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Call to set up body to monitor rape cases

Call to set up body to monitor rape cases

Karachi: Civil society activists lamented the government’s failure to curb rising incidents of violence against women and children, calling for a body to be formed to monitor the crime.

“When the world is celebrating international girl child day, we are going in the opposite direction,” said Sheema Kirmani of the Tehrik-e-Niswan, at a press conference held in Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

The city has witnessed multiple cases of rape especially of minors in recent weeks. In September, a 13-year-old girl was picked from her school at Azizabad and her raped body was found at Sea View two days later. On October 11, another 15-year-old girl was found in Defence, raped and unconscious, but alive.

Kirmani said that often the media reinforced fundamentalism, which was a cause for the growing incidents of assaults against women. “The media should nudge people to wake up like they did in India after a girl was raped and killed in Delhi.”

The speakers at the presser claimed that the reported cases of sexual assault were only the tip of the iceberg as the majority of the families chose not to report the incidents.

Dr Nighat Shah related an incident in which a girl was raped by her paternal uncle. “The girl was pregnant and the family was ready for the consequences and planned to give the child for adoption.”

She said that in the United States even eve teasing was considered a crime. “Even so they claim that one in four women are harassed. Going by that in Pakistan sexual harassment amounts to 100 percent.”

Mehnaz Rehman from the Aurat Foundation said: “The media should come together with the civil society so that our little girls get justice.”

Dr Idrees Adhi from the Pakistan Medical Association shared that three of his colleagues had asked him to help them get a licensed weapon that if in case they were raped they could shoot themselves. “We don’t realise the proportion of this crime in our society.”

Dr Wasiq Qazi, a medicine practitioner, said: “As a society we are sick. Our schools and madrassahs have failed to make us humans.”

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