Event Organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute
Seminar on Tech for Gender Protection & Launch of Interactive Map to help victims of gender-based violence
In a first of its kind, the Islamabad Policy Research Institute and the Ministry of Law and Justice took a leap forward to minutely address the pestering issue of gender-based violence prevalent in Pakistan; and launched an App-based Interactive Map to deal with the menace in an upfront manner.
It was a landmark initiative to make use of technology by procuring data from all relevant sources to scrutinise the tendency of violence against women, and create a policy input and a remedial measure for the government and other stakeholders in the private sector.
The seminar was addressed by Barrister Maleeka Bokhari, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice; Amna Baig, Assistant Superintendent of Police; and Farzana Bari, Human Rights activist. IPRI Executive Director Dr Nadim Hussain, who in fact conceived the idea, pointed out the need for streamlining data and policy input so that the critical issue of gender-violence could be tackled effectively. He was pleased that a public sector Think Tank had taken the initiative, as the issue is part of wider national security.
Maleeka was pleased to inform that the government has prioritised the issue of addressing gender-based violence, and the process launched today shall be scientifically dealt with. She said the data will help create a national policy and subsequently a solution-based strategy.
Amna Baig underlined the urgency to enable the women to come forward to report abuses; and was confident that the new set-up, which is run by women staff and police officers, will be a renaissance of sorts in uplifting the plight of women, and making them secure and confident.
Farzana Bari, by narrating her experiences, observed that merely laws and data are one aspect of profiling security for women; and what is needed is a policy to address the structural abuse inherent in our male-dominated society. Likewise, she said that women shelter places too need to be reformed, as they are furthering discrimination and marginalisation in a way of its own.
The speakers were confident that the user-friendly interactive map will go a long way in empowering the fair sex, as more than 50 per cent of Pakistan’s populace luckily have a smartphones with 19% access to Internet.
It was also underscored that the state should ensure that technology benefits reach the lower strata, and an advocacy campaign be launched to educate the women to report harassment and violence. It is the first step towards dispensation of justice, and cleansing the society of patriarchal ills.
It was hoped that a mechanism to enable live monitoring, tracking and updates on the status of reporting and judicial judgements will follow suit.
Brig. (retd) Raashid Wali Janjua, in his closing remarks, agreed that women security is interlinked to national security, as such a major segment of society cannot be left unattended and un-empowered.