FAISALABAD: Civil society activists on Saturday staged a protest demonstration against violence against children and women in the country.
The Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM), the Peace and Human Development Foundation, the Idara Samajhi Behbood (ISB) and the Awareness and Development Organisation (ADO) organised the rally titled ‘No Violence, Know Peace’ to mark the 32nd International Day of Peace.
Speaking on the occasion, AWAM Director Nazia Sardar said, “Rape is a heinous crime. It destroys the victim’s life.”
“Rape is a crime the individual, the society and the state. The survivor’s family must not be pressurised to accept any settlements and compensations through the police or perpetrators’ influence,” she added.
PHDF Director Suneel Malik said, “The media, government, and politicians must respect the privacy and dignity of survivors of sexual violence.”
Speakers at the demonstration called for better legislation for child protection.
Naseem Anthony, a social activist, said, “Targeting a section of the population because of their gender is unacceptable.
It is a matter of shame that a section of the society at large has not felt compelled to raise a strong voice to put an end to this.”
Shazia George, a protestor, said, “Incidents of sexual assault have become so common that we hardly take any notice of it any longer.”
“There are many flaws in our legal system that helps offenders get away scot-free,” she said.
Irshad Parkash, an activist, said, “Pakistan is embroiled in a chaotic situation, where citizens have been experiencing extreme forms of violence, conflicts, terrorism and even war-like situations. This is only because of a growing sense of extreme intolerance and extremism.”
The rally was joined by a large number of people from different walks of life including students, lawyers, and representatives of trade unions, political parties and NGOs.
The protestors were carrying peace symbols, balloons, banners and placards inscribed with slogans for peace and defence of human rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2013.