Karachi: The number of women and girls killed all over Sindh in the name of honour or other reasons stood at 1,883 last year, “and this figure is only a tip of the iceberg as if all such incidents were reported then the number would have been much higher”.
This was stated by Zia Ahmed Awan, president Madadgar Hepline, while giving a press briefing on Friday at the Madadgar National Helpline office on the eve of International Women’s Day.
Awan shared data from January 1 to December 31, 2013, regarding violence against women collected by the Madadgaar National Helpline.
At least 370 women and girls were raped in different parts of the country, while 185 others suffered gang rape last year. The number of women and girls subjected to torture was 2,133, of whom 887 women were tortured by police. At least 608 women and girls were kidnapped and 460 women fell prey to forced marriages, including 176 cases of Vani last year.
The number of women who were raped and killed was 217, while 220 women were murdered in the name of Karo Kari (honour killing), 1,164 women were killed due to different reasons, and 452 women committed suicide last year.
Besides, 193 women were burnt, 205 women were trafficked from all provinces and 220 women and girls ran away from their homes due to different reasons last year.
A total of 6,516 cases of women abuse were reported from the country, of which Punjab had the highest number of cases i.e. 2,602, followed by 1,883 in Sindh, 1,181 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 846 in Balochistan.
Awan demanded from the Punjab government to take serious action against the culprits committing crimes against 51 percent of the population of the country.
Being a signatory to various UN conventions, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on Rights of Children (CRC) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the government should commit itself in letter and spirit to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, he added.
“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we should promise to ourselves that we will give all the rights to our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters because women are the architects of society,” he said. Awan also demanded for bringing reforms in the judicial system and law enforcement agencies, saying that the existing system to gain access to justice and protection has failed due to the lack of implementation of laws and lengthy hierarchical delays.
“Unless and until the laws regarding violence against women are not implemented, domestic violence, early and forced marriages and murders of women can’t be uprooted,” he said and stressed the need for training the police regarding the new laws banning violence against women so that the police could provide protection more effectively to women.