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‘Violence against women on rise as perpetrators go scot-free’

Karachi: Incidents of honour killing in Sindh have risen during the second quarter of the year (April up to date), while it has been observed that such incidents usually occur during the months of June and July in large number as compared to the rest of the year.

This was disclosed by the members of the Aurat Foundation’s (AF) watch group in a consultative meeting held on Tuesday to review the situation of ‘Violence Against Women’ under its policy and data-monitoring project. The participants pointed out that the fundamental rights of the women in the country were violated in the name of modesty and honour.

Representatives of civil society organisations raised their concern over increasing violence against women in Pakistan and demanded stern action against the perpetrators.

“Social attitudes, cultural practices and religious misconceptions had not only denied women their rights but also paved the way towards increasing violence against them,” they remarked.

The meeting revealed that women faced violence in every third household of the country in the lower, middle and upper class families, but most incidents go unreported at all levels. Similarly, in poor households, domestic violence is not even considered as violence.

PML-F MPA Nusrat Sahar Abbasi, City Councilor Shamim Mumtaz, Khalida Qadri of the War Against Rape (WAR) and Hina Tabassum from the host organisation stressed on the implementation of women-friendly laws in the country. A number of cases of were discussed in the meeting while participants demanded immediate action against the perpetrators of violence against women.

AF Regional Coordinator Lala Hassan explained that women face physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence – ranging from more covert acts (abusive language and coercion in marriage) to the most explicit forms (including physical torture, marital rape, custodial violence, honour killings, burning of women, acid throwing, genital mutilation, incest, gang-rape, public stripping, forced prostitution etc.)

Participants further demanded that women cases should be disposed off within six months and the State should fulfill its responsibility to protect women and take measures for their economic empowerment.
Source: The News

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