The offices of the UN Refugee Agency across the country are organizing activities to mark the annual “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.” - Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: The offices of the UN Refugee Agency across the country are organizing activities to mark the annual “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.” The international event will run from 25 November to 10 December.

A wide-range of activities have been planned to focus on combating violence against women and girls and to highlight the positive role that men and boys can play in this endeavor, said a press release issued here on Tuesday.

This year's theme for the 16 Days is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World”.

The UN Refugee Agency together with its partner organisation SACH (Struggle for Change) is carrying out a number of activities over the 16 days in cities across in Pakistan.

They include workshops for refugee communities on gender-based violence, AIDS and persons with disabilities.

The initiatives also includes festivals, and walks by the refugees, NGO workers and government officials to create awareness about gender-based violence and HIV, MIME (theatre for development on GBV), focus group discussions at refugee villages, health awareness sessions and seminars for male and female on women’s rights.

“With these activities, UNHCR wants to express its solidarity with survivors of violence and raise awareness about discriminatory behaviours and practices against women,” said Maya Ameratunga, the UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan.

The campaign this year coincides with the tenth anniversary of the launch of UNHCR's Five Commitments to Refugee Women.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, UNHCR and SACH organized a festival on Tuesday at Jinnah College, University of Peshawar in order to mark the 16 days initiative.

The event was inaugurated by Ms. Sitara Ayaz, Provincial Minster for Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment.

The Minister for Law and Justice, Mr Arshad Abdullah, Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan, Vice Chancellor Peshawar University and Zaheerul Islam, Commissioner Afghan Refugees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also attended the event.

A large number of students, teachers, NGO workers and Afghan refugees were present for the occasion. Community workshops to sensitize refugee women are planned in Kohat and Hangu districts on November 30 and December 1 respectively.

Focus group discussions at refugee villages and a seminar at Jalozai camp will also be organized.

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