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‘Women continue to endure violence’

KARACHI, July 13: Sindh Human Rights Minister Nadia Gabol said that specific laws pertaining to women protection were required for the progress of the nation.

She was talking to the newsmen after the launch of a report “Situation of violence against women in Sindh – April to June” compiled by Aurat Foundation.

The minister deplored that the existing laws pertaining to women rights were not properly implemented owing to which women continued to suffer silently.

Ms Gabol said that she planned to form a committee in the department where victims could report their grievances and it would look into the issues so as to provide relief to the victims.

MPA Humaira Alwani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that despite a ban imposed by the Sindh High Court on holding jirgas, such illegal bodies continued to take decisions, which usually went against women.

Citing a recent example, she said that a jirga held in Shikarpur settling a dispute between two families ordered that two minor girls Waziran, 11, and Noor Jehan,9, be married to aged people of the aggrieved party as a compensation.

The PPP legislator urged the relevant authorities to check such inhuman treatment to the women and to take action against all those involved in such jirgas.

According to the report, as many as 301 incidents of violence against women were reported in the province during the second quarter, April to June, of the current year.

These incidents included 132 murders, four cases of attempt to murder, 33 of physical torture, 71 of kidnapping, 13 of rape, 26 of gang rape, 43 incidents of suicide, 18 cases of domestic violence, three of burning, 29 of custodial violence, 16 of sexual assault, 61 of acid throwing, two women were sold etc.

Around nine jirgas were held on women issues and 21 women / girls were given away as compensation to settle tribal conflicts. The report says that 43 women committed suicides.

These included 21 who took their lives due to domestic conflict, nine due to domestic violence, three due to forced work in fields, two owing to poverty and two women were sold in the name of marriages.

MPAs Nusrat Abbasi (PML-F) and Heer Soho (MQM), Noor Naz Agha, Nisar Shah, Ajiz Jamali, Lala Hassan, Hina Tabassum, and Malka Khan also spoke.
Source: Dawn
Date:7/14/2008

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