Ending Gender Based Violence

Da Hawwa Lur-Daughter of Eve is a grassroots level organization,established in 2001 in KPK, which is also an active member of Alliance against Sexual Harassment, for the purpose of ending gender based violence from the society especially local communities. DHL started a campaign to eliminate sexual harassment from the society. Under this campaign implementation and awareness regarding the anti sexual harassment legislation in public and private sector was carried out. The campaign included awareness sessions on anti-sexual harassment laws in educational institutions, health, police, law departments, local communities and villages. Secondly the campaign included awareness through local transportation, in which the posters and banners regarding the sexual harassment law were pasted on public buses, autos, vans, whereas the drivers and local transporters were made aware of the law.victims of sexual harassment were supported in registering their cases with free legal, psychological suppo

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

1) To create a women friendly environment at work places.
2)To create awareness about the sexual harassment legislation and punishments.
3)To implement sexual harassment law in public and private sectors.
4) To empower women through safe working environments.
5)To protect the women liberty and dignity through strict implementation and use of the law.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

The objectives were achieved through the series of awareness sessions for the media personnel, students, teachers, nurses, religious scholars, doctors, local communities and a series of radio /TV shows were conducted because most of the people living in villages listen to radio and are unable to read, the radio shows for the awareness proved beneficial for a high number of population in the local languages. Moreover theaters for the villages were conducted showing the harassment cases and their way of resolution. A series of meetings were conducted with the government and private departments for the formation of sexual harassment cells and sexual harassment committees. IEC material was distributed and banners/posters were pasted for the awareness among common masses.The victims of sexual harassment were supported and provided free legal and psychological support with the awareness to their families and living communities.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

Anti-Sexual Harassment law was passed in 2010 in Pakistan, but there is still a great gap between the implementation and awareness of the law. the campaign was a first step towards the implementation and awareness of the law to provide women and girls with the safe working environment. The new ways of awareness that is public transport campaign and theaters were introduced for the awareness of the law among the common masses.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

more than 500 people were made well aware of the anti-sexual harassment law through sessions while an infinite number of people were benefited through the radio sessions and transport campaign. More than 20 cases of harassment were registered which were solved formally and informally. Sexual harassment law committees were formed in more than 25 departments with the strict implementation of the law.

CHALLENGES FACED

The biggest challenge was that people did not consider harassment as anything related to women. It was a great hurdle to aware people about the relation of harassment with the women development. It is the biggest violence on women as it restricts women mobility and women empowerment, for which we struggled hard to implement the law in all private and public sectors. In registering the sexual harassment cases and resolving them, high level threats were faced by the CEO of the organization. The implementation was very slow due to lack of interest of state.

LESSONS LEARNT

There is still lack of awareness among people about legislation.There exist various stereotypes and myths related to women and harassment that we need to end. For the empowerment of women, there should be strict implementation of the law as the families do not allow women to work or access education because of sexual harassment.