KARACHI, Jan 5: Over 1,885 incidents of violence against women – in which more than 480 women had been killed – were reported in the province during 2008, says a report.
Prepared by the Aurat Foundation, the report presented at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday said that over 279 women were murdered and more than 284 people – including 80 men — killed on the pretext of karo-kari, or honour killing, and attempts were made on the lives of 45 others.
The report says that 62 women were gang-raped and 86 raped; sexual assault was committed against 47 females and 157 suffered custodial violence and 414 others were abducted.
It says that 146 women committed suicide while 32 others tried to commit suicide. Domestic violence was committed against 112 women, 135 others were hurt or received injuries, 12 women were burnt and acid was thrown at three others and 16 women were trafficked.
It says that of the 1,885 incidents, 354 occurred during the fourth quarter of the year in which 58 women were murdered and 51 others were eliminated on the pretext of honour killing, while attempt was also made on the life of 21 others. Some 38 women committed suicide and 34 others tried to kill themselves.
The report says that eight women were gang-raped, 15 were raped and 43 others were abducted. It says that 23 women were hurt, custodial violence was committed against 20 women while nine faced domestic violence and five were trafficked, besides many others who faced various kinds of violence.
The report says that 30 jirgas, an illegal act, were held on women issues and 17 women/ girls were given as compensation to settle tribal conflicts or free-will marriage issues while six cases were registered against jirga- holders.
It says that of the 354 incidents, FIRs were registered only in 198 cases while 125 cases could not be registered and the status of FIRs in 31 incidents could not be ascertained. The accused included husbands (63), close relatives (65), brothers (5), cousins (4), uncles (2), fathers (8), fathers-in-law (3), landlords (2), brothers-in-law (10), police personnel (19), the same tribe’s men (5), rival tribe’s men (10), area persons (25), neighbours (5), son-in-law (1), robbers (5), lawyers (2), etc.
The report points out that most of the honour killings occurred in rural areas while a majority of murders were reported in urban areas. Weapons used included guns, batons, ropes, knives, bricks, iron rods, and poison.
The report contains a separate paragraph which says that over 194 women/ girls were raped/ gang-raped/ sexually assaulted in the city during the first nine months of 2008 and this figure is not included in the data mentioned for the entire year as the city data was collected from the city’s three major hospitals but all information – name of the victim, accused, relationship, status of FIRs, etc – required by the Aurat Foundation was not available, so it has been mentioned separately.
The report was presented by Sindh assembly members Nusrat Abbasi (PML-F) and Humaira Alwani (PPP). Aurat Foundation’s Anis Haroon, Lala Hassan and Hina Tabassum, expressing concern over the sorry state of affairs, demanded that the government take effective steps to improve the status of women in society so that they felt safe and played their due role in the progress of the nation.
They also said that this data did not present the real picture as it was based on the cases reported in the newspapers and in which FIRs were registered while in reality in a majority of incidents involving women cases were not reported. Hence this data could be seen as a tip of the iceberg and the real scene would be much more serious than this data depicted.