SHADE promoting human rights
Society for Human Advancement and Disadvantaged Empowerment
International Human Rights Day
Ms. Farzana Naz
International Human Rights Day is celebrated the world over on December 10 every year. Different organizations plan different activities to mark the importance of the day and to sensitize people to respect human rights. This was started in 1948 by the United Nations.
The Society for Human Advancement and Disadvantaged Empowerment (SHADE) is a non government, not for profit organization. It focuses human rights.
The area we focus currently is district Jaffarabad of Balochistan province of Pakistan. The area has a tribal set up where violation of human rights is a mundane activity at every level. Women have very low status in the society here and they are considered below men. Violence against women is socially accepted. Women are not involved in the process of decision making even at the households.
The SHADE organization celebrates International Human rights day regularly in collaboration with its partners. The organization celebrated International Human Rights 2012 in collaboration with its Partner Shirkat Gah. A dialogue on “The Role of Women in Decision Making at the Households” was organized. People belonging to different fields of life participated and they included teachers, students, media men and members from community development organizations.
The main purpose of the dialogue activity was to awareness to Community Based Organizations and other bodies about the importance of the day and to sensitize people specially Community Based Organizations about the role of women in decision making human right that we must respect at every level be it the household or the organization or institution.
Before the activity pre-assessment forms were filled by the community. The form contained 10 questions concerning women rights and the role of women in decision making at households.
A post-post assessment was conducted after a week of the activity to measure the impact of the activity on the concerned community and to plan for the future activities concerning the topic.
Guest speakers were invited to speak on the occasion and sensitize people about the importance of the day and to respect human rights and to start this from their households. Mr. Faqeer Muhammad Chairman Queen Beatrix House School System made a speech in the beginning. He said” violations of human rights have long past history and now it’s due to non-governmental organizations there is reduction in such violations, due to orthodox traditions and tribal society the status of women is very low, they are not allowed even to take part in minor decision making at the households, to get progress and prosperity we have to bring positive changes in the status of women.
After the speech of Mr. Faqueer Muhammad Chairman Queen Beatrix House School system, Mr. Noor Hassan a Social Organizer of Society for Human Advancement and Disadvantaged Empowerment SHADE floated different questions from an already prepared questionnaire to start discussions among the participants on the topic. The participants took keen interest in the discussion. They said women have low status because we have male dominant society and tribal set up here. Mr. Abdul Aziz news reporter said women have to come forward to get their human rights as they accept violence against them without raising any voice against it. Mr. Asif of Dia Women Development Organization said human rights are the basic requirement for the growth of a person and governments are responsible to provide freedoms and ensure provision of these rights, he said it is the responsibility of Non-governmental organizations and Community Development Organizations to sensitize government line departments about the basic human rights so that they could respect these rights. Ms. Nargis a student of 8th class said I will ask my father to involve my mother in decision making now on, I will ask my father to give me permission to continue my studies. Ms. Rukhsana of Sawera Women Development Organization said not involving women in decision making, at any level whatever it is either it is household or government institutions, is a human rights violation because both women and men are equal and they have equal rights and being a men or women it is our responsibility to respect our human rights, she said it is the responsibility of the governments to implement universal declaration of human rights and ensure that human rights according to the constitution of the country are respected by the government line departments. Mr. Nisar Ahmed a young farmer from Nawra village Union Council Sorha said our parents are not educated and they did not give us education and farmer ship is our profession we have been doing for generations, we do not know much about human rights, we do not involve women in the process of decision making at households at any level, but when a women gets very old say about 75-80 or so on than sometimes our male members consult them but again this process is not open and even than the old aged women cannot give suggestion freely. He asked the SHADE organization to arrange this sort of activity at the Nawra village and involve farmers.
The dialogue started at 11:30 AM and lasted for 2 and a half hour. About 25 people participated in the dialogue including both male and female participants (07 female, 18 male). More than 35 female and male students of higher and middle classes participated in the event as observers (20 female students, 15 male students).
