ISLAMABAD - A global campaign ‘We Can End All Violence Against Women’ marked the symbolic representation of shoe memorial ceremony in the remembrance of 50 million missing women of South Asia here on Friday.

According to research by Amartya Sen, a noble prizewinner from India, more than 100 million women are missing. The shoe memorial ceremony, which also initiated the series of events across 32 districts of Punjab, KPK, Sindh and Balochistan, marked the global movement of 16 days of activism for elimination of violence against women. These events include change maker (persons who pledge not to commit any violence against women) rallies, walks, mobile vans and press conferences.

A minute of silence was observed to pay homage to the 50 million missing women of South Asia and their remembrance was attributed by candle vigil and dropping of flowers. The ceremony was attended by the members of civil society and youth groups from colleges and universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The collected shoes (ladies worn out shoes) shall be handed over to women in need through proper charitable organisations.  Commenting at the occasion, Hajera Pasha, national coordinator of We Can, said, “Each pair of shoes represents one woman who lost her life due to violence, now looking at this huge stack we are able to comprehend that how many lives have not been valued.”

Hajra said core change in the incidents of violence could only be achieved through changing the mindsets regarding violence.

Public denouncement of violence and commitment of not committing violence is our tool to achieve this change in mindset. “By working in collaboration of partners in 36 districts of Pakistan, we have got hundred of thousands people who vowed not to commit any violence against the women and they are also disseminating this message to others” she added.

She emphasised the need for greater ownership of the campaign by the political parties so that they play active role for legislation to eliminate violence against women from the Pakistan.

‘We Can End All Violence Against Women’ is a global campaign present in 14 countries around the world. It focuses strongly on non-acceptance of violence in all its manifestations aiming at engaging public opinion on the issue of violence by building mass awareness based on the underlying belief that personal attitudinal change becomes the agent for social change.