Enhancing women’s greater role in Community Cohesion and Preventing Violent Extremism

Karachi – 27th July 2019 – Evidence indicates that women in countering extremisms are usually focused more on reconciliation, economic development, education and transitional justice – all are critical elements of sustained peace. This root idea was emphasized in the round– table meeting held here in Karachi by Media Baithak, a forum to talk and work on resolving pressing issues in collaboration with media practitioners and active civil society members.

The round-table was aimed to enhance women pivotal roles in countering violent extremism in Pakistan from the bottom up as well as from the top down, engaging multiple stakeholders. It was further aimed to constitute a policy draft based on recommendations from the speakers for legislation reference.

“Easiest and perhaps the best role of women in countering violent behavior as mediator starts from her home, as a mother, daughter, sister or as a wife she can do wonders. Women understand other point of views, this creates an environment where issues can be discussed openly, analyzed, option found, pros and cons for all parties assessed and the most preferred for all agreed upon” Zofeen T. Ebharim Investigative Journalist emphasized on grass root involvement of women for the same cause.

This was discussed in the meeting that unfortunately women constitute only two per cent as mediator in conflict resolution and 8pc as negotiators in Pakistan. Of 1,500 peace and political agreements, only 25 discussed the role of women in their implementation.

“Apart from sensitization of political party workers and parliamentarians, we need to bring women on direct seats, in the assemblies, from general elections to become legislator and decision makers. Women can contribute their role in CVE till community level by introducing ‘know your neighbor‘campaign, and at state level establishment of volunteer core can solve this matter to satisfying level” Farooq Sattar prominent Pakistani politician stressed on improving the state system.

Round-table meeting panelists pointed that Pakistan being the signaturee of UN resolution 1325 on women, to enhance the role of women in prevention of conflict and peace building, negotiating settlements and mediation must play its lawful role till grass root level.

Amna Dawood, a social activist and lawyer elaborated this concern “ SAFE is an international pact which designates the role of women at domestic and community level to play as a vigilant eye to sense any hint of violent behavior and counter it, for the sake of safe society, Pakistan is a signaturee of this pact, we don’t need new laws, laws are there and we need to implement them” 

Panelist agreed upon those women must start empowering themselves than they can get their place in legislation and decision making process,

“Psychological abuse and violence is worst than physical form, this leave scars on mind for whole life”. Clinical psychologist Rutaba Khan highlighted the importance of mental strength of the women.

Involvement of women in conflict resolution results in more durable peace and there are greater chances of implementation, this only can be achieved by only providing equal opportunities of education for the society.

Speakers who participated in round-table meeting for policy recommendation were  Farooq Sattar, Politician; Iftikha Shalwani, Commissioner Karachi; Aliya Sarim, Social Activist; Sherry, Program Host AAJ TV; Zofeen T. Ebharim, Freelance Journalist; Zakeya Malik, DSP Traffic;  Abu Rashid, Drama Writer; Amna Dawood, Lawyer; Urooj Ahmed, Social Activist; Rutaba Khan, Clinical Psychologist –CPLC; Mrs. Rafia, Social Activist; Adilah Khan, Journalist- SAMMA TV and Sadia Asim , Drama Director – Hum TV.

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