25 February 2021, Peshawar
The Aawaz-II Programme in partnership with the KP Commission on the Status of Women (KPCSW) organized an event to celebrate the passage of the landmark KP Domestic Violence Against Women (Prevention & Protection) Act 2021. Civil society activists, lawyers and journalists participated in the event physically and online. Speaking at the event, Dr. Sumaira Shams, Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus in the KP Assembly, said “the Government is committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of laws.” Ms. Rukhshanda Naz, Ombudsperson-KP for Harassment at the Workplace, stressed the need for community engagement to ensure that people are aware of the legislation.
Dr. Riffat Sardar, Chair of the KPCSW said that this legislation shows the positive intent of the government towards curbing harmful social practises that affect women and other vulnerable groups. Dr. Yasmin Zaidi, Team Leader of Aawaz-II said that the programme provides platforms and teams at the village, district and provincial levels for awareness raising on the law which will facilitate its implementation. Ms. Farzana Ali, journalist, Ms. Mehvish Kakakhel, lawyer, Ms, Amna Durrani & Mr. Qamar Naseem also spoke on the occasion as panel members.
Key recommendations from the discussion were better prosecution capacity and resources to put in place a supportive institutional structure and public monitoring for effective implementation. Further need to work on social attitudes was recommended as many still do not accept domestic violence as a crime.