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Abstract

Gender-based violence constitutes a major public health risk and is a serious violation of basic human rights throughout the world. Counter to many Western images of Muslim women as passive victims, women's groups in Pakistan have begun to organize to respond to these conditions. This study is based upon in-depth interviews conducted with the founders and senior staff of Dastak (Knock on the Door), a shelter for women in Lahore, Pakistan that uses a human rights framework to provide services and advocate for public support for women's rights to safety and security. The study explores how Pakistani women are taking action against violence within their social, cultural and political reality and analyzes how the of human rights approach has been applied in a non-Western, Muslim, developing country.

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