One Billion Rising campaign: Activists vow to fight tide of violence against women

Men’s participation essential to prevent abuse.

Our Correspondent December 11, 2012
One Billion Rising campaign: Activists vow to fight tide of violence against women


To combat violence against women (VAW), the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign in Pakistan was launched on the occasion of international Human Rights Day at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) on Monday.

Approximately 70 to 90% women are subjected to domestic violence in the country. According to international statistics, 1 out of 3 women in the world will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, that is, 1 billion women.

Therefore, under the unified banner of One Billion Rising campaign, several human rights organisations have banded together to combat violence against women by exhibiting zero tolerance.

QAU Gender Studies Department Director Farzana Bari said violence against women was on the rise in Pakistan. There was a 6.7% increase in 2011 as compared to 2010, with a 48.6% increase in sexual assault, 37.5% increase in acid attacks, 26.5% increase in honour killings and 25.5% increase in domestic violence, according to Aurat Foundation. We need to see violence against women as a continuum, she said.

“Linked with the larger patriarchal socio-cultural frameworks, political and economic structures, VAW is systemic discrimination against women.”

We need to understand how patriarchy and the capitalist system work in tandem as a dual system of oppression and exploitation to subjugate women. Efforts need to be concentrated on prevention of abuse and legislation and support for victims, she added.

Ambreen Ahmed from Rozan told the audience that on this day, women and men in 177 countries were raising their voice to end VAW and 3666 signatures have been collected to end VAW.

Stressing on the need for men’s involvement for ensuring women’s rights, Rozan Managing Director Babar Bashir noted that men as perpetrators of VAW should be sensitised to the consequences of their aggression through awareness campaigns.

Aqsa Khan, Executive Director WORD, spoke on the sexual harassment laws in Pakistan.  She gave a full background of the sexual harassment at workplace law 2010 and the institutional procedures to deal cases of sexual harassment at workplace. She also stressed the need to raise awareness about the law in all government and non-government institutions and organizations.

Participants including university students, members of civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, academicians and media professionals declared they would act as the collective voice for one billion women across the globe.

Students from NUST, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Bahria University and arid agriculture varsity who participated in a poster competition were given awards. The event concluded with a musical performance by folk singer Arieb Azhar and Yaruq an emerging band.

The ceremony was organized by Aurat Foundation, in collaboration with Rozan, WLP, Amal, WORD, We Can and RSPN. 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2012.


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