With physical access to health facilities in Pakistan severely limited by the country’s rapidly growing number of Covid-19 cases, providing women and girls an alternative way to get reproductive health counseling and information “is the need of the hour,” says Ghulam Shabbir Awan, director of Ipas Pakistan. A new telehealth initiative is helping meet that need. The project is a joint effort by Ipas Pakistan, provincial departments of health and Sehat Kahani Pakistan, a non-governmental organization working … Continued
Ground reality reveals deep-rooted patriarchy that has a hold on both formal state institutions and informal ones. One would think it is simple – one’s body belongs to oneself. The reality is that a woman’s body does not belong entirely to her. It belongs to the state, family, religious institutions and ideology. Globally, controlling a woman’s body is one of the tools used to maintain the deeply entrenched patriarchal status quo. For centuries, this is how it has been, regardless of the advancement societies make. That simple idea then that a woman’s body belongs to her is in fact really, even in this day and age, a radical one.
Lately, we’ve been joking about a lockdown baby boom. The joke may turn sour a few months on when stay-at-home rules and boredom-induced intimacy between couples start resulting in the arrival of coronababies, coronials or quaranteens. It might sound cute and joyful, but it’s making many couples insecure — because it’s not the best time to get intimate. “Men are spending more time at home these days. They are under no pressure from work and … Continued
This commentary describes positive political norm change on abortion despite a restrictive abortion law. As we describe it, the approach in Pakistan has involved careful efforts to maintain government ownership, leadership, and accountability for safe abortion care and service delivery by Pakistani health authorities early and throughout, with technical support from civil society as requested. This commentary suggests that careful collaboration and mutual support by NGOs working on expanding access to abortion can have a lasting and efficient impact on improving political norms and government ownership over abortion care.
The Punjab Health Minister, Dr Yasmin Rashid, addressed a seminar on “Ending Gender-Based Violence”, held under the ambit of the Punjab Government, in collaboration with UN Women. “It saddens me that some people get to know about the sex of the baby during pregnancy and abort the child if it were not a boy,” she said. She reiterated that no society can move forward without empowering women. “Violence against a woman disturbs the whole family … Continued