Lack of Islamic teachings blamed for crime against women
PESHAWAR: Four different groups were formed to raise awareness about women’s rights at the end of a three-day workshop organised by the Aurat Foundation on Friday.
The first session on the concluding day of the workshop was on how to design a campaign for ending violence against women. Shabina Ayaz and Shirin Javed ran the session.
A total of 30 participants, drawn from 13 districts, were divided into four groups, which developed the drives and presented these to the audience in the second session.
The third session was about future planning. Every group presented a plan to take part in the electronic media campaign launched under the GTZ-funded Women Advisory Centre Project of the Aurat Foundation from January 22 to September 30 through Radio Pakistan in Peshawar.
A 30-minute programme, Navay Laar, will be broadcast every Thursday in Pushto to create awareness about women’s rights. In her concluding remarks, Women Advisory Centre Project Manager Gul-e-Rana said the workshop was a beginning towards a struggle for women’s rights.
She said the interaction with 80 networking partners would continue till the end of the media campaign in September. She said such workshops would also be held in northern Punjab.
Aurat Foundation Resident Director Rukhshanda Naz shared with participants the experience of Mera Ghar, a shelter home for the women, who have survived violence. She dwelt on the concept of crisis centres for abused women, the need for such places in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and how the Mera Ghar became an institution in the form of the Noor Education Trust. The second session was on women issues, underlining the problems women faced in the family, community and state-levels. The third session was on women situation under customary practice.
Resource Person Zubaida Khalid discussed about Swara, honour killing, walwar, serpaisy and tor (social stigma). Akbar Ali Shah conducted the fourth session on legal institutions. He highlighted the Free Legal Aid Project of the Aurat Foundation and named the ways for getting help from police, jails, legal aid programmes of different non-government organisations, bar councils and associations in case a woman suffers any form of violence.
The second day of the workshop was exclusively for putting the issue of violence against women into focus. Uzma Mehboob in her address of welcome enumerated the objectives of the topic of the workshop. Ms Saima of Rozan gave the definition, concept and forms of the violence in gender perspective. Former Lahore High Court judge Justice Nasera Iqbal pointed to the loopholes in the Hudood Ordinances and called for changes to the laws introduced in the 1980s.
Gul-e-Rana, the Manager of Women Advisory Centre Project of the Aurat Foundation, explained the centre’s concept and the services offered by it to women in the form of kit, material and linkages.