Experts emphasise need for laws against GBV

Misinformed traditional notions and patriarchy are leading causes of abuse

APP June 22, 2024


A Roundtable Conference on "Gender-Based Violence and its Legislation in Pakistan," was conducted by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in Collaboration with Chief Commissioner Office Islamabad.

Among the main points speakers at the conference made was the suggestion that the level of discrimination and marginalisation prevalent in society was more owing to the adverse impact of culture, and the medieval mores of patriarchy, which spike up gender-based violence in the contexts of sexual, psychological and physical realms. They raised the point that lack of effective legislation and good governance makes the situation worse.

The conference was attended by Additional Commissioner and Director Women Development Islamabad Administration, Nishaa Ishtiak, Valeria Khan of the Acid Survivors Foundation, DIG Operations Islamabad, Syed Mustafa Tanveer, INGAD chairperson, Nabeela Malick and lawyer Hafiz Ahsan Khokhar.

The IPRI President, Ambassador Dr Raza Muhammad opened the debate by highlighting the importance that Islam has laid on gender equality, and the values that Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) preached in terms of women empowerment.

It was underscored that there is a plethora of laws to deal with any of the eventualities in terms of violence in the gender proximity, but either they lack implementation mechanisms or the will of the concerned administrations. It was further pointed out that laws are free from gender contextualisation, and anyone, be it a woman or a man, can be a victim of abuse and violence, and the law is equally applicable.

The roundtable delegates agreed that violence does exist in society and cannot be denied under any assumptions. The scale of domestic violence, it was noted, is mostly under reported, and women at times shy away from standing out to be recognised fearing reprisal. This phenomenon can only be checked by educating the society and creating more awareness in strata across the board.

The role of power dynamics in gender sex was also highlighted, and it was agreed that it is one of the main reasons behind abuse as the perpetrator can get away with any wrongdoing. The need of the hour is also to shun the assumptions that empowering women and talking about the taboos of sex, violence and diseases related to women such as fistula are part of a so-called western conspiracy.

The need for ensuring that every law is culturally sensitive was also noted, especially in the areas of marginalisation and discrimination against women in cases such as inheritance. A separate prosecution wing for women was also proposed at all administrative levels to help empower them to report abuse and speak up against it.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