Gender-based violence – 26 Jan 2023

Violence against women has become one of the most prevalent human rights violations in Pakistan

Violence against women has become one of the most prevalent human rights violations in Pakistan. Almost 32% of women have reportedly experienced physical violence while a staggering 40% of married women suffer from spousal abuse. This has damaging consequences not just for the female gender but also for the socio-economic fabric of the country and can lead to serious health issues.

Recently, cases have seen a sharp rise as over 63,367 cases of gender-based crimes were reported, 3,987 women were killed and more than 10,500 women became victims of sexual violence in 2022. This year has also been its fair share of instances. But alarming is the fact that cases are diverse and severe. On January 22, a man shot and killed his 18-year-old daughter in the Vano Ghari village after a dancing video of her went viral on social media. Then on January 23, a 19-year-old girl was shot dead over honour by her father at the gates of Karachi City Court for marrying of her free will. The very next say, Raiwind City police booked a man for poisoning his three daughters before attempting suicide due to financial and mental stress. Awareness about women’s rights and tireless efforts of NGOs has urged more and more women to come to the fore and report cases. However, identification and redressal mechanism remain weak and poor and perpetrators are acquitted through some legal loophole in majority of cases. It always seems that women are at the wrong end of hardships and miseries prevalent in our society.

In order to address the issue of gender-based violence at a systemic level, reporting systems at the ground-level must be strengthened. The police force must be sensitised and trained to cater to vulnerable women. If such cases see a proper end and justice is delivered in a timely manner, more females find the strength to report cases.

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