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1,100 women in jails across the country: HRCP

Islamabad: Out of nearly 75,000 prisoners in different jails of the country, around 1,100 were women, reported Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

“The misery of these women prisoner is their families no longer cared for them or stay in contact with them rather than pursuing their cases due to social stigma”, said a official of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan while talking to APP here.

Quoting figures of latest report of HRCP, `State of Human Rights in 2012’ the official stated that the situation is worse particularly for nearly three dozen women who were given death penalty.

The women prisoners, he informed, also lacked qualified medical assistance as most of the prisons where women were held did not have full time women doctors and many did not have any doctors, men or women.

“Women in prison were the most vulnerable of detainees in Pakistan”, he remarked.The women police centre in Lahore, Jail Road was reported to have a lock-up area exposed to passers by while the bathroom inside had only a four feet wall, he pointed out.

These factors caused violation of privacy for women detainees, the official said adding, women were reportedly also kept in lock-up much beyond the stipulated time, while there were no separate juvenile cells for young girls under eighteen.

The report mentioned that according to HRCP media monitoring, at least 41 girls and women became victims of acid attack in 2012; 15 women had their limbs amputated, mainly over suspicion of `immorality’; heads of as many as 37 women were shaved to humiliate them and 49 women were set on fire in different incidents across the country.

On behalf of HRCP he recommended that implementation of women friendly legislation needs to be carried out well within the stipulated time.He also asked for government proposed plans and policies for women that have been demanding an end to forced conversions of religion.

Women need to be better accommodated in the socio-economic sector, through allowing them greater opportunities and safeguarding of their rights at workplace, he commented.The official further said representation of women in the judiciary needs to be improved through the appointment of more of them as judges while there is need to have more female representation in the law enforcement department and for allocating more resources for them.

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