ISLAMABAD – A biannual report released Tuesday has observed a sharp increase in the reported cases of violence against women from January to June 2011 as compared to the same time period last year.
Aurat Foundation has compiled the report from reported cases of newspapers and shelter homes from across the country excluding Gilgit-Baltistan. The data shows that a total of 4,448 cases of violence were reported during January to June 2011 as compared to 4,061 reported cases during the same period in year 2010.
It said that out of the total 4,448 cases of violence, 3,035 cases were reported from Punjab, 819 from Sindh, 389 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 133 from Balochistan, whereas 72 cases were reported from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Abduction/kidnapping topped the list of violence against women with 1,137 cases while murder of women for various reasons including property dispute, men going for more marriages etc, but not including the ‘honour’ crime was the second largest crimes with 799 number of women murdered during the reported period.
Rape/gang-rape were the third largest category with 396 cases reported.
Increase in committing suicide among youth, was another alarming factor which indicated the violent environment women of the country live in. During the reporting period, 402 precious lives were lost as they killed themselves.
Likewise 382 cases of honour killing, 356 cases of domestic violence, 57 sexual assault, 22 acid throwing, 16 cases of burning and 881 cases of violence of miscellaneous nature were reported.
The report highlights that as compared to last year’s figure of 940 cases, this year, during the same period 819 incidents of violence against women were reported in 23 districts of Sindh that shows a decline but it might be due to fact that print media put on its priority the coverage of law and order situation in Sindh.
Alia Mirza from Aurat Foundation speaking at the launching ceremony said that these statistics were just the tip-off the iceberg and majority of the cases remains unrecorded due to social and traditional norms, lack of access to reporting system of violence which women face, the so-called tradition of ‘keeping family’s respect unbroken’.
Regarding the increase in numbers of suicide cases, the speakers said most of the cases are reported from different districts of KP as parents sell their daughters due to poverty and other reasons and when the girls are abandoned by the buyers, they left with no choice but to commit suicides. They said initially it was a tradition but now it has been become an organised crime and many influential of the area are involved in it.
Samar Minallah, Executive Director Ethnomedia and Development said the cases of violence should be analysed with respect to their cultural and regional background as the nature of violence against women is different in every region and area.
She said with creation of new provinces the phenomenon of violence against women can be handled more carefully.
Source: The Nation