LAHORE: Socio-cultural biases against women where the patriarchy is deeply rooted and is a barrier to the socio-economic development of women.
The gender based attitude is continuously prevailing in society. More than 10,000 women fall victim to violence every year; over 1,000 commit or attempt suicide due to the denial of their rights, extreme poverty, physical and sexual violence in Punjab.
An NGO shared the current situation of violence against women in Punjab in a round table discussion held here Thursday. Parliamentarians, representatives of civil society organisations and relevant government departments attended the event. The discussion revolved around finding out the gaps in legislation and implementation and extracting the recommendations to improve the safety system for women protection.
Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mumtaz Mughal referred to the Police Investigating Branch report and said that 151 women had fallen victims to gang-rape from September 2017 to September 2018 in Punjab which is very alarming. Honour killing, domestic violence, early and forced marriages, abduction and other crimes are reported but mental and physiological violence is still unreported. In 2017, 181 women were murdered for honour in Punjab. There is a need of strong coordination between the crisis centre and local government. The word “Panchait” should be removed from the Local Government Ordinance.
Salman Abid said that the women must be connected with the information hubs and we all must build public pressures especially on the issues of women and children so that government may be able to address their issues.
The PML-N MPA Ms Bushra Anjum Butt urged the government take the previous government initiatives forward for improving the system. Sensitisation of the children must be started at the basic level by including these topics in curriculum.
The PTI MPA Ms Anila Beg emphasised on the allocation of a specific budget for media campaigns to be taken up for this issue. The all-out effort should be made on the collaborative basis, Zainab Umair, another MPA of PTI said.
Shahid Siddique, AIG Gender Crime Cell, called for reviewing the existing laws instead of making or framing new laws from zero point. Ms Hafsa Head of UN Women Punjab extended the vote of thanks to the participants.