Karachi gets two-child courts

Feb 24 (Karachi): The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Sindh High Court (SHC), Mr Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh, inaugurated the child court in Karachi District Malir at the District Courts Malir yesterday, which followed the inauguration of another child court in District-East by the Director-General of Sindh Judicial Academy honorable Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar on 24th February 2021 with an aim to take the criminal justice reform agenda forward. The efforts to establish child courts in the province aimed at providing expeditious, child-sensitive and fair justice to children in contact or in conflict with the law as envisaged in the […]

First ever Yadgha poetry session held in Lotkuh, Chitral

Yadgha speakers of Lotkuh valley in Chitral arranged a poetry program on Phatak day in Garamchashma town of Lotkuh valley. A group of Khowar poets from Upper and Lower Chitral districts joined them in the historic event which was held for the promotion of Yadgha language and encouragement of Yadgha poets. The event provided first ever opportunity to Yadgha poets to come up with their creations, and introduced the participants to new poets from Yadgha language. Earlier, the poets from Yadgha community used to present their poems in Khowar who have recently switched to their native language due to increasing awareness regarding […]

BeGunah a web series on justice with children premiered

Dated: Islamabad, Mon, 1st February 2021 The issue of justice with children in Pakistan is set to open public discourse at the national level as Group Development Pakistan (GDP) – a civil society organization registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 working on protecting and promoting child rights and strengthening child protection and justice with children across Pakistan – premieres BeGunah in collaboration with federal Ministry of Law & Justice (MOL&J) which is a web series based on the concept of the artivism engaging youth to raise awareness on justice with children. BeGunah aims to address and analyse dynamics that […]

‘SDPI among 100 non-US global think-tanks’

ISLAMABAD: With 11 points improvement, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) stood 90th among 100 non-US global think tanks, according to the 15th edition of University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) released across the world. It retained its first position in Pakistan for the last many years, and with improvement of four points it ranked 11th among the South East Asia and the Pacific region. A press release issued by SDPI said that the 2020 GGTTI is based on the ranking done for over 8,500 think tanks (TT) registered with GGTTI from across the globe, selected […]

Women in Water – a book on fisher women of Badin published

Fiza Qureshi’s book ‘Women in Water’ has been published recently. It focuses on the alternative livelihood options for fisherwomen living in district Badin. It is the result of a study conducted with financial support from Oxfam in Pakistan. In 2015, Oxfam Novib with its IP Indus Consortium implemented a short term (six month) project under the title “ Women Entrepreneurship through Private Sector Engagement” (WEPSE) with 25 fisher women in two union councils i.e., Ahmed Rajo and Bughra Memon of district Badin, Sindh. The purpose of the pilot project was to enhance the livelihood of fishing community by reviving the […]

A Learning and Networking Opportunity for Advocates of Gender Equality

Are you a civil society leader in South Asia or the MENA region? Are you working for a more gender equal world? SI Leader Lab is an online leadership programme for advocates of gender equality who wish to grow in their role while exploring new tools and forms for collaboration. Apply to SI Leader Lab if you want to grow as a leader, develop your advocacy skills and share knowledge in a network of inspirational peers. I Leader Lab 2021 will bring together 60 young influential civil society leaders in South Asia, the MENA region and Sweden who are active […]

Writing system in Gawarbati language strengthened

Jan 15, 2021: Chitral Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI) held a three day workshop for strengthening of writing system in Gawarbati language in Arandu village, situated  alongside Afghan border in southern Chitral this week. In total 12 people, including government school teachers, language researchers and activists attended the sessions held under FLI’s Orthography and Writers’ Workshop series. This event was designed by FLI to support community based partner organizations working for development and promotion of their respective languages. The idea of this event came up from the community as for this particular event, FLI let its partners to devise plans […]

Senator Krishna Kumari urges youth to embrace Pakistan’s religious and cultural diversity

Jan 15, 2020: Islamabad. Senator Krishna Kumari discussed interfaith relations with university students during a two-day education and training workshop here in Islamabad. Senator Kumari told young students to have faith in themselves and see Pakistan’s religious and cultural diversity as a blessing. She also shared the story of her life’s journey from a disadvantaged village of Sindh to the Senate of Pakistan. According to Senator Kumari, her faith and gender created immense challenges for her as she pursued education as a young girl in a primitive village. She added that despite many societal issues, Pakistan was a promising country […]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passes domestic violence bill

Peshawar: Friday – Jan 15, 2021 Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly on Friday passed a bill to prevent domestic violence against women. As per Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill, the perpetrators of violence against women face up to five years in prison. The landmark bill defines economic, psychological and sexual pressure on women as “violence”. The bill stated that a six-member District Protection Committee would be constituted which would be responsible for providing medical treatment, legal assistance and shelter to the victims. It said that a petition would be filed against the offender within 15 days whereas the courts would […]

