A group of 13 professionals who had gone on a study tour in Kenya shared the lessons learnt at a discussion on gender-based violence on Thursday. The event was held at a private hotel where the participants discussed their experiences and highlighted future interventions to combat gender-based violence in Pakistan.
They said a holistic approach should be adopted to address and eradicate gender-based violence, with co-ordination between medical services, judiciary and other institutions.
The participants were drawn from the judiciary, crisis centres, civil society organisations and the USAID-funded Gender Equity Programme. These specialists will now serve as master trainers and work to introduce best practices across the country in handling cases of gender-based violence.
“The study tour has helped us understand how to build effective systems for helping the survivors of gender-based violence,” said Madiha Latif, in-charge Panah Shelter. She added that they also saw how important it was to synthesise efforts of all the organisations working to end gender-based violence.
King Edward Medical University Associate Professor Atifa Naheed stressed on the importance of healing psychological scars left by gender-based violence on women and children. The study tour was funded by USAID in support of Pakistan’s first country-wide strategy to end gender-based violence.
“Violence against anyone, anywhere, is neither a private matter nor a local issue. While the blows may fall on an individual woman, it is the entire community that is degraded,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Karen Freeman. She added that the US was proud to support Pakistani institutions and communities working to address gender-based violence issues.
During the tour, Pakistani specialists visited hospitals, violence recovery centres and safe houses to learn how these institutions co-ordinate their services for victims of gender-based violence.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2012.
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