Baidarie Sialkot is a Pakistani non-governmental organization that grew out of an initiative of women in the rural village of Roras in 1993. Stemming from the creation of project focused upon literacy and skills training in 1991, Baidarie is committed to the role of education and awareness in expanding the rights of women. Through capacity building projects, Baidarie has worked hard to help women become more active in the decision making processes.
While Pakistan may have ratified CEDAW, or passed a ‘Protection of Women’s Rights Act’, discrimination and violence against women persists on the local level. Law enforcement agencies, judiciary and police are generally unsympathetic to female victims of violence, and some discriminatory laws persist. Baidarie aims to raise awareness in communities about gender based discrimination and violence against women, as well as ensuring that religion or culture are not used to justify such atrocities.
To date, Baidarie registered 1435 cases of torture on women and tried hard to keep the families untied by resolving the conflicts through psycho-social counseling. The reported cases included sexual assault, honor killing, murder attempts, acid throwing, stove bursting, divorce, physical beating and of the acute mental and psychic affliction. Efforts to provide succor to the women and girls survivors of violence in most of the cases provoked anger, retaliation and passion for vengeance in the perpetrators of violence. Provision of legal and medical aid and increasing of accessibility to recourses of rehabilitation for women and girls never proved to be a smooth sailing for the organization
Within their work, Baidarie has seen an alarming increase in violence against women, and the detrimental impact that it has on confidence, self-esteem, and health. Therefore, they are committed to fighting against gender-based violence and inequality through inter-agency cooperation, building awareness, and providing female survivors of violence with access to justice and rehabilitative resources. Through educating stakeholders and implementers, effective advocacy, and creative and responsive channels to support victims of violence, Baidarie aims to increase education and awareness about the human rights of women, and their role in development, as well as fighting against societal and cultural norms that harm women.
Baidarie is launching an online petition to support the social rights of activists, community based organizations, and NGOs at the start of the 16 Days of Activism to fight Violence Against Women. At least 3,000 signatures are expected to be collected via the website and through emails by International Women’s Day on 08 March 2011.