In the News

Empowering Girls to Protect their Rights

“There is a dire need to incorporate human rights as a necessary subject in syllabi of our schools and colleges in order to equip future generations with basic human rights.” This was echoed by the Pakistan Provincial Minister for Human Rights, Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Hon. Ijaz Alam Augustine, during the dialogue workshop between girls and key stakeholders on “Prioritization of Ending Gender Based Violence.”

The dialogue, which took place in Lahore, Pakistan on 20th June 2019, was attended by representatives from Women Development Department, Social Welfare and Bait ul Maal Department, Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department and Parliamentarians from Punjab Provincial Assembly. The dialogue workshop was graced by the first lady, (wife of the Governor of Punjab), Mrs. Parveen Sarwar. The Director General of Child Welfare Protection Bureau, Mr. Fayaz Naeem Warraich, and the International Commissioner for Pakistan Girl Guide Association, Ms. Samina Ejaz, also attended the workshop. The event was organized by Search for Justice, CAN Pakistan, National Commission for Human Rights, and Pakistan Girl Guides Association (Punjab) in collaboration with Australian High Commission of Pakistan.

During the meeting, Pakistan Provincial Minister, Hon. Ijaz Alam Augustine, shared that the fight against gender-based violence needed everyone’s participation so that the country can achieve peace. The minister pointed to the importance of empowering women and girls by promoting their rights adding that education is the key to such empowerment. He expressed grave concern over the lack of popularity of the Girl Guides program amongst students and asked the Girl Guides Association of Pakistan to come up with plans to popularize the girls’ movement. Hon. Augustine assured the participants of Punjab government’s commitment to implementing the legal framework to promote gender equality.

Search For Justice Executive Director, Mr. Iftikhar Mubarik said that through the partnership with Australian High Commission, they had been able to train 200 lecturers, 1,500 girls from public sector colleges in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahab and Faisalabad. He added that through working with security structures and the media, his organization has been able to address gender-based violence. Mr. Mubarik shared GNRC’s commitment to SDG 5.2 on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation in both public and private spheres.

Leading national newspaper, The Dawn, awarded coverage to this event.