‘Voices of Courage & Sorrow’, a collection of 15 case studies of women victims and survivors has been translated from Urdu, compiled and written by Amal Farooq Malik, a 17 year old A’ Level Law student at the Lahore Grammar School Defence, who has been involved in community activities, regional and international dialogues and writing since 8 years.
The e-book is the result of a 7 month long research project conducted by Amal Farooq Malik, that is based on data provided by Ms. Rabia Usman, Manager of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Crisis Centre for Women, Punjab over a period of one year wherein 225 women were interviewed and 15 case studies were selected for the purpose of this research study. The final study was launched as an e-book online on 31st March, 2021 due to Covid 19 and book events are planned after the third wave subsides.
Technical legal insights for the study have been provided by Advocate Ammara Malik of SEPLAA Foundation & Think Tank.
Amal Farooq Malik emphasised in the book that “These women were initially forced to stay silent about their circumstances and endure what they were going through, because they were afraid of the consequences. Many did not have any financial independence, which often discouraged them from asking for their rights. Their dependence on their husbands or families was often taken advantage of as well. Their economic status was linked to their gender and thus their families believed that these women were not worth the same or equal to a man who was a breadwinner. Additionally, many of these women sought help from their parents and families, who usually pacified the women instead of directing them towards better solutions. Many families encouraged these women to settle for less and to cope with their situation, rather than teach them to defend their rights.”
Ms. Rabia Usman commented that “‘Voices of Courage & Sorrow’ began in the backdrop of the 16 days but it is not just for those 16 days for us. Ending violence, whether physical or economic, is not a short term endeavor. It requires coordinated and sustained efforts from all of us. We pledge to stand up against all human rights violations, specifically domestic violence, and to lend our voices to raise awareness for a better tomorrow. We encourage you to do the same. Not just for 16 days.”
Other speakers at the launch appreciated the work of Amal Farooq Malik and reiterated the importance of documenting studies on women from Pakistan in an electronic format for wider dissemination and better understanding of the various roles that can be undertaken by all stakeholders for the improvement of the lives of women.
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