Addressing Violence Against Women & Girls In Pakistan By Promoting Women & Girls’ Empowerment
EIDHR (European Union)
Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan
Group Development of Pakistan
Location of the project
Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (KP) & Punjab
December 2014 – November 2016
Violence against women reveals itself in so many different forms; there is no single, entirely accepted description to define the phenomenon. Acid throwing is one of the worst form of violence usually inflicted upon women and girls, which seldom kills but causes severe and long term physical, psychological, and social scarring. Such violent practice victimizes women and girls which further causes immediate disfigurement, long-term medical complications and troubles, pain, social exclusion, and psychological damage to the victims and their families. It has become necessary to have comprehensive legislation that will exclusively involve the state efforts to curb and eradicate acid violence and criminalize violence against women.
The target group selection is based upon the ASF’s previous baselines and from a strategic exercise by ASF Pakistan in 2012. The methodology adopted to conduct various activities is through a strategic approach which is a sustainable, transferable, and adaptable model. Through a lens of critical review and problem-solving procedure towards the external factors and action, a participative approach provides an alternative tool to bring change and become decision-makers. The primary focus of activities plans to seek a legislative change to halt the practice of acid violence which will take place through the continuous efforts of the stakeholders, which includes government officials, parliamentarians, law enforcement agencies, youth, media, artists, survivors, communities, etc. This will contribute towards the empowerment of the acid and burn survivors.
An overall objective of the project is to support the needed action for women and girls victims vulnerable to acid violence including:
- Supporting mandated organizations, in designing and setting up monitoring, complaints, and referral systems (through comprehensive legislation and data gathered through outreach, and sharing of research).
- Fostering collaboration, including alliances, to build common platforms for addressing Violence against Women and establishing long-term sustainable mechanisms.
- Provision of comprehensive services provided by ASF Pakistan to the victims of acid violence.
- Training and capacity-building on advocacy, lobbying, litigation, strategies of change, researching, monitoring, documenting, and reporting about access to economic and social rights, including access to natural resources.
- Empowering women in conflict mitigation (at the family and local level) and promoting gender equity and the importance of including women in decision-making processes. Many of the survivors’ economic situations have been worsened by floods hence economic empowerment of women will remain a key priority of the project.
- Situation analysis on acid violence (including perpetrators’ profile) in the 3 areas of implementation
The objective behind SAAV is to assess the current situation of acid violence in Pakistan and to generate an updated baseline for acid violence in Pakistan. The situation analysis would provide relevant evidence to support project objectives of disseminating relevant information for advocacy and lobbying for legislative enhancement for the protection of women and girls. 150 copies of situation analysis are going to be published which will be distributed among the National and Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women, and during the sensitization sessions which later on will facilitate the distribution to policymakers.
- Publication of a report on Acid Violence
Data will be collected by the field officers from 3 target areas through the notification network that ASF has established since 2006. Also the regular visits to hospitals, and correspondence with journalists, influential community members, CBO or CSO representatives, acid survivors and their families, parliamentarians, doctors, lawyers, government staff, and police officers will.
Forms filled by the field officers will feed the ASF MIS system and will be documented as a means of verification (MOVs). Data gathered will be compiled and analyzed on annual basis. 150 copies will be published and disseminated among the policymakers through various platforms.
- Evidence-based advocacy and lobbying campaign to respond to acid violence
This activity comprises meetings with policymakers, CSOs for the legislative change. The objective of conducting meetings is to focus on the history of the acid and burn crime bill, and the proposed relevant structured measures.
Media Campaign is one of the major activities to promote legislative change through radio and video messages and a video song. Public service messages (PSMs) and video songs will be aired through various electronic mediums which will be featuring the hurdles of acid victims and will promote the need for legislative change.
- Enhancement of local capacities to address acid violence
A number of meetings planned regarding knowledge transfer to LEAs, doctors, lawyers, media, paralegals, and medico-legal officers. (12 participants per 10 meetings). Song produced in the above-mentioned media campaign will be played in these sessions to increase awareness regarding the crucial need for legislative change. Knowledge transfer on laws related to acid violence to CBOs and community members will take place through sensitization sessions which will be organized by the field officers.
- Provision of comprehensive rehabilitation services to 100 acid burn survivors
- Medical support: It includes surgeries, pre and post-surgical care (associated procedures and assessments) along with medicines, food, nutritional care, physiotherapy, para-counseling, psychotherapy, transportation, and lodging.
- Psychosocial support: It is an aself-rebuilding mechanism process. This activity is supervised by a psychiatrist, which comprises ofPara counseling, and psychological clinical services.
- Legal aid: This activity comprises three forms of services; legal advice, legal proceedings, and legal follow-up.
- Socio-economic support: Survivors are provided with socio-economic support which also integrates vocational training to empower the survivors for a decent income generation and financial security.
To counter acid and burn violence against women and girls in the target areas, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Punjab, it is imperative to promote structured measures at the local and national level which aims to:
- Detect, prevent and respond to acid and burn violence against women and girls
- Rehabilitate women and girls survivors of acid and burn violence
The project foresees comprehensive legislation passed on acid violence in at least one target area. With a total number of 1393 stakeholders agreeing to support ASF action to better detect, prevent and respond to acid and burn violence and through lobbying and advocacy in target areas, 55% of the population views and hear the messages related to acid and burn violence. Also, 100 acid attack survivors being benefitted through the rehabilitation services of ASF Pakistan.