Pakistan: Gender Violence - Social Audit of Abuse Against Women, 2001-2004

The final report of this project is available from the library.

This social audit, which took place between September 2001 and August 2004, aimed to define the extent of abuse against women in Pakistan and to identify protective factors that can guide locally generated preventive actions to reduce the problem. Specific objectives were to:

  • raise awareness among communities and their leaders about abuse against women and options for preventive actions
  • promote the creation and implementation of community-based strategies to eliminate abuse against women
  • define an action plan for the Government of Pakistan to help eliminate abuse against women.

This project was undertaken in close collaboration with the Ministry of Women Development and as a part of the Family Protection Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Provincial governments, in particular Women Development Departments (WDDs), were also involved, with a government focal point in each province. The work began with an extensive design phase involving a review of all available studies and reports in Pakistan and internationally, and systematic consultations with stakeholders in civil society, government academia and the donor community. The survey instruments and field processes were extensively piloted before data collection began in late 2002. Data collection from a household survey of some 23,000 women in all districts of Pakistan was completed in April 2003, with data entry taking place in tandem. Key findings from the household survey were taken back to separate focus groups of men and women in participating communities in late summer of 2003, to seek their views about the findings and possible solutions.

Preliminary findings from the household data were presented to the Ministry of Women Development in 2003. Further analysis of factors related to the risk of abuse was undertaken in late 2003 and a workshopping process took place in all provinces in the first half of 2004. Working groups of government and non-government stakeholders were convened by the provincial WDDs to consider the findings and develop evidence-based policy recommendations and action plans. The working groups presented summaries of the SAAAW findings and their recommendations in provincial plenary workshops in June 2004.

The final report, including the policy recommendations and action plans from all provinces and a draft communication strategy, was submitted to the Ministry of Women Development at the end of August 2004.

This project was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The report of the SAAAW workshopping process is available from the Library.


An article based on this experience and entitled “Collecting Reliable Information About Violence Against Women Safely in Household Interviews” is available from