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“Human Rights for Women: Human Rights for All"

Mr. Barak Husain Obama
President
United States of America

Honorable President

On behalf of all the women from Pakistan, I am writing you to craft this important legislation for the benefit of the thousands and thousands of women who had to suffer through their whole life because of the Non legislation of the any proper law for them.

Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality.

Such violence is unacceptable, whether perpetrated by the State and its agents or by family members or strangers, in the public or private sphere, in peacetime or in times of conflict.

Every year hundreds of women of all ages in Pakistan are killed in the name of Honour Killing. During the last year 1,261 cases of honour killing were reported; honour killing and Karo-Kari is a custom of killing mostly women who are accused of having sexual relations with strangers. Karo is when a man is killed; Kari when a woman is killed.

Pakistani women are also victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment, with thousands of women becoming victims of sexual assault. Unfortunately these women are forced to compromise with the rapist because in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) rape is a non compoundable offence and Judges and local police compel the victim to compromise for a small amount of money due to their poverty, without giving the rapist a sentence.

The victims of domestic violence are refused the right to register their cases against the alleged accused, because police discourage the victims family from seeking justice on the grounds that the legal expenses are too high and often the accused are influential and have police protection.

As many as 44 countries have enacted legislation on domestic violence. While Pakistan does not have specific legislation on it, there are sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and other laws that can be used to invoke justice for the victim, Still, domestic violence is not a crime against the state, and no special laws in Pakistan has been drafted having special remedies and procedures. Violence against women is perpetrated when legislation, law enforcement and judicial systems condone or do not recognize domestic violence as a crime.

The experience of violence by women is shaped by the intersection of gender with factors such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, culture, religion, age, class, sexual identity, disability and citizenship status. The prevalence of violence against women constitutes a global human rights and public health crisis and is an obstacle to equality, development, security, peace and women’s empowerment.

In 2006, the UN Secretary General issued the In-depth study on all forms of violence against women, which stressed that governments have an obligation to: secure gender equality and protect women’s human rights; exercise leadership to end violence against women; close the gaps between international standards and national laws, policies and practices, including access to justice and redress for all women who suffer from acts of violence; strengthen the knowledge base on all forms of VAW to inform policy and strategy development; build and sustain strong multi-sectoral strategies, coordinated nationally and locally; and allocate adequate resources and funding to this issue. Each of these obligations is critical to preventing gender based violence.

In this spirit, we offer several recommendations to be considered by the USA government. They are following:

 Ensure that states take action to protect women from and punish acts of violence by state and non-state actors, including family and community members, through implementation of government commitments (such as those named in the Beijing Platform for Action, the ICPD Programme of Action, CEDAW, Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820, and Millennium Development Goal 3 on Gender Equality).
 Appeal to individuals and communities to be responsible agents of change by speaking up and intervening to prevent and report acts of violence against women.
 Collect and monitor data on the prevalence and incidence of various forms of violence against women in diverse settings.
 Call for significant increases in government, international agency and donor resource allocations to eliminate discrimination against women, promote gender equality, and prevent all forms and manifestations of violence against women.
 Advocate for creation or implementation of and resources for a National Plan of Action on Violence against Women and Girls.
 Ensure that prevention strategies encourage men and boys to be part of the solution, while still keeping the focus on empowering women, ending the discrimination that fuels violence against women, and challenging societal gender-related power imbalances.
 Call upon the United Nations to take bolder action on the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign and actively involve civil society organizations in the campaign.
 Protect rights of women defenders and defenders of women’s rights, and ensure violators, whether state, non-state, family, or community actors, are brought to justice.
 Build a stronger UN women’s organization that can advance women’s human rights and gender equality, implement global policies, and deliver results for women everywhere.
 Last but not the least, deliver the funding necessary to protect progress made to date toward achieving gender equality and women’s human rights at all levels worldwide.

Mr. President, through this letter, we therefore urge you to craft a clear act/law for this purpose achieving women rights and encourage you to announce that act/law.

We are waiting for your response to these concerns.

Sincerely

Fatima Zafar
District Multan
Punjab-Pakistan
Dated: 28/11/10

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Please join the PulseWire community in speaking out against violence and urging the U.S. government to pass the International Violence A\against Women Act (I-VAWA). Write your letter in your PulseWire journal to share your personal and observed experience in gender-based violence, both in your life and within your community. Tag your journal "IVAWA", and World Pulse will send your letter directly to President Obama, along with letters from women around the world. Learn more:http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...

Comments

jadefrank's picture

IVAWA update

Dearest Fatima,

Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade Frank

Online Community Manager
World Pulse

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