QUETTA (Khyber Mail): The U.S. Embassy is financially supporting a campaign to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) in Balochistan, with the Balochistan Police leading the initiative. The campaign is being carried out with technical assistance from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

A key event of the campaign was a seminar held at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Quetta. The seminar, which marked the conclusion of the campaign, brought together experts from various fields to inspire young female students to lead social change against GBV in Balochistan.

The seminar was chaired by Balochistan’s Education Minister, Ms. Raheela Hameed Durani, who stressed the need for proactive measures against GBV and the crucial role of universities in empowering young women. Other notable participants included Deputy Inspector General of Police Balochistan, Mr. Qamar-ul-Hassan, Vice Chancellor SBK, Prof. Dr. Sajida Noreen, Chairperson Provincial Commission on Status of Women, Balochistan, Ms. Fozia Shaheen, and SP, Quetta Police and In-Charge Women and Juvenile Faciliation Centre, Ms. Pari Gul Tareen.

The campaign focused on empowering young women, especially adolescent girls, by helping them recognize and challenge gender stereotypes, encouraging them to address GBV in their everyday lives, and inspiring them to consider careers as police officers in Balochistan. Two interactive sessions were held in March 2024 at the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University and Government Girls Postgraduate College in Quetta, where accomplished women police officers, psychologists, academics, and gender experts engaged with female students to encourage them to support GBV survivors with empathy and respect.

The campaign also emphasized the importance of immediate help for GBV survivors and highlighted the services available at the Women and Juvenile Facilitation Centre (WJFC) in Quetta. SP Quetta, Ms. Pari Gul Tareen, stated, “Gender-based violence thrives in silence and ignorance. Our aim is to create awareness and a supportive environment for GBV survivors to ensure reporting of GBV to relevant authorities and the delivery of necessary assistance.”

This initiative marks a significant stride towards cultivating a culture of understanding, respect, and empathy in addressing the issue of gender-based violence in Balochistan.

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