Improvement in access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence urged

Islamabad

Police officers from 19 countries along with international human rights activists and gender experts stressed for cooperation among police, judiciary, victim support services, civil society and media to improve access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence.

The consensus was reached at the concluding day of International Gender Responsive Policing Conference titled ‘Gender Responsive Policing: Promising Peaceful Societies’ organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The three-day conference stimulated the debate on gender issues, highlighting positive developments towards improving police response to gender-based violence worldwide, focusing on emerging challenges and priorities for the future, to ensure a substantial road map towards achieving gender just policing practices. The delegates were unanimous of the opinion that gender responsive policing can foster peaceful societies. They highlighted the importance of engaging men in combating violence against women and shared best policing practices for addressing gender-based violence in their countries. They also discussed role of social media in changing the mindset of youth. They were of the opinion that good practices and good instruments are available in the world to combat gender-based violence but they need to be adopted or adapted and used more.

The conference was closed by DG National Police Bureau Ihsan Ghani, Principal Adviser Gender Responsive Policing (GRP) Project Dr. Khola Iram along with President International Association for Women Police from UK Jane Townsley. Women Police delegates from Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordon, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Senegal, Syria, Tajikstan, Yemen represented the OIC countries in the International Conference. Women Police Officers Australia, England, Germany, Netherlands also contributed to the conference as speakers and by conducting workshops along with the International speakers from South Africa, USA, Nepal, Singapore.

Speaking on this occasion, National Police Bureau Director General Ihsan Ghani said they have learnt a great deal from each other and hoped that the participants would continue this process of mutual sharing of information in future. “We observed during the last three days that people coming from different countries with different languages, different histories, and different political systems can work together on matters of mutual interest.”

Principal Adviser Gender Responsive Policing (GRP) Project Dr. Khola Iram expressed hope that governments would take recommendations of this conference seriously and take action because VAW is a war against humanity that must be stopped. “We expect that the Government of Pakistan to show its commitment for combating VAW by enunciating laws on violence against, ensuring implementation of these laws by promoting women participation in the criminal justice system especially in police.”

President International Association for Women Police from UK Jane Townsley said that the discussions during last three days have highlighted the need for a gender sensitive and gender balanced criminal justice system for ensuring peaceful societies. “Violence against women is the most pervasive kind of violence that hampers growth, impedes development and destroys peace. Safety for women and girls is the first step towards making them productive members of the society,” she said.

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