LARKANA/KHAIRPUR: There must be a system to scientifically collect data about incidents of violence against women, stressed speakers at the Shaikh Zayed Hospital where they had gathered on Monday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Held under the auspices of the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Pakistan (SGOP), Larkana chapter, Dr Shahida Magsi, associate professor of gynaecology, expressed concern at the rising graph of violent incidents around the world which she said stood at 35 per cent according to the World Health Organisation. “Violent incidents against women are seldom reported here, as the police ignore the incidents describing them as personal and domestic issues.” Sharing her research on the subject, she said: “The abuse against women takes the form of mental and physical torture that often results in bone fractures, shearing of hair, chopping of lips and noses. This leads to psychological disorders such as depression and suicidal tendencies. Often the families of the victims advise them to remain silent about the violence that they are enduring. Such victims often suffer from hypertension, diabetes and stomach ulcers.”
Giving figures Dr Magsi said: “Nearly 2,637 women attempted to commit suicide and 2,341 women were killed and the cases were filed under a range of charges. Only 636 First Information Reports were registered in Sindh and in 605 cases of violence against women the police had declined to register FIRs. In 2012-2013 1,985 cases of violence against women were reported in Sindh which was 25.5 per cent more than the figures reported during 2010-2011.”Dr Naila Memon appreciated the previous government’s efforts in legislation to plug violent incidents against women but added that the victims were yet to benefit from the laws. “Nearly 38 per cent women around the world were killed by their close relatives or partners. Nearly seven per cent of the total female population in the world was the victim of sexual assault. Consequently most become dependent on sleeping pills and tranquilisers. And more often than not, these women committed suicides.”
SALU seminar on violence against women
The Institute of Gender Studies, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur marked the International Day of Violence against Women. According to a press release, a lecture programme on reproductive health issues of women was held on Monday.
Prof Dr Parveen Shah, the vice-chancellor of SALU, said that as far as the health issues of women were concerned, Pakistani women were among the worst affected, with very high mortality rate during pregnancies and child births. The deaths of women every year in Pakistan were among the highest in the world. However, even more important was the lack of resources even for those who wished to seek treatment. She said that rural concept of giving birth to babies is another reason, why patients remain undiagnosed of medical complications. She highlighted that domestic violence involved physical, sexual, social, emotional, economic and psychological abuse committed by the perpetrator. Dr Shah said that the women development and law ministries were both actively involved in the finalisation of draft bill called ‘Domestic Violence against Women and Children (Prevention and Protection).’
Prof Dr. Roshan Ara Qazi, the chairperson of department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro defined reproductive health which she said was a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters related to the reproductive system.
She elaborated that reproductive health included both men and women and covered the entire life span and it also comprised sexual health reproduction and family planning.
Giving figures Dr Qazi said that 61.27 deaths occurred out of 1,000 at the time of birth as of 2012. The male death ratio was 64.51, while the female death ratio is 57.88. She said that the health of the infant was largely dependent on the mother’s health status and access to health care during pregnancy, childbirth and shortly after birth. She also highlighted the key measures of reproductive health which included the care of a foetus, newborn child, infant, child, adolescent and finally the adult in both reproductive and post-reproductive years. She further elaborated that every problem during the life cycle must be taken care of by each and every concerned member of the society to fullfil the needs of a healthy community.
Earlier, Dr Tajnees Pirzada, of the Institute of Gender Studies, said that due to an entrenched feudal system in Sindh and particularly in the cluster districts, human rights especially women rights were invisible. However her institute was trying to create awareness and empowering women from economic, political and social perspectives.