Karachi: As many as 7,571 cases of violence against women (VAW) had been reported across Pakistan in 2008. Around 1,380 of these cases are from Sindh, according to the National Report 2008 on Violence against Women, launched on Thursday by the Aurat Foundation. The report is part of the Foundation’s Policy and Data Monitor on VAW project.
There have been 4,416 incidents of violence against women in Punjab while 799, 767 and 209 incidents were reported in NWFP, Balochistan and Islamabad respectively.
Lala Hassan, a representative of the Aurat Foundation, said, however, that these figures did not exactly represent the actual number of incidents because a majority of them were not even reported.
Sindh Women’s Development Minister Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto appreciated the efforts of the Aurat Foundation for compiling the data, but added that non-governmental and civil society organisations, as well as the media, should also highlight the cases in which the accused have been arrested and punished.
‘Honour killing and other violent trends against women should be declared as terrorism,’ other speakers at the event demanded. They underlined various examples of extreme violence against women that caused fear among people. They recommended that the judiciary punish criminals severely even if the victim or her family forgave the accused under Diyat and Qisas.
Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Faran said that the figures given in the report would not even represent 30 per cent of the actual number of incidents. He further said that the murders that were committed in the name of “honour killing” should be termed “order killing” since they all pre-planned.
He said “I am not against the jirga system, but I object to ‘wrong decisions’ taken in jirgas.”
MPA Humera Alwani said that women should shun the acceptability of violent trends against them and it should be considered a “public matter” instead of a private matter. “A punishment of at least five years should be implemented for physical abuse against women,” she said.
“The jirga system must be done away with or at least restricted to issues other than those involving women.” added MPA Humera Alwani.
Violence against women in Sindh in 2008
Incident No. of cases
Honour killing 244
Domestic violence 101
Attempted murder 45
Source: The News