Gilgit-Baltistan: Sensitise Youth on Combating Gener Based Violence

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Karachi (News): Need to sensitise youth on combating gender-based violence (GBV) was stressed in the grants closing meeting of Gender Equity Programme (GEP) organised by the Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE).

Four months campaign on gender-based violence was concluded during the two-day event organized by Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE). The campaign was supported by USAID funded Gender Equity Programme of Aurat Foundation.

The meeting was held in connection with a campaign of the GEP (Cycle-4) on gender-based violence. The objective of meetings was to share field based experiences including success stories challenges, issues and lessons learnt. The event featured interesting presentations and 22 stalls displaying information, education and communication materials.

The GEP is a 5 years programme implemented by Aurat Foundation (AF) in collaboration with The Asia Foundation (TAF) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Programme aims at closing the gender gap in Pakistan by proactively supporting development of women.

Under the fourth grant cycle, more than 900 events were organised in more than 400 tehsils including AJK and GB. More than 50,000 community women and men participated in the activities held with the assistance of Aurat Foundation and the USAID.

The representatives of different community based organisations (CBOs) suggested that under such campaigns, activities should be carried out in the context of the local culture and issues related with local customs and traditions should not be directly targeted. They said that it is important to bring the government officials, religious leaders and community leaders in board before starting any activity.

The representative of the Association for Behaviour and Knowledge Transformation said that local communities express more interest and offer support in the development of their area and give less importance to soft activities like seminars, photo and painting exhibitions and conferences, Sharing her experience of working with girls in Peshawar District, Chairperson Aware Girls Gulalai Ismail stressed the need to work more with girls as they have actually internalised the violations of their rights. “We can give them hope that they can change their lives,” she said. In her opinion, men are also the victims of patriarchal system as society overburdens them with social responsibilities.

Aurat Foundation Chief Operating Officer Naeem Mirza said that women and men have to work side by side to change the mindset of sabotaging rights of women. DTCE Chief Operating Officer Azhar Bashir Malik said that women in Pakistan now feel more protected through better awareness channels present in the shape of different CSOs working on gender issues, media and government legislation.

On the second day of the event, sub grantees of Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan made presentations on campaigns run by them. The event culminated by a certificate distribution ceremony for participation in the campaign. Prize were also distributed among Society for the Advancement of Community Health, Education and Training (SACHET), Aware Girls, Awareness on Human Rights, Social Development and Action Society (AHSAS) for securing first, second and third positions respectively in stall set-up and presentation competition.

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