One Million Sign to End Violence Against Women in Pakistan


Human Wrongs Watch

By UN Woman* — A high profile campaign to end violence against women (VAW) in Pakistan has culminated ceremonially with the signature of its one millionth supporter – the country’s President.

**Photo credit: Sherkashmiri

UN Women launched the One Million Signatures Campaign during the annual  16 Days of Activism in Pakistan in 2011, in partnership with a country-wide network of women’s organizations, the EVAWG Alliance.

The campaign has seen more than 450,000 community members and social media users mobilized, along with at least 1,500 Pakistani women leaders.

Pakistanis from all walks of life, including a plethora of celebrities and politicians, have publicly signed postcards in support of EVAWG goals, while Charters of Demand have been gathered from 57 districts, many with a focus on reforming laws, policies and services to better serve women.

Empowerment-related Work

The actions meanwhile engaged women in empowerment-related work across the country, whether encouraging leadership among marginalized women, or campaigning on improving the response of the criminal justice system to gender-based violence.

One panel discussion among women’s organizations produced a joint declaration on combating violence against women through the criminal justice system. Signed by 60 civil society organizations, it was submitted to various state representatives and departments.

Many pledges have led to action. During the past nine months thousands of women and men have volunteered at local shelters and advocated for pro women legislation. The campaign also generated political commitments and support for two pending laws, such as the Domestic Violence Bill and the Acid Crime and Prevention Bill.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari became the one millionth signee in his country’s One Million Signatures campaign to end violence against women during a ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr on 27 July 2012. 

Closing the ceremony on 27 July 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated the way that “exploitation and discrimination of this nature undermine women’s dignity and self-esteem and deprive them of their right to full participation in all aspects of national life.”

Legislative Measures

The President also recounted the various legislative measures that the government has taken for the protection of women in Pakistan, including the 26 women crisis centres now established to provide immediate relief to victims of violence. The event was also used to highlight new commitments by the government, such as the appointment of more women judges.

According to Valerie Khan, a Co-chair of the EVAWG Alliance, steps in Pakistan have motivated other countries to draft similar pro-women laws. Representatives from Rwanda, Cambodia, Nepal and India in particular, have consulted Alliance members on its three-step process for acid and burn-crime legislation.

Applauding the government for its landmark legislation and the work of campaigners in moving the violence against women agenda forward, UN Women’s Country Director Alice Shackelford, also highlighted the need for the campaign’s momentum to be preserved. Implementation must be ensured, she stressed, throughout the country’s provinces and regions.

*Source: UN Women. In July 2010, the UN General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, is the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Go to Original.

**Photo credit: Sherkashmiri | Wikimedia Commons.

READ ALSO:

Pakistan: Girls Tormented by Stigma After Rape

The Terror of Unarmed Women Facing Armed Men

Six in 10 Women Suffer Physical and/or Sexual Violence

Women at ‘Extreme Risk’ in 80 Countries

Violence And Death For Millions Of Life-Givers

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?

Say ‘NO’ – UNiTE to End Violence against Women

Amazing UN: Horrific Massive Rapes “Could Be” Crimes Against Humanity!

UN to Jordan: ‘End Violence against Women!’

Afghanistan, The Worst Place To Be A Mother Or A Child

Africa’s Boat People, Victims of Abduction, Extortion, Sexual Assault and Kidnapping

‘Because I Am Girl – So, What about Boys’?

Who Is Afraid of 300 Or 400 Or 500 Million Miserables?

Does Any One Care About 15 Millions Human Beings Starving in Sahel?

The Huge, Inhuman Power of The Real ‘War Lords’ 

European Union: 880,000 Victims of Forced Labour, Sexual Exploitation

Alarming Reports of Extreme Sexual Violence against Malian Women, Girls

Is Rwanda The Land of Gender Equality?

2012 Human Wrongs Watch

One Trackback to “One Million Sign to End Violence Against Women in Pakistan”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: