Call to end gender-based violence at conclusion of `16 Days of Activism` – 11 Dec 2022

KARACHI: Several events were held in the city on account of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on Saturday.

The 16 Days of Activism began in 1991. The annual campaign runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 to International Human Rights Day on December 10.

This year`s campaign theme was `UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls`.

The Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation (GNMI) hosted a round-table discussion on ending violence against women and girls, especially online, with journalists, social media activists, legal and genderexperts. The programme aimed to navigate the challenges and solutions to protecting the safety of women, both online and of fline.

The discussion included founder GNMI and media development professional, Najia Ashar; media educationist Kaif Ghaznavi, legal experts Zarin Khwaja and Farah Khan, gender expert and journalist Lubna Jerar, social media influencer Roomana Anjum, and trainer Sonal Dhanani.

Lubna Jerar recapped the discussion and relayed the recommendations gathered.

Najia Ashar highlighted the significance of 16 Days of Activism and GNMI`s work towards preventing and eliminating gender-based violence.

Kaif Ghaznavi talked about cyber harassment and mentioned that parents are one`s biggest allies, no matter how dif ficult a situation one might find oneself in.

Farah Khan mentioned the issues with the justice system when concerning a victim or survivor of gender-based violence.

Roomana Anjum said that even women`s empowerment in this society is controlled and considered something that can be given or taken by men.

Zarin Khwaja commented on the lack of a proper legalframework and how most of Pakistan`s law is copied from internationallaw.

On the occasion, the US Consulate General in Karachi marked the conclusion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a community discussion to mark Human Rights Day and to commemorate the final day of the global campaign.

Consulate of ficials including acting Consul General Liam O`Flanagan attended the event and af firmed their support for policies that address violence against women, girls, and the transgender community.

The round-table discussion concluded with a candlelight vigil.

`Ending gender-based violence requires a global effort, where elevating the status of women and girls creates the landscape for everyone to flourish and reach their full potential and to be agents of change in their communities, free from violence and fear,` said O`Flanagan.

On the occasion, an awareness walk for human rights was also organised by the provincial human rights departments and attended among others by lawmakers, human rights workers and artists.

The Chief Minister`s Special Assistant for Human RightsMPA Surendar Valasai led the walk to mark the International Day of Human Rights.

The walk was joined by political, social and human rights workers including Senator Gianchand, Iqbal Detho, Ayub Khosa, Sagar Samejo, Sikandar Hulio and others.

Later, while addressing a discussion on strategies to promote fundamental human rights and freedom in Sindh, organised by the HR department, MPA Valasai said that that Sindh was leading in the legislation for the protection and promotion of human rights and asked the other provinces to follow its path to make the country more human rights friendly in the sub-continent.

Others who spoke in the event included Secretary Human Rights Department Jawed Sibghatullah Mahar, members Sindh Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Ayoub Khosa, Surya Jatoi, Sardar Nazakat Hussain and Nagma Iqtigar, parliamentary experts Sajida Andleeb, Fida Dahar and Moazzam Jahan, Transgender rights activist Dodo Chandio.

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