Mr. Rashid Mehmood Assistant Manager Advocacy program Shirkat Gah also participated in the event as a guest. He expressed his views on the occasion and asked few questions from the female students to sensitize them about human rights and about the importance of international human rights day.
A pre-assessment was conducted by the organization at Union council 111 of Usta Muhammad where the activity took place. The pre-assessment was conducted one week before the activity.
The main purpose of the pre-assessment was to measure the level of awareness in community of the concerned area about the role of women in decision making at households. An easy to understand questionnaire was developed by the SHADE organization in easy to understand language having 10 questions about women rights and the role of women in the process of decision making. In total 50 questionnaires were distributed among people of different backgrounds (25 female, 25 male).
Out of 50 assessment forms 52% say No in response to whether women be allowed in the process of decision making at the households while 40% say yes and 8% ticked both the answers (Question No.7). In response to Question No. 6 Is it violation of human rights not to involve women in decision making 65% say no 35% say yes. In response to Question No. 3 Are Women and men equal in status 61% say No while 28% say yes and 11% ticked both the answers.
The assessment forms were filled by the farmers, Shopkeepers, teachers, students and people from Community Based Organizations.
More or less the same people were invited at the dialogue activity on December 10,2012 at Queen Beatrix House School System Union Council 111 Usta Muhammad. The participants were sensitized about women rights and the role of women in decision making at the households by the guest speakers and other participants.
After one week of the activity the same forms we used for the pre-assessment were given to the same participants of the dialogue activity to measure the level of awareness among the people after the activity and there was overall 2% change observed among the people who answered positively to give women an active role in the process of decision making at the households.
To bring positive difference in the attitudes of people towards women rights and towards involving women in the process of decision making at the households and to measure the long term impacts of the activity we need to engage people continually in such activities and for this purpose the SHADE organization has planned to organize community sessions for the promotion of women rights and the role of women in decision making at the households. The organization will keep updating Shirkat Gah for the progress and impacts of these activities through quarterly reports.
• Most of the participants were not familiar with the importance of the day, they got sensitized.
• The participants became aware of the role of women in decision making at the households and at other levels in life.
• People in general, educational institutions are not well aware of international human rights day and Universal declaration of Human Rights.
• People at villages like to be sensitized about human rights and they would respect these rights if proper non formal education programs are started at the villages.
THE SHORT TERM IMPACTS OF THE ACTIVITY
• Mr. Faqeer Muhammad Chairman Queen Beatrix House School System announced that his two schools one at Usta Muhammad and Other at Gandakha will celebrate international Human Rights Day on December 10 every year from now on. He asked the SHADE organization to work with his staff to prepare a short syllabus for his schools to sensitize students about human rights.
• Ms. Nargis a student of 8th class will mobilize his father to give her mother participation in decision making at her house.
• Mr. Nisar a young farmer asked the SHADE organization to conduct a sensitization session at Nawra village in Union Council Sorha.
• The participants first time got sensitization about women’s role in decision making at the households as men’s dominant role at the households is socially acceptable here.
The International Human Rights Day was observed by the SHADE organization at a local private school. The participants of the activity very keenly discussed the role of women in decision making process at households. The activity will leave profound effect on the lives of participants.
• WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?
• WHAT IS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
• WHAT IS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
• NOT INVOLVING WOMEN IN THE PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING, IS IT VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
• HOW CAN WE BETTER INVOLVE WOMEN IN THE PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING AT OUR HOUSEHOLDS?
• WHAT SHOULD BE OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RESPECT AND PROTEC HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN?
• WHAT SHOULD BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STATE IN PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS?
• HOW TO STOP VIOLATIONS OF WOMEN RIGHTS IN JAFFARABAD DISTRICT?
• HOW TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS IN JAFFARABAD DISTRICT?
• WHAT SHOULD BE THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS IN THE PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?