Karachi, January 31, 2013 : To mark the success of its Women Empowerment Project that rehabilitates domestic violence victims, Depilex Smileagain Foundation (DSF) organized an event here on Friday.

In 2012, the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan 135th out of 136 countries on the Gender Gap Index. To address the gender gap issue, DSF initiated this program, to support women-survivors of domestic violence, specifically young girls and women who suffered from acid and kerosene burns.

While speaking on the occasion the chief guest, Mr. Iqbal Hussain Durrani, Secretary Health Sindhsaid, “That violence against women remains a prevailing social menace in Pakistan.”

He further added “Pakistan need organizations like DSF that take lead in addressing such gender specific crimes. Women empowerment is very important and our government is focused to address this issue. We assure DSF of our full support for their noble cause, we will be there to help them whenever they need.”

At the event Dr. Awais-e-Siraj, CEO Genzee Solutions Pvt. Ltd highlighted the importance of financial and economic empowerment of women.

Masarrat Misbah, President DSF while speaking on the event said, “Rehabilitation of Domestic Violence Victims Project” supports women empowerment, and is a step towards helping women reach their full potential and achieve economic security in an environment free of violence, discrimination, intimidation, or gender bias, in Pakistan. She expressed her gratitude to partner Philip Morris (Pakistan) Limited (PMPKL) for always extending help in empowering women of Pakistan.”

As a result of the project in the cities of Lahore and Karachi, 70 women-survivors of domestic violence received psychological and psychiatric treatment and obtained the necessary skills to integrate into the Pakistani job market.  Subsequently, the program facilitated in job placements for these women. Additionally, awareness-building activities were conducted for local community members in Pakistan.

DSF is registered with 12 hospitals across Pakistan for OPDs, referrals and surgeries.  As a result of efforts made by DSF and partner civil society organizations, laws protecting women from domestic violence as well as acid burn crimes have been passed. DSF is planning to institutionalize the much needed support to the victims of domestic violence.