The 16 Days of Activism: Getting Rid of Violence Against Women

Mahnoor Mustafa
25 November is manifested as the International Day for purging of violence against women and girls. The convenience sentience for the riddance of violence against women along with girls is launched from 25 November to December 10, which is called “16 Day Activism”. Throughout this period of time, a 16-days campaign is tracked to challenge gender-based violence and travails.
However, 16-days of Activism was initially instigated in 1991 by the first women’s Global leadership [CWGL], and respectively in each year, this campaign is familiarized with an innovative theme to furnish awareness and vigilant subjects for the annihilation of loathsome violence faced by women.
So, in 2021, the theme of 16-days Activism was on “orange the world: fund, respond, prevent and collect
And orange the world: End violence against women now.
Being Pakistanis, we, live in a male-dominated society that only creates scrapes for women. Owning to such a patriarchal society Pakistan has been ranked as the third most treacherous place in the world for women.
To the women’s peace and security index in 2019, Pakistan was ranked 164 out of 167 countries, and according to an estimation of 2017, there were 746 honor crimes, 24 stove burnings, 18  cases of settlement of marriages. As per another estimate, approximately 70 to 90% of Pakistanis women are subjected to domestic violence. Despite abundant acts and laws being passed for women, women violence, women safety law, laws related to rape and harassment cases along with early marriages; but all in vain. The established laws and acts are only compiled in books and files, they have never been implemented to drive out women from the detestable travail and scourge.
Article 25 clause 2 of the Pakistan Constitution reads, “There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone.” But the established laws are only by name and are never used to ease women from violence. Clause 1 of the same Article further reads “All citizens are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law.” But all in vain. Women in Pakistan are never treated equally, still, today 200 million women have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting, and globally 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner. Each year 16-day campaign is run since 1992 to end such violence, but still, women are suffering because laws are silent.
When I hold a pen to jot down about violence against women, I keep wondering for minutes, which incident to be described. The roar of mother and daughter by a Rakshaw driver, the killing of Noor Makkadam, or the incident of acid throwing in a woman by her ex-husband; or the heartbreaking incident of 14 Aug- when a gang of 400 harassed a woman at Minar –E-Pakistan. The list of violence against women goes unending.
The phenomenon is not that we lack laws to protect our women, but our state lacks the capacity to enforce the established laws and the failure is that they are never implemented. Why do the perpetrators always have the same courage when so various cases are highlighted; it is just because they know laws are not made to catch them or bring them behind the bars.
 Despite a woman’s status in Islam, women live with miseries. There are a number of cases that go unreported because women fear the label which will be given to them after reporting or taking the step of khula. Similarly in some recent addresses of Prime Minister Imran khan of which he says, “In Pakistan, the divorce rate is very high than the Western countries.”
According to reports of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the most common forms of domestic abuse are slapping which 52 percent, threatening is 49 percent, shouting 76 percent, punching 40 percent, and kicking 40%. Pakistan yet needs to work on its hardest to bring an end to the ratio of violence.
Hence, the initiative of the Govt of Balochistan for launching a helpline for Gender-based violence (1089) is a ray of hope for many GBV survivors. This helpline has turned many depressing stories into exultant endings. It has solved various issues of both genders. Thus, Pakistan had better work on the implementation of existing laws so that every resident dwells in peace and contentment.
Share your comments!