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No let-up in violence against womenÂ’

KARACHI: Over 470 women were subjected to violence in Sindh between April and June 2009, according to an Aurat Foundation report.

The report, ‘Situation of violence against women’, was launched here at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday.

According to the data collected by the foundation in all 23 districts of the province, there were 416 incidents of violence against women, in which 474 women were victims/survivors. At least 38 men were also murdered on the pretext of karo kari.

There were 76 murders, 79 honour killings and 34 abductions/kidnappings. Further, 28 cases of rape or gang-rape were also reported, while nine incidents of sexual assault occurred. There were 57 incidents of suicide, 35 cases of domestic violence, four cases of burning and one case of assault using acid.

Ninety-three incidents of custodial violence, attempted murder, violent ‘customary’ practices, attempted suicide, threats of violence, trafficking and torture were also reported in various parts of the province.

Analysts say the rise in honour killings can be attributed to the time of the year, as honour killings generally rise in the summer months of May, June and July.

As many as 27 jirgas were also held on issues related to women, and 15 women/girls were given away as ‘compensation’ (Vanni) to settle tribal conflicts or free-will marriage issues, while more than five cases were registered against holders of jirgas. Some jirga holders were also arrested, according to the report, but most were later released on payment of bail as the parents of the victims denied that any jirga had occurred.

According to the data collected, FIRs were registered in 208 cases, while 170 cases could not be registered. In 37 cases the status of the FIR could not be ascertained. The report noted that in some cases FIRs were registered as long as a month after the incident, and hence they were difficult to track.

The report is part of the Aurat Foundation’s national programme for the ‘Policy and Data Monitoring of Violence against WomenÂ’.
Source: Dawn

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