Preparatory national consultation on justice with children held

Dated: Thursday, 14th January 2021 Islamabad: Leading the discussion during the Preparatory National Consultation on Justice with Children, key national and international stakeholders contributed to a meaningful discussion to pave the way forward for justice with children Group Development Pakistan (GDP) – a civil society organization registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 working on protecting and promoting child rights and strengthening child protection and justice with children across Pakistan, held a preparatory national consultation on Justice with Children, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Law and Justice, Terre des hommes Foundation, BackerMcKenzie, the office of the UNSRSG on […]

Samantha Power to head USAID

from Voice of America President-elect Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he has picked Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, to run the agency overseeing American foreign humanitarian and development aid.   If confirmed by the Senate, Power will head the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has an annual budget of about $20 billion. Biden also announced that he is elevating the position to the National Security Council within the White House, a signal that he will prioritize outreach to other nations.   Biden has said that USAID will coordinate America’s work to […]

Pak NGOs in 2020

Dear Web Users/Visitors, We would like to say Happy New Year to you all. It was indeed one of the most difficult year for most of us. The year 2020 is already behind us. Let us hope and pray that the problems it brought are also gone. The pandemic is still around though the vaccines are very much in sight, and we hope these prove to be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. We would like to provide you an overview of how Pak NGOs did in the year 2020. The year 2020 was, so far, the […]

Of culture and development

Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi Culture is chiefly described as the way of life a society or a group of particular people espouse. Culture is also referred as a communal life style stemming from particular customs and traditions and that are manifested in varying forms of art. Culture hence manifests a society’s appreciation of ideas and intellectual achievements that help embellish collective behavior. Culture, in nutshell covers a broad range of societal characteristics and forms of art. Development is often termed as consequent state of social change. It brings together elements of growth and expansion of a society becoming socially and economically […]

Missing in Action: Experiences of women with climate journalism

This booklet narrates the stories of five female journalists from Pakistan who are working on environment- and climate-change-related issues. Women are being disproportionately and adversely impacted by climate change and female journalists are uniquely placed to understand and share their stories. However, these journalists are ‘missing in action’ from the media in sharing their experiences of environmental activism and climate action. The publication covers a range of challenges journalists face, from limitations on mobility and harassment, to gender-based discrimination in media houses. It highlights why environmental issues sometimes make headlines while remaining dormant at others. Additional details Author(s) Ebrahim, Zofeen […]

Child, early and forced marriages

Wajahat Ali Malik Child marriage and early marriage mostly refer to a marriage in which one or both spouses are under 18 years of age. However, early marriage is sometimes used to describe a marriage where one or both spouses are 18 or older, but are without free and full consent. For example, the marriage of a 19-year-old who is not physically or emotionally mature, or unable to make decisions, would be considered an early marriage. Whereas in forced marriages, one or both spouses are unable to give full, free and informed consent about marriage, regardless of their age. Forced […]

Lahore High Court Declares ‘Two Finger’ Virginity Test Illegal

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday declared virginity tests, including the two-finger test (TFT) for examination of sexual assault survivors “illegal and against the Constitution”, saying they had “no forensic value” in cases of sexual violence. In a 30-page judgement, Justice Ayesha A. Malik wrote that the virginity test “offends the dignity of the female victim” and was contradictory to Article 9 and Article 14 of the Constitution, which are related to the security and dignity of a person. The judgement declared that virginity tests are “discriminatory against the female victim as they are carried out on the basis […]

US Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ for Pakistani women

New York: The US Congress has passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ which will expand the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women to receive higher education under a merit and needs-based programme. Passed by the House of Representatives in March 2020, the bill was passed by the United States Senate by a voice vote on January 1. The bill now heads to the White House for US President Donald Trump to sign into law. The bill requires the US Agency for International Development to award at least 50 per cent of scholarships under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022, across a […]

CPDI launches Report on State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan

Okara (11th December 2020): Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has launched its Annual Report on State of Budget Transparency in Pakistan. The report points out shortcomings in the budgeting process at the federal and provincial levels and states that budgets in Pakistan should be prepared in consultation with the stakeholders and information should be shared with citizens proactively during all stages of the budget making and budget implementation process. This was told by Ms. Asifa Khan, Director Programs, Foundation for Awareness & Civic Engagement (FACE) during a press conference here in Okara. The event was organized by FACE […]

Children on the streets

Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi Who are the children we see living on the streets? The destitute families that cannot afford to send their children to schools find it more attractive put these children to work. Most of them collect trash or go begging on the fringes. Many children are employed exclusively in the begging stream. Needless to say the children on the streets remain highly vulnerable to abuse and denial of basic rights consequently. The type of work/employment these ill-fated children on the streets have to perform are the worst forms of child labour. Studies conducted to decipher the challenges of […]

Violence against girls impacts our collective future

Benazir Jatoi The devastating consequences of extreme violence against girls has been very recently brought into sharp focus following the rape of a 4-year-old girl in Sindh’s Kashmore, and the not so long ago tragic sexual violence against, and murder of young girls in Kasur. Last week, another 7-year-old girl was struggling for her life after being raped in Lahore. These tragic, unacceptable incidents from Kasur to Kashmore– and everywhere in between– should concentrate minds as to how grave the problem of violence against girls is in this country.  According to Sahil, a national children’s rights NGO, between January to […]