Title

Violence against Women in Pakistan: Contributing factors and new interventions

Document Type

Article

Department

Psychiatry; School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan

Abstract

Pakistan ranks 125th out of 169 countries on the Gender Development Index and has high prevalence rates of Violence against Women (VAW). Contributing factors toward gender based violence at the micro, meso and macro levels include the acceptability of violence amongst both men and women, internalization of deservability, economic disempowerment, lack of formal education, joint family systems, entrenched patriarchal norms and values, and a lack of awareness of legal and other support systems. These factors have a long-lasting impact on the health of women and children. The gender disparities in the experience of women seeking health care in Pakistan are well-recognized and documented. In the past, common government policy responses to these disparities have included developing the role of community health workers (CHWs) and lady health visitors (LHVs). Despite being commendable initiatives, these too have been unsuccessful in addressing these multi-faceted disparities. Within this complex scenario, new interventions to address VAW and its impact on health in Pakistan include Group Counselling, Economic Skills Building, Health-Based Microfinance, and Family-Based models that increase male involvement, especially at the primary health care level. The purpose of this article is to outline key contributing factors to VAW, explore tested and new interventions, and highlight the opportunities that exist in implementing them.

Publication

Issues in Mental Health Nursing