FAO in Pakistan

16-Days Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Merged Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan


Gender-based violence prevails as one of the most inhuman exploit throughout the world, it has no boundaries either national, social or economic.  In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the gendered implications have highlighted the unequal impact of the pandemic. In Pakistan, women being essential contributors to economic and social sectors have been faced with less access to necessary resources, services, and time– factors that are hindering their productivity. With COVID-19 and other socio-economic and cultural factors, the multidimensional gender inequalities and gender gaps have exacerbated, giving rise to massive challenges across the country, striking on societies, economies and political systems. Women are immensely affected, as they are more exposed to health risks, loss of income, take on a larger share of unpaid care work and face a heightened threat of gender-based violence during social confinement measures. The pandemic has also overwhelmed the activity lists of women farmers, who run household obligations while ensuring a safe and sufficient food supply for their families and communities despite of being victims of violence and all kind of harassments.
Raising awareness against gender-based violence has become more important than ever especially women living in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to violence because of their relatively weaker social position and lack of awareness about their legal rights.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Pakistan has taken part in the global 16 days campaign to end violence against women by conducting awareness campaign through its Farmer Field Schools in the rural areas of the country. The campaign has been started in the merged district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Like many other remote areas, there is heavy restriction on mobility of women even though the area depends heavily on women for agriculture activities. This is the first time that women and young girls in the merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are participating in an awareness campaign to stop gender based violence.  
Disseminating messages related to gender based violence has been a big challenge in the rural areas due to a less literate population. FFS approach by FAO in raising awareness against gender based violence is proving an effective tool in reaching out to rural women where 68% of them are associated with agriculture.
FAO in Pakistan is striving to reduce the inequality gap between rural women and men in access to productive resources, services and rural institutions; and increasing their access to economic opportunities that can improve their individual and household well-being is of vital importance for a sustainable change. FAO works with both women and men, institutions and other partners in Pakistan to address GBV in the food security and agriculture sector.