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KARACHI (December 05 2007): Around four million women abused

KARACHI (December 05 2007): Around four million women in Pakistan are still being maltreated by their spouse and human traffickers. This was stated by Saleha Athar, Chairperson, Network for Women’s Rights (NWR) at a consultative seminar, which was held at Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) House.

The seminar was organised by NWR here on Tuesday with the theme of “How to save women from sexual violence?” Justice Majeda Razvi presided over the occasion while other key speakers include Dr Shersha, genealogist, Nuzhat Shereen, co-ordinator, Aurat Foundation, Noor Naz Agha, advocate, Zahida Hina, Vice Chairperson, NWR and columnist and Farhat Perveen, NWR.

Ms Athar apprised that five girls were being sexually assaulted after every hour in different parts of Pakistan. She said that 4,000 honour killing cases had been registered since 1998 till 2003. However, over 5,000 males and females are killed in the name of honour, annually and cases are not being registered by victimised families, she added.

Former justice Majeda Razvi said that women are the prime victims of sexual harassment and violence, which destroys not only families and communities but also affects social and economic progress. She said that people’s right to live without any kind of violence and discrimination was being violated on a massive scale all over the world.

Other speakers said that nurses and midwifes were most vulnerable segment of the society and added that over 56 percent pregnant women suffer from domestic violence by their hubbies and other family members. They said that government should evolve a policy for effective implementation of women protection laws and demanded to increase health and education budget as compare to the defence budget.

They revealed that law enforcement agencies were patronising culprits and harassing victims instead of supporting them in seeking justice. Expressing concerns over working of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), they viewed that NGOs should make collective strategy to safeguard women rights in Pakistan.

They urged government to play a vital role in eliminating this menace from society and criticised women commission and women ministry for providing lesser benefits and for their ineffective policies to shelter women rights. A large number of people from every walk of life were present on the occasion.

Source: Business Recorder

Date:12/5/2007

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