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“Women and men play a multi-faceted role in peacebuilding. Violent extremism is a phenomenon that impacts everyone and men and women are equally vulnerable to being affected and recruited by extremist ideologies,” says Durr e Maknoon, Director General Outreach of National Counter Terrorism Authority, Pakistan (NACTA).
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Since 2017, as part of the UN Joint Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls, UN Women and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have been assisting Mahmood and the Pakistani police force to better address the needs of women and girls who experience violence. The programme, which ended in 2019, was implemented by the Government of Pakistan in partnership with UN Women, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UNODC and the World Health organisation (WHO), and was funded by the Governments of Australia and Spain.
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In the past 18 months, by trapping women with their abusers, COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have worsened the already-widespread violence against women while preventing many of them from getting help. But even those who do manage to contact the police come up against another long-standing challenge: a culture and system that treats the survivor as a big part of the problem.
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An initiative in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, north-western Pakistan, is teaching women, and the wider public, about their right to feel safe in public spaces, and what they can do to fight harassment and violence, including on public transport. Information stands have been set up in bus stations, containing leaflets on what constitutes harassment, and what legal resources are available for women if necessary.
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In Pakistan, women from marginalized social classes face multiple challenges and are often only able to work from home. Of the estimated 20 million Home-Based Workers (HBWs) in Pakistan, 12 million are women, and according to UN Women’s Status Report 2016 on Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment in Pakistan, women account for 65 per cent of the PKR 400 billion (USD 2.8 billion) that HBWs contribute to Pakistan’s economy.
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Tractors and dump trucks busily transporting material for a coal-fired power plant bustle amid the softly sweeping sand dunes of the sprawling Thar desert, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Powering her orange dump truck, Rukhsana, 37, seems unstoppable in making a mark in this male-dominated field: “Through this driving training, I gained the strength and courage to face the world. Initially, I got a lot of criticism from my...
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Launched for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence in November 2016 through social media, UN Women Pakistan’s #BeatMe campaign gives an unconventional twist for women’s rights and their equality.   In challenging stereotypes in a country grappling to end violence against women and in public and private spaces, the #BeatMe campaign, spearheaded by a one-minute video, aims to inspire women and reaffirm that they are...
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“It’s a nightmare what we have gone through - displacement, camp life and survival” “Disasters affect everyone, but for women the impact is doubled”“We have seen our women give birth while being evacuated - many had miscarriages as we ran and walked the 8-hour route to safer grounds [camps]. They should have been provided with health facilities along the way. One mother put her baby in a carrier bag as she couldn't carry the child - it was dead when she...
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Shahzadi Gulfam has had the pleasure of serving in 4 different UN peacekeeping missions. In August 2011 she was awarded the first-ever UN International Female Police Peacekeeper Award for her many years of achievements including supervising 150 police officers conducting criminal investigations, and being the first female to represent Pakistan in the UN’s Mission to Bosnia Herzegovina in 1997. Currently she is a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab, Pakistan. Q&A with...
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Every year we commemorate the International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers on 29 May, paying tribute to those who served in UN peacekeeping operations and honoring those who lost their lives in the cause of global peace. This day - along with 5 June observed as Pakistan’s Peacekeepers Day in honour of 24 brave Pakistani soldiers who sacrificed their lives while ensuring safety of the people of Somalia in 1993 - re-iterates Pakistan’s commitment with...
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Author : Faria Salman Photo: UN Women Pakistan Muniba Mazari , 29, is Pakistan’s first National Ambassador for UN Women - the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, appointed in December 2015. In her first International Women’s Day message Muniba shares: “No one can empower a woman but herself. When you empower yourself you empower your whole generation. This International Women’s Day take the charge of your own life and tell...
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Imagine if you could order delicious homemade food for lunch and have it delivered at your work or home every day, while at the same time contribute to empowering a female home based worker. This vision may soon be a reality in Pakistan. Recently UN Women organized a skills development workshop in Lahore on ‘Women and Food Tech Sharing Economy: Employability and Empowerment’ to enable Pakistani women to focus on self-efficiency and resourcefulness through innovation. The training...
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Following the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s announcement on 21 January 2016 of the first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, the UN announces Ms. Fiza Farhan from Pakistan as a Member of this High-Level Panel. As a Panelist, Ms. Fiza Farhan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Buksh Foundation will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women and promote...
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With an appeal that transcends different generations, Muniba Mazari, Pakistan’s National Ambassador for UN Women calls for public support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and more so Goal 5 to “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls.” Speaking at the UN Women Pakistan Country Office in Islamabad today, of her support for Goal 5 Muniba shares: “It’s been nine years for me on a wheelchair due to a car...
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The Honorable Dr. Meher Taj Roghani has been elected as the first female Deputy Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly on 22 December 2015, a milestone in the Provinces electoral history. In her address H.E. Dr. Meher Taj Roghani pledged to ensure equality and empowerment for all women and girls saying: “This Country owes debt to girls and women for their resilience.” With your new appointment, as a female role model for democracy, could you...
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Durdana is a young widow from Pakistan’s Dadu District in Sindh Province. She is one of 1,214 landless women farmers and sharecroppers who have received land tenancy rights for the first time in their life. Speaking of her new status, Durdana shares that farming is her life....
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None of this: Eighteen-inch biceps. A moustache that supposedly proclaims your virility. 'Showing appreciation' by leering at girls on the streets. And stalking and harassing a woman until she 'falls in love' with you or hitting your wife or your partner; none of this defines a 'mard', which is the Hindi word for 'man'. Here's what does define a 'mard', a real man, though. Showing respect. Supporting her choices. Standing up for a woman's right to live free from violence, from the fear of...
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Last month, I attended an event at the Foreign Office marking International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. As the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions around the world, the dedication, service, and courage of the Pakistani ‘blue helmets’ are highly regarded by the UN and the international community. Of the usual ceremonial speeches, one stood out as the...
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Songs, TV commercials and dramas, coupled with voter education and community awareness-raising encouraged an historic 15 million Pakistani women to vote in Pakistan’s recent general elections.
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As Pakistan prepares for review by the CEDAW Committee of its fourth periodic on 12 February, we take a look at what has been done to crack down on Jirgas and implement other CEDAW recommendations related to ending violence against women.