Sindh Activists Fear Domestic Violence Will Increase During Lockdown
Women right activists have urged the Sindh government to apply gendered-lens while drafting the coronavirus lockdown polices, as women have become more vulnerable to domestic violence in the current circumstances.
Women Action Forum (WAF) in its letter to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah appreciated the provincial government’s timely measures to counter the spread of deadly coronavirus. The organisation maintained the fact that the impact of humanitarian crises was not neutral but in fact, the women and specifically the ones who belonged to the underprivileged class would suffer the most from the coronavirus crisis.
“Women face an increase in their burden of household chores and childcare responsibilities and, in many cases, physical constraints and proximity leads to an increase in domestic violence and its intensity, putting the lives of women and children at high risk,” the letter stated.
The women rights organisation stated that the laws guaranteeing women and children protection from violence in the home, including the Sindh Domestic Violence Act 2013 should continue to be enforced.
WAF also urged the Sindh Government to functional the complaint cells and crisis centers run by the Women Development Department. “The police Madadgar Helpline (15) should remain responsive to complaints of domestic violence. Mass awareness through television, radio and text messaging should be raised regarding the availability of this helpline,” WAF demanded.
The women rights organisation noted that the shelters and safe homes should keep their doors open to women while maintaining ‘isolation’ and ‘social distancing’ in their facilities.
Women Action Forum (WAF) came into being in September 1981, as a pressure group to struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan.
Naya Daur Media (NDM) is a bi-lingual progressive digital media platform aiming to inform and educate Pakistanis at home and abroad. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here Follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram