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‘950 women raped, murdered in Sindh over eight yearsÂ’

Karachi: As many as 950 women in Sindh were raped and murdered during the last eight years, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) President Zia Ahmed Awan advocate said on Wednesday.

Awan was speaking at the certificate-distribution ceremony of a four-day training course for capacity-building and training for Women Helplines. He said that his organisation received thousands of cases of violence, abuse and exploitation in Sindh every month, reflecting the brutality of the tribal and feudal culture.

“Violence against women is on the rise,” he said, adding that this was evident from the fact that 15,769 women were victimized in Sindh during the last eight years.

“The reported number of cases is only the tip of iceberg because large numbers of women do not speak out against violence against themselves due to social pressure and for fear of being stigmatized,” Awan said.

The in-depth review of data indicates that Larkana, Hyderabad and Sukkur are among those cities and districts in Sindh where the majority of women abuse cases were reported. “Madadgar Helpline, is a project of the LHRLA, has therefore established Women Helplines in these three cities in partnership with the Sindh Development Society (Hyderabad), SAMAJ Foundation (Sukkur) and Community Development Network Forum (Larkana) and in cooperation with the UNDP,” Awan said.

The purpose of establishing Women Helplines was to provide telephone counselling, walk-in counselling, crisis intervention and referral services to the female victims of violence. Through these Helplines very strong working links and referral networking will be established with the police, medico-legal officers, health and other related government departments as well as non-governmental organizations, he said.

“Moreover, help would be provided to raise awareness and organise orientation and sensitization training for all stakeholders to share information and learn from each other’s experiences for facilitating female victims and preventing violence against women in all its forms,” the LHRLA president said. Women Helplines will be established across the country in due course at district level, Awan said.

Violence against women in Sindh

– 950 women were raped and murdered;

– 635 women were raped;

– 128 women were gang-raped;

– 1,086 women were physically tortured;

– 3,875 women were victims of karo-kari;

– 321 women were burnt alive;

– 3,634 women were kidnapped;

– 654 women were victims of police torture;

– 3,456 women committed suicide;

– 298 women were trafficked;

– 26 women were arrested under the Hudood Ordinance;

– 453 women were victims of forced marriage;

– 113 women were victims of “sawara” and “vani”.

* Data compiled over eight years.
Source: The News
Date:12/18/2008

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