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Less in papers, more in real

KARACHI – Though the statistics of violence against women showed slight reduction during last six months of 2011 but reality was different, depicting rise in violence against the half of population of the country.

This was stated in a report launched by the Aurat Foundation comprising of statistics of violence against women during July-December 2011 in Sindh here at Karachi Press Club on Friday.

During a press conference, PML-F MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Mehnaz Rahman, resident director of Aurat Foundation; Shireen Aijaz, regional coordinator for Policy and Data Monitoring Unit of AF, and Fareeda Tahir, programme officer, elaborated the details of violence incidents in Sindh.

Mehnaz said the number of violence incidents against Sindh women was 497, which was less than the number of incidents in the first half of 2011. “But it does not mean the violence against women has decreased. The torrential rains in Sindh were as serious as last year’s floods and therefore barriers to reporting had increased the widespread damage. Honour killing of women is considered as one of the worst forms of discrimination against women and is a serious violation of basic human rights.

She opined that Aurat Foundation will keep on working to change policies and practices that are deep-rooted in this inequality, calling upon other sectors to enhance efforts for institute changes in labour, domestic, government and social arenas to ensure that women become equal players.

Shireen Aijaz said a total of 497 incidents of violence against women were recorded under the categories of abduction, rape/gang rape, murder, suicide, domestic violence, honour killing, and sexual assault, in which honour killing cases are in the highest ratio in the districts. In this six-month report, it is seen that ratio of violence related crimes in rural areas is more than the urban areas, as 299 incidents of violence have been recorded in rural areas while 197 are of urban areas.

Shireen said that ratio of honour killing was very high and people involved in these incidents were relatives of victims. She said the reasons behind these killings were freewill marriages, revengeful and so-called family honour.

According to report, in 497 incidents of violence, 597 individuals were victimised in which 572 were women and girls and 25 were men and boys. Marital status-wise violence showed that at least 137 victims were unmarried, 305 were married, while one divorcee and two widows were among the victims. There are 251 cases which were reported through FIRs, 175 were unreported and 71 remained without information, Shireen added.

The violence of other types includes 56 incidents of suicide and attempt to suicide were reported while 52 of domestic violence, 7 of threats to life, 12 of harassment, 3 of acid throwing, one of burning, 6 of selling of women and three incidents were of giving girls in conflicts among the tribes in Sindh.

The report noted that in the last 6 months of 2011, the ratio of female violence was higher in the districts including Khairpur, Shikarpur, Larkana, Sukkur, Dadu and Ghotki.

Nusrat expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Sindh Assembly for not adopting a single legislation for women rights. She said violence against women had increased manifold but due to less registration of cases by the victims, causing less reporting in media also.

Source: The Nation