Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
HUM AAWAZ Campaign Launched, Lahore


HUM AAWAZ Campaign Launched

A provincial level campaign launch event was organized by AAWAZ program consortium partners, namely Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), Aurat Foundation, Sungi, and South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP- PK), on 30 September, 2015, at Falatti’s Hotel. The event was organized to launch the national level campaign ‘Aurton Per Tashadud Ke Khilaf Hum AAWAZ’.

Ms Hameeda Wahuddin, Provincial Minister for Women’s Development & Social Welfare Department, prominent legislators particularly  members of  Women Parliamentary Caucus, Punjab Provincial Assembly, representative from civil society, government officials and renowned writer Mr Munnu Bhai , Ms Naeema Malik, National Manager SAP PK, Mr Salman Abid, Regional Direcotr SPO, and Mr Amail Khattak, Manager Sungi Foundation attended the event.

Ms Hameeda Wahuddin said the government and the Punjab Assembly were trying their best to bring outlaws that could help in protecting women. “This abuse is not part of our culture and we must together condemn it on all account. It is a crime”, She said.

Mr Munnu Bhai said the problem of proving ‘manhood’ in the society was the root cause of violence against women and also not accepting them as equals. “Every human being should be a friend, a companion and a helper to the other human being. Women are thought of as weak and helpless but in the long run have been much stronger even than men in most cases.” Furthermore participants spoke, many women were repeatedly denied their right to economic independence and it was unfortunate that over 10% of women in a city like Lahore were still  without work.

Director Planning social welfare department shared Punjab government is going to present Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Bill, 2015, in forthcoming session. This legislation will encompasses all violence against women crimes including abetting of an offence, domestic abuse, and emotional, psychological and verbal abuse.

Ms Mumtaz Mughal, Regional Manager Aurat Foundation, said that AAWAZ Program is working for bringing change in the behaviors of women, girls, men and boys to create an environment where VAW is not tolerated. According to Aurat Foundation VAW report 2014, more than 7010 cases have been reported. In first six month of 2015 Aurat Foundation VAW report, 2926 cases have been reported. Many more cases of domestic violence remain unreported.  Pakistan is one of the top three most dangerous countries in the World for women. Pakistan’s performance in terms of the Gender Inequality Index (GII) is one of the worst. Pakistan has a GII value of 0.563, slipping down to 126th out of 149 countries in the 2013 index. Pakistan ranks last in women participation in the workforce among the SAARC countries. They comprise 42 per cent of the total family labor but are mostly unacknowledged. She further said that domestic violence has become a household terrorism.   

Dr Farzana Nazir, MPA from PML-N and Convener Women Caucus Punjab said that we should stand up and speak up against domestic violence for creating prosperous communities and hitting a woman is never justified. She said that in our society, there is recognition and understanding of domestic violence in our society and consequently, communities deem it unacceptable. There is a need to reduce the social acceptance of violence against women.

Amina Ulfat, PML Q said that in Pakistan there have been positive changes in women’s rights and gender equality over the past decades like more women accessing higher education, success stories of women economic participation, more women in parliament and participating in political processes.

Speakers stressed upon Punjab government regarding to introduce Women Protect Bill immediately in provincial assembly and pass DVB as CM promised in women empowerment package 2012.