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Survivor of Gender Base Violence – Access to Justice

Survivor of Gender Base Violence

We have provided legal services in the form court representation and successfully completed 871 court cases and provided legal assistance to 127 women survivors of GBV

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is as prevalent in Pakistan as across the world in all cultural environments. The scale and scope however varies. GBV is a derivative of power relationships between men and women in a unitary family setting, in extended family settings and in any social organizational form. It is also pervasive across all ‘classes’ of rich and poor. GBV acquires different forms and shapes; from hidden structural violence to grotesque and macabre manifestation in the form of acid crimes. This glossary of types of GBV, ironically, keeps on increasing and reinventing itself. GBV in its various manifestations remains to be the major hurdle in achieving gender equality and represents a grave injustice to half of humanity. This injustice against women was recognized initially by ‘blood and toil’ of Suffragettes.  The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan also enshrined the universal values of equality already sanctified by Islam. This adaptation of universal values is reflected in the preamble of the Constitution in the form of fundamental rights. Pakistan signed CEDAW and also ratified it. Pakistan also signed and ratified subsequent conventions and international instruments like Beijing +10 platform for action etc. This international agreement signing was also supported by various governmental actions across different political governments. However despite these affirmative actions in conformity with the constitutional and international obligations; Pakistan  according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016, ranks 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index, way behind Bangladesh and India which rank 72nd and 87th respectively.  The situation remains dismal if not hopeless.

It is extremely essential that women should be aware of laws protecting their rights in order to prevent themselves from injustice so that they can secure themselves. As program participants, women learn the difference between what the law states and the actual legal practices in Pakistan, and the ways in which the legal system can protect women and children. They engage in discussions to enhance their legal understanding of marriage, divorce, child custody, domestic violence and rape, ownership, inheritance and the control of assets. As a result, women enhance decision making powers, take action and advocate for community, nation and most importantly their families.

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