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Where women’s right to live as humans is threatened

Where women’s right to live as humans is threatened

By: Fawad Hasan

KARACHI: Sahir Ludhianvi says in one of his many poems, “Hum jo insaanon ki tehzeeb liye phirtay hain, hum saa wehshi koi jungle ke darindoun men nahi” (We who boast of our civilization, are so savage that our brutality cannot be matched with the beasts of the jungles). Little did he know, how with the passage of time this brutality would increase and turn man into an untamed, runaway monster.

Not many who visit government hospitals in the mega city of Pakistan have any idea how embarrassed humanity gets there whenever a woman, badly injured owing to various reasons, is admitted in the Emergency Department. The crimes committed against women do not make the headlines in media because ‘honour’ of a woman is more sacred and delicate than her right to live, and live like a human being.

As if these crimes committed against the fairer sex were not brutal enough to suppress their living, the silence that follows this subjugation of rights is even more disheartening and criminal. The cases, which the team of Daily Times has discovered can easily make all of us, re-think the way women are treated in our society – merely as a tool to take pleasure from.

“I have worked at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and know a bit about injury cases women usually come up with. Although these women are not at all near comfort level to talk to the male doctors, but we get to know their miseries through our female colleagues”, said a resident doctor on condition of anonymity. He added that sex-related injuries in women are common mainly because of the questionable tradition of getting the daughters married when they are still in their pre-teens. “Their young age does not prevent the strong, manly spouse to understand the limitations of a girl’s body, which the former would use like beasts causing vaginal tears, perineal body tearing, severe internal bleeding resulting in cardio vascular collapse (shock) in short term, as well as sexually-transmitted diseases, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility in the long-run,” he said sorrowfully.

Rape which ends up taking the life of victim finishes off the chances of more miseries, but the victims who fall prey to the crime ending up being in a hospital bed have to face miseries after miseries that usually follow. Women who go through such regrettable incidents are considered persona non grata or social outcasts. Their lives are torn apart not only by the innumerable rape-related medical problems, but also by the social boycott our male-dominated society evokes for them.

When authorities concerned were contacted to know the recorded statistics of these cases so that the general public come to know of these inhumane happenings, sheer callousness was apparent in the behaviour of several doctors privy to the information. Seemi Jamali, the head of the Emergency Department at the JPMC, indifferently stated that it was not her department, and someone by the name of Jaleel Qadir could be helpful in this regard.

Jaleel Qadir, is a police surgeon, whose behaviour to such a serious issue was quite deplorable. Dr Qadir, having listened to the plea of Daily Times reporter to get the information, would cut the call and ignore the legion of calls made afterwards.

Who is to blame? Wild, beast-like men wearing the skin of humans who do not think twice to assault the women or professionals, who fear getting into the controversy by telling the truth and bringing the serious issue to the notice of public? Perhaps if Qadir had said anything about the attackers, it would have affronted the gender he takes pride in belonging to. For the victims, more vicious, rigorous and brutal is the silence that plagues the society once the crime is committed against women than the rape itself.

In the search of truth, a private hospital, which receives sex-related injuries, was contacted. Dr Shabinaz of Sobraj Hospital, shared with Daily Times what she has come to know working in the gynaecology section for quite a number of years. “Majority of the cases which come to our hospital are the consequences of incest that we at the outset do not accept to deal with because of the law. But the patients would be bleeding so intensely that we at our hospital cannot deny them the needed treatment,” she said.

By incest she meant a father having forced sex with his daughter. The cases are not registered, rather criminally, because of the family’s honour. “We’ve also have received scores of cases of young boys mercilessly sodomised by strangers or even their uncles,” added the doctor.

Shabinaz revealed a recent case, which was brought to her hospital, of an 11-year-old girl raped by her cousin. The victim’s family thought the kids were fighting while playing when they heard the girl’s cries. The victim almost bled to death until the staff at the mentioned hospital attended to save her life. Again this case was not registered, no FIR was filed because if they had done so, it would have brought disgrace to their family, said the doctor with a hint of grief in her voice.

Our society has kept ignoring an aspect of our not-so-holy-traditions, which is marital rape. As the interviews revealed, attempts of anal sex on married girls cause untold miseries. The lack of proper sex education adversely affects the sex life of many couples. Speaking to Daily Times, a doctor told that victim’s come with anal injuries, which are often followed by infection.

Women hold so vulnerable a position that raising hue and cry against this inhumanity is next to impossible for them, which strengthens the male-chauvinist-beasts of our society. This subjugation of basic rights and suppression of women have not emerged out of the blue, but are consequences of seminal values people have been imbued with. Once during an interview, the number one of Jamat-e-Islami requested women to remain silent having been raped, because their speaking of the crime can bring about evil and impurity in the society.

Daily Times

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