Gender Parity Report launched: Violence against women increases – 08 Dec 2022

LAHORE: Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) launched Gender Parity Report 2021 here at a local hotel on Wednesday.

Data collected to evaluate the status of women against more than 250 indicators that cut across six thematic areas regarding demographics, governance, health, education, economic participation and opportunities, and justice showed increase in violence against women (VAW) in the province. Rape was the most commonly reported crime, making up 45% of reported VAW cases. Reported cases of sexual crimes increased by 16% in 2021. Cases of abduction increased by 25%, cases of assault increased by 47%, acid burning increased by 18% while honour killing decreased by 17%. The acquittal rate in Punjab for VAW cases was 95% in 2021. The total number of active users for the PSCA Women Safety Application increased by 265%.

The PCSW with the help of UNFPA and SPO came up with this report that gives interesting demographics. Punjab’s population is 59.2m women (49.3%) and 60.8m men (50.7%). 64.3% men have their own mobile phones as compared to 25.3% women while 24% men use Internet as compared to 15.3% women. Birth registration has increased from 1.32m in 2020 to 1.37m in 2021 while death registration has increased from 540,681 in 2020 to 577,629 in 2021. Only seven percent women have driving license of cars while 0.04% women have license for bike and only 1.7% own vehicles. Whereas 17.8m men have their own land while on the other hand only 8.2m women are landowners.

Disability registration increased three times as 61,254 got CNIC in 2021 as compared to 22,804 in 2020. In higher education, women are ahead of men by a significant margin. 546,674 women enrolled in higher education as compared to 423,216 men in 2021. There is increase in registered female voters by 16%.

In the area of health, C-section has decreased by 6%. There are more women doctors but only 35% of them are specialists. About basic facilities in offices, a panelist informed that 700 offices do not have washrooms and in 71% offices, there is no daycare facility while 60.4% offices are without ramps. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat who was the chief guest, said he will take up discussion on the Gender Parity Report 2021 in the parliament.

Spokesperson to Chief Minister Musarrat Jamshed Cheema said there is need to stop shaming and victim blaming and encourage people to report when wronged. United Nation Population Fund Representative Latika Maske Pradhan, Secretary Women Development Department Sumaira Samad, Secretary Punjab Commission on Status of Women Nada Azhar and Senior Programme Manager Awaz 2 FCDO Asim Khan also spoke. There was a panel discussion as well. The panelists were Khawar , Mehreen Siddiqui, Dr Fareeha, Amara, Asha Bedar, Tauqeer Wattoo and Sumaira.

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