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‘3,132 cases of violence against women reported in six months’

Karachi: There was no respite from violence committed against women in Pakistan as 3,132 brutal cases were reported from different parts of the country in the first six months of the current year, the Madadgar National Helpline said on Friday.

It said women’s rights were worsening, with abuses showing an increasing trend.

Women are the most vulnerable and marginalised group in society, facing discrimination and violence in their daily life. Physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women, including domestic violence, Karo-Kari, suicide, stove and acid burns, rape and forced marriage remain a serious problem, according to the organisation.

The Madadgar National Helpline shared a biannual data of violence against women from January to June 2012, showing that the women’s rights situation remained poor in the country. The report released by the organisation has been compiled from the monitoring of different incidents in national and local newspapers.

According to the statistics, in these six months as many as 432 women were murdered, 110 raped, 197 murdered after rape, 89 gang-raped and 332 kidnapped. There were 533 cases of use of torture, 104 of the women fell prey to Karo-kari, 125 were burnt, 417 were tortured by police, 303 committed suicide, 97 became victims of human trafficking, and 91 fell prey to Vani. Moreover, 201 cases of forced marriages were reported. “These numbers are startling, and attest to the fact that women and girls are victimised, in both urban and rural settings.”

The province-wise breakdown of the data shows that 1, 375 incidents, the highest number of cases, were reported in Punjab, 878 in Sindh, 527 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 352 in Balochistan.

This shows that the most populous areas of the country have witnessed more violations, and more people are willing to report these abuses. While it seems that Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have a low crime rate, in reality these low numbers are due to their scant population. On the other hand, it may also show unwillingness on the part of the victims to report violations, especially in tribal and rural areas. Actual incidences may vary grossly.

Referring to Article 2 of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Zia Ahmed Awan, president of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, said they condemned discrimination against women and advocated the principle of equality of both genders. It has established legal protection against discrimination. “But in practices these rights often remain fictional.”

The government had ratified many laws to defend the rights of women, but sadly these regulations remained confined to paper and serious efforts were not taken to implement them, and as a result government institutions failed to offer the necessary protection, he said.

Awan also demanded strict implementation of the laws pertaining to the equality and freedom of women.

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