Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) gender development project provides hope to the village women in Pakistan during Covid-19.

Glasgow, UK: The Glasgow based human rights organisation Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) has completed its first phase of a gender development project which was launched earlier this year. 

In January, 2020, GMA opened the Chiragh Din Welfare centre in MariahKhel, Punjab, Pakistan which aimed at equipping local village women with sewing skills and provide them an opportunity to earn and support their families financially. 

GMA launched its first three months sewing course in August, 2020  which was supported by GMA funds. GMA provided sewing machines and material for women to help them support during this challenging time. 

On 10 December, 2020, a certificate ceremony was held in the village where certificates were distributed to the women who completed their sewing course. 

GMA’s Pakistan co-ordinator, Farida Jerome said that we are thankful to GMA for providing local women an opportunity to learn new skills and help them support their families. 

One participant of the programme said, ‘We are thankful to GMA who has provided us a skill development opportunity so we can support our families especially during this pandemic’. 

GMA’s Project Coordinator, Shahzad Khan who oversaw the delivery of the program said, ‘The Cover-19 pandemic has hit women disproportionately all around the world. In developing countries like Pakistan, this is especially true as there are no formal or state level support structures.’

Mr Khan said, ‘We are thankful to our donors who enabled us to reach out to women in MariahKhel and to offer them an opportunity to learn new skills to support their families and community which has been suffering severely from the impact of Covid-19. GMA will shortly launch a new fundraising campaign for the 2021 cohort of the project.’

You can learn more about the project and how to donate via the GMA website here: https://www.globalminorities.co.uk/women-welfare-centre-2

The first cohort of women who took part in the GMA gender development program

How to Support the victims of Domestic Abuse?

There are more than 10 million domestic violence and abuse victims each year – by the time you finish the sentence, at least one woman has been assaulted. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that domestic violence is a plague that knows no bounds.  Physical abuse is prevalent in all demographics, from those below the poverty line to the million-dollar faces we all adore.

And while domestic violence has no racial or economic bounds, according to VeryWell, research seems to show that black women are most likely to experience domestic violence, followed by Hispanics and then whites, with Asians the least likely to endure domestic violence. And while black and Hispanic women have been shown to be more likely to report domestic violence, those who fear deportation might be less likely to report their abuser. Making a horrendous situation even worse.

Every day, however, there are plenty of women who are able to free themselves from domestic abuse. But it doesn’t end there. Women of domestic violence often experience symptoms of trauma long after escape. They need a loving, supportive, and understanding network to help them regain their confidence. Understandably, it’s difficult to know what to say or do to help a loved one circumvent further crisis after ending an abusive relationship. Here are a few things you can do to help a woman during her transition from victim to victor.

Lend a listening ear. Having the opportunity to talk about the situation to a non-threatening and sympathetic friend is cathartic. Sometimes, the abused may not be fully convinced of the gravity of their former situation and may need to hear themselves say it out loud. Listen attentively, but don’t push for details. She will open up in her own time.

Help her find a qualified therapist. As much as you can listen, your friend will need much more emotional support than you can provide. Help her find a therapist who is experienced in helping people heal after an abusive relationship. In addition to individual therapy, you can point her in the direction of local support groups, where she can discuss her situation with others in the same boat. This is all the more important if substance abuse is a factor (as it often is in these situations). This may help her realize that she is not alone and overcome lingering feelings of guilt or grief that she associates with the relationship. Mental Health America offers a list of specialized support groups on its website.

Be specific in your offers of help. Your friend may not know what she needs as her mind is still swimming with fear and apprehension. Avoid vague statements such as, “Call me if you need anything.” Instead, pay attention to her environment and social or verbal cues. If she has children, you might, for instance, offer to take the kids out for ice cream so that she can have a moment alone. Set up a schedule with other close friends and family that know about the situation to provide meals and transportation.

Encourage her to pursue her passions. Lots women find comfort in their hobbies. And since many victims of domestic violence are denied any form of happiness by their abuser, it is more important now than ever that your friend do something strictly for herself. Drawing, painting, and other forms of self-expression may help her refocus her priorities while offering a temporary respite from her emotional anguish.

Provide her with alternative therapy options. The National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder reports that acupuncture, meditation, and relaxation exercises are viable ways to supplement trauma recover. Animal therapy is another proven technique to overcome depression, which is often triggered by domestic violence. Dogs are especially effective companions for women who may not be quite ready to talk about their experiences but need comfort and unconditional love. Health Fitness Revolution magazine asserts that having access to a service animal can provide anxiety relief, encourage communication, and has a number of overall positive psychological benefits.

Don’t insist that she start dating. Domestic violence leaves an emotional scar that can make it difficult for victims to open their hearts once again. Avoid the temptation to set your finally-free friend up; she will begin dating in her own time. Codependency and domestic violence often go hand-in-hand, according to Darlene Lancer, a marriage and family therapist and author of Conquering Shame and Codependency. You should encourage her to learn how to depend on herself before pursuing new love interests.

In conclusion, the most important things you can do for a victim of domestic violence is be there for support and help her explore this new chapter in her life.

 The article has been contributed by Nora Hood. She can be contacted via her email nora@threedaily.org 

 

The Victims of Pakistan’s Acid Attacks

Yesterday, The New York Times published an opinion article by Nicholas Kristof, which highlighted the plight of thousands of women in Pakistan who become victims of the acid attacks far and wide in the country. These poor women become the victims of patriarchy, societal norms as their lives, relationships, family and above all their ‘being’ is neglected, denied, deprived and even sacrificed on the name of ‘honour’.

Being a woman in a patriarchal society is an unimaginable life. You are reduced to nothingness. You do not hold any feelings, emotions or any respect. Your existence is no longer an existence. It’s something there, open to abuse, violence and sometimes murder. A life some argue, is worse than a death.

Global Minorities Alliance urges Pakistan government to implement laws with action to help thousands of women who become victims of this barbarous acts of violence by men. There is indeed no ‘honour’ in killing.

The ‘Saving Face’ a documentary which has highlighted the plight of these women who go through excruciating pain both at familial, societal and legal level to get justice. However, not everyone get justice. The fight for rights of women go on.

To watch the documentary on the acid victims of Pakistan click here: ‘Saving Face