Government of Pakistan
Benazir Income Support Programme
March 29, 2018
BISP, ASF TO JOINTLY FIGHT FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
ISLAMABAD (MAR 29): Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) agreed towards reducing acid and burn crimes and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Pakistan through an agreement of cooperation signed here in Islamabad. The activities will include KAP Research, monitoring of impact of acid and burn crime law as well as other women, girls’ rights related laws and policies. It includes enactment of comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill and other pro-women and girls’ laws as well as policies via generating evidence and through social mobilisation. The project is funded by European Commission.
Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon stated that BISP has always endeavoured towards mitigating measures focused for the most vulnerable women in country. She added that this partnership is another step, which will help BISP beneficiaries in particular and the women of Pakistan in general, towards fighting crimes against women and girls. She further added that this partnership will lead to eradicating crimes against women in Pakistan
Under the partnership, ASF in strong collaboration with BISP and other relevant state authorities will also design a strategy that will aim to counter Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) including acid/burn violence and generate a reinforced support for gender equality and women rights in Pakistan.
Secretary BISP, Omar Hamid Khan stated that the partnership adopts the new approach of BISP which involves various complimentary initiatives along with the cash transfer support. Mr. Khan said that the graduation model is a new strategy towards empowering women, and the efforts towards reducing crime against women are important at this juncture when BISP is empowering women in social and financial terms.
ASF will provide Training of Trainers (ToT) on gender equality and women’s rights for 210 BISP committee leaders in areas where acid violence and VAWG is highly prevalent. The project will also train BISP beneficiaries on conflict management and first aid response and will improve coordination to obtain support.
Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain said that VAWG is a key focus for European Commission in Pakistan. He hoped that the project will be helpful in voice generation at the grassroots level as well as adopt appropriate policy level changes to eradicate VAWG.
Two KAP surveys will also be conducted among BISP beneficiaries. The KAP surveys will compare and analyse the pre and post levels of prevalence of acid/burn and VAWG among target groups. It will also assess levels of vulnerability among women and girls, reasons of prevalence as well as levels of capacity to prevent and respond to such forms of VAWG among target groups.
Chairperson ASF Ms. Valerie Khan said that this partnership will also focus strengthening the cooperation among state and civil society actors to respond to VAWG. She added that this partnership will help reach the most vulnerable segments of society. She further added that the mechanism of evidence based policy generation will significantly contribute towards better laws against VAWG.
The actions will synergise and reinforce this program by equipping BISP beneficiaries with skills and knowledge to counter VAWG and gender discrimination. This intervention will also contribute to reinforcing the objectives of GSP + which aims to improve the enforcement of human rights and its related international conventions and covenants in various countries, among which Pakistan.
Overall, the project will involve effective mechanisms for data collection and analysis and monitoring purposes, establishing a Knowledge Management Unit (KMU) to document and share good practices relating to preventing and responding to acid violence and GBV. It will include evidence based advocacy and lobbying for further legislation related to acid and burn violence, and policies relating to VAWG in order to provide better comprehensive protection at national and provincial level. It will include awareness, training & networking workshops for knowledge transfer and mobilisation of elected representatives and policy makers.