Report describes Pakistani women among worst victims of gender-based violence

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Zubair Qureshi

Violence against women and girls persists across the globe, one out of every three women is facing violence throughout their lives, the number of such victims of gender-based violence (GBV) is much higher in Pakistan.
Speakers said this at the launching ceremony of a report titled “Essential Service Package (ESP) for Women and Girls Subject to Violence.”
Deputy Country Representative UN Women Pakistan, Aisha Mukhtar, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia Mr Brek Batley, women rights activists, stakeholders, UN and its various agencies’ officials, civil society and media representatives attended the report launch in large number.
In her welcome address Aisha Mukhtar agreed it was quite difficult for survivors to have access to high quality services including health, justice and policing, and social services including shelter homes/Dar-ul- Amans (DuA).
“We also know that the most challenging part of GBV response services is the weak coordination between different sectors that makes a survivor’s journey more difficult,” she said.
“Today we are starting with social services and will have a combined consultation with representatives of all sectors for effective implementation of global guidelines and protocols in Pakistan, said she.
ESP is all about enhancing GBV survivors’ access to a coordinated set of multi-sectoral services including social services, justice and policing, and health, she said.
Mr Brek Batley while speaking as chief guest said one woman was raped every two hours in Pakistan as rate of violence against women is much higher here than that in other countries.
Women and girls have a right to live a life free of violence, said he adding until that right is realized, all the stakeholders need to support them, said the Deputy High Commissioner.
When reached for confirmation if it was true a woman is raped every two hours, a UN Women official said so far no such data has been collected to tell for sure the exact number of women subjected to physical assault. However, he said quite a large number of women are subjected to gender-based violence in Pakistan.
ESP is a global United Nations programme that aims to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence he further said.
In Pakistan, ESP is being implemented through collaboration among the UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC. UN Women, being the global lead agency for social services to victims and survivors of violence launched this programme in Pakistan with a key focus on social services.