Status: Completed Start Date: Jan 2015 End Date: Mar 2016 Geographic Coverage: National Focus Area: Gender & Developemnt SDG Goal: 5 Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls Implementing Partner: SPO & Other National NGOs Funding Partner: USAID
With an overarching goal to improve access of women to formal justice system, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) implemented a 15 month long women focused project title ‘Addressing gender based violence through sensitization of district bar association and through establishing kiosk in the court for women accessing formal judicial system’.
Situation of women’s access to justice is appalling in Pakistan. The country where approximately 2.5 million cases are pending in the courts, and the legal and judicial systems suffer from chronic delays in the disposal of cases, women’s access to justice is almost out of the question because of varied hindrances starting from home to the courts.
SPO in close collaboration with the Bar Associations took some gender sensitive measures for ensuring justice for women. Through the project interventions, the Bar Associations developed improved understanding on gender, gender concepts, and legal approaches to equality, pro women laws, family and minority laws (including Qisas and Diyat) and international legal instruments and obligations related to women’s rights.
Well connected set of activities were implemented to achieve the mentioned results. Some of the highlighting activities included; upgradation of District Bar Office and Resource Center through a provision of necessary IT equipment, furniture and resource material on law and gender. Research work was undertaken on pro-women judicial precedents and regressive court precedents for effective comparative trend analysis (civil and criminal) from the district. Total three case laws were prepared (post training) describing legal proceedings on the cases of women’s right illustrating different kinds of Gender Based Violence (GBV) /Violence Against Women (VAW).
Capacity building has been core niche of SPO’s stream of work. District Bar Association were strengthened and sensitized through a series of 16 trainings. Capacity of a lawyers group was also build to enhance their understanding on pro women litigation will be available for improved facilitation of women cases in courts.
Advocacy and awareness is core element to SPO’s scope work across all project. Pro-women laws posters were printed, disseminated and displayed in key court areas. In addition to this, facilitation Kiosk in Courts was also established in the premises of district court after placement of female facilitation officer.
Through this key intervention, and improved facilitation in courts, women have reportedly started accessing the formal justice system in District Quetta. The project had strengthened the lawyers’ community to take immediate and appropriate actions to address violence against women. Even after the project completion, this initiative is expected to leave a long term impact by reduction of gender based violence through increased sensitization among judicial system and increased awareness among communities.