Our Staff Reporter SIALKOT - Domestic violence is a massive impediment curbing the development of women not only in Pakistan but in whole of the south Asian Region where after every two minutes a woman has to face violent situation in her routine life. The states in the region have so far not been successful in eliminating the social menace of gender-based discriminations and violence. This was stated by Hina Noureen, President Baidarie Sialkot while addressing a seminar conducted in solidarity with We Can movement to celebrate the Universal Day Against Violence on Women. The day is celebrated to highlight the need for coherent efforts for making the life free of violence and torture for women. Hina said that the global trend of Feminization of Poverty, and related issues including subservience of the social players to patriarchic structures, rigid orthodox norms and stifling socio-cultural customs and traditions continuously decay the status and role of women (48 percent) of the population of 180 million people) in Pakistan. In unfortunate practical terms, the women in this part of the world are seen as the repository of family honour- although not regarded as honourable in themselves and any perceived slight to that honour, whether true or not, is considered to be punishable in the most brutal way. She said that reports by credible human and women rights organisations hint at reported and unreported cases of thousands of women as victims of rape, incest, forced prostitution, parading undressed, honour killings, mutilations, domestic violence, kitchen-stove accidents, acid throwing, burning, sexual harassment at workplace, forced/exchange/child marriages, trading /trafficking of women and female infanticide etc. Innumerable women and girls suffer mental and physical violence in silence for years, die violent deaths and get buried in un-marked graves. Prof Arshid Mehmood Mirza while speaking on the occasion said that gender-based discriminations, rampant domestic violence and ever-impending fear of sexual harassment and assault outdoors as well as indoors leave the society to pay the highest cost in social, cultural and economic terms. Violence in all of its forms and manifestations casts deep emotional and physical scars on the victims and add trauma to their life. Addressing the participants Advocate Ch Shabbirul Hassan, former General Secretary Sialkot Bar Association said that ironically enough, by and large the governmental agencies have reduced their role to the patronization of the forces that commit and favour gender-based discriminations, oppression and violence. Police, if at all, registers a complaint of Violence against Women, often manipulates evidence and use sections of the penal code carrying lower penalties leaving scarce space for the survivors of the violence to get their grievances adequately addressed. Ch Omar Abdullah Ghumman a local human rights activist said that violence against women in all of its forms and manifestations has become an endemic in Sialkot district as well, undermining womens confidence, self-esteem and destroying their health. Lack of social support and vigilance systems let such cases either go unnoticed or not to get proper and timely support for corrective actions thus increasing trauma and miseries for the victims. Mr Saadat Ali Programme Coordinator We Can while concluding the debate said that it is obligatory for the policy and decision makers in state and society to hit hard on the roots of this menace in a programmatic, pragmatic, coherent and systematic way by taking pro-active, pre-emptive, supportive and rehabilitative steps. He avowed on the behalf of the change makers in District Sialkot that We, the Change Makers of the WE CAN social movement, commit to foster change within ourselves to End All Violence against women and motivate others to join in this journey toward equlality, justice and peace.