: of the total of 5,722 cases – 3,139, or 55 percent, were reported in urban areas, while 2,583, or 45percent, were reported in rural areas. A total 4,464, or 78 percent, cases were registered with police stations, while 285, or 5 percent, went unregistered. The rights activists and women said although activists had achieved some objectives – such as the tabling of a bill against sexual harassment and the abolishment of black laws against women passed during Ziaul Haq’s regime – rising violence against women was a concern.



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