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COVID-19 Recovery Needs under the project Women’s Voices and Leadership OXFAM- Pakistan

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During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the crime rate against women especially minority women has increased tremendously.

The cases of domestic torture, gender-based violence, abduction, rape, sexual harassment, forced conversion, forced marriages, torture, trafficking in persons, and slavery-like practices are on the rise.

Due to this situation, the women survivors are suffering pain, anxiety, stress, financial crises, discrimination, and aloofness.

In this situation, Psycho-social support, self-care, and well-being sessions are being held. Due to the increased crimes against them and house chores responsibilities women are forgetting to maintain, look after, and love themselves.

They are overwhelmed with pandemic challenges and are so occupied that they have no time for themselves thus they keep ignoring their own self-care and well-being.

Under the project ” Women Voices and Leadership OXFAM Pakistan, Umeed Partnership Pakistan, 14 trained community facilitators have been organizing trauma-informed care, wellbeing sessions, and psychosocial support for minority women and girls in Lahore slums.

The project has been implemented among the minority women and girls from slum areas of Lahore. Seven minority communities with dire needs were selected from slum areas of Lahore. From each community two women leaders were selected and trained as facilitators through 3-days TOT sessions who have replicated two trainings in each community in their respective areas. Altogether 14 replications of trainings in seven targeted communities have been done.

These seven communities included Yuhannabad, Joseph Colony, Nishtar Colony, Asif Town, Khaliq Nagar, Township and Green Town.

A support system, network established under the leadership of the trained community facilitators through which women will continue practicing tools and techniques learnt for their self-care and wellbeing.

Many case studies came up from these sessions on which UPP/Oxfam would work on in the future.

Women begin to love and look after themselves, learnt to spend time, energy and money on themselves and work first for themselves and then for others which was the main goal of the project.

It was first time that women/girls begin to open up themselves, started sharing their own personal problems especially with the psychologist.

They broke the taboo of mental health, trauma and chronic stress which kept them always silent.

14 trained facilitators emerged as community leaders with honor, dignity and self-respect. They have become a future core and a support group for UPP/Oxfam to work in these communities.

This project has been funded by Government of Canada.. under the project “Women Voices and Leadership” OXFAM Pakistan.

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