The key objective of the study is to understand in the context of Pakistan: i) what are the kinds of violence do local women and minor experience in their everyday lives; ii) what is the kind of information should women receive to empower them in their fight against gender based violence; and, iii) to understand what forms of media would be most relevant to disseminate identified information to women.
What is the pilot?
Focus of the pilot was to conduct a multi-stakeholder analysis to understand the issues around gender-based violence in a holistic manner, including:
- Conduct focus group discussions and personal interviews with community women and those in shelter homes in districts Peshawar and Nowshera to understand: i) the kinds of violence they experience and their underlying causes in their everyday lives; ii) their levels of awareness of the different forms of support services they can access when experiencing such violence; and, iii) what information do they need to be empowered in their engagement against gender-based violence.
- Conduct interviews NGOs engaged in the fight against gender-based violence (Aurat Foundation, Khwendo Kor and Sungi Foundation) to identify what barriers they saw in women accessing support services, and what are ways to circumvent these barriers.
- Have discussions with hospitals in Islamabad, (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and Poly Clinic hospitals) and with public prosecutors on what are the medico-legal support systems available to women, what are the gaps, and how could they be best overcome.
- Discuss in the context of a shelter home (Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Crises Centre), and state agencies (National Commission on the Status of Women, Social Welfare Department, Peshawar, Ayub Medical Hospital, Abbottabad) on issues they saw relevant in their efforts against gender-based-violence and the information support processes they have in place.
- Discuss with the Police Department in Islamabad on the different committees and structures that they have in place to provide support against gender-based violence and how effective they are and what are gaps that need to be addressed and how.
- UiO has research collaboration the Peshawar police department to follow processes of gender-based violence and provide recommendations on building an information strategy to strengthen their interventions against gender-based violence.
What is the ICT in the pilot?
- The focus was not perse on the ICT but more on the information gaps experienced in the delivery of support services around gender-based violence and the developing of information strategies to address these gaps.
- Explore the potential that community radio provides in supporting the implementation of an effective information strategy.
Methodology & Empirical Approach
Our pilot entailed following a multi-stakeholder approach to understand information gaps and build understand of potential information strategies. These stakeholders included:
- Community women and from shelter homes
- Medico legal institutions and experts
- Hospital staff
- State agencies dealing with gender-based violence
- Police department
- Other relevant expert groups
Primary mode of collection of data was focus group discussions, personal interviews, discussions and meetings, and some observations. All data collected was compiled and then discussed amongst the UiO-Pakistan research teams to develop a thematic analysis which was consolidated in the project report.
- There are multiple forms of gender-based violence that women and minors experience in Pakistan, with underlying causes that span social-cultural-institutional factors.
- There are multiple political-social-institutional-cultural barriers to women accessing support services against gender-based violence.
- There is very limited awareness amongst community women and shelter homes on what kind of support services are available to them.
- Institutions and groups dealing with gender-based violence have very weak ICT based support to guide their efforts.
- The mode of community radio provides a rich potential on developing and implementing an information strategy for empowering women.