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16 days of activism: People campaigning against VAW cycle through capital

ISLAMABAD: 

To raise awareness about violence against women, activists cycled through the streets of the capital on Sunday.The White Ribbon Campaign, in collaboration with the Cyclist’s Community of Islamabad, had arranged the ride to create the awareness about the issue. The exercise was a part of “16 Days Activism”, a campaign on eliminating violence against women.

Over 100 cyclists, hailing from different walks of life, gathered at the main entrance of Faisal Mosque at 1:30 pm.

They then cycled from the mosque towards Jinnah Super market before heading on towards hotspot hills where the rally ended at around 3pm.

At the end of the rally, White Ribbon Campaign CEO Omer Aftab appreciated the cyclists who came out to support the cause.

“We need such spirit and enthusiasm, which was shown today by youngsters, to spread awareness to end domestic violence,” he said.

He said this year’s campaign focuses on men’s commitment to play their due role in ending violence against women. The campaign aims at creating widespread awareness and engaging men to take action by not keeping their eyes and ears closed towards injustice being meted out to women around them.

Aftab added that they would also urge lawmakers to strengthen pro-women legislations and take immediate steps for their implementation.

With Pakistan languishing just one spot above the bottom of the gender equality index, participating cyclists stressed on the need for immediate steps for eradicating violence against women.

Pakistan currently ranks third on the list of most dangerous countries for women with one out of every five women facing domestic violence. The ratio has alarmingly jumped by 20 per cent in recent years.

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.

Source: The Express Tribune

Byline: Correspondent

December 5, 2016

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