He (Allah) has created women from a rib of a man. He has not created women from his head to rule him or from his feet to be trampled by but from a rib under his arm to be protected by him and near to his heart to be loved by him. If you still hope to beat, abuse, harass and rape women then with great regrets you should stop calling yourself a man.
As per United Nations Violence against women Chapter 6, around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and sexual violence by a partner or non-partner at some point in their lives. In majority of countries, less than 40% of the women who experienced violence sought help of any sort.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is among the top 10 worst countries when it comes to rape cases. The situation is even worst in India as it became “rape capital of the world” where 327,000 crimes against women were registered in a single year in India; most of these involve rape and rape attempts. According to Punjab gender parity report 2017, incidents of torture on women have increased by 12.4% in 2016 as compared to 2015. In 2016, more than 7000 cases of violence against women were reported which were around 6500 in 2016.Out of these reported cases, highest cases were of rape, murder and beatings with 3162, 688 and 539 respectively.
A recent case of DI Khan, where 16-year-old girl was stripped and forced to walk through a village in the district as a punishment, left the entire nation shocked. The incident took place on 27th Oct 2017 when the girl was on way back home carrying water for daily use. Up till now, 7 suspects out of nine and 2 facilitators of the incidents were arrested. However, no action had been taken against the SHO of the Chaudwan police station who supported the suspects.
If I recall an incident of Sharmeen Obaid’s sister, who after few days of visiting a doctor from Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Karachi, received friend request on face book. The incident was considered as “harassment” according to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. The doctor who attended her sister got fired within few days of incident without any inquiry or procedure as per law of land. It might be due to the fame of Academy award winning Pakistani director, that the wrong doer was punished without any delay so why a commoner like 16-year-old girl from GharraMatta-DI Khan is facing delayed justice. The SHO who mistreated the girl when she approached the police is still not suspended. Furthermore, the main suspect of the incident is still at large.
“Justice delayed is justice denied”
In 2017, Pakistan’s first most advanced, computerized and completely female run violence against women center (VAWC) was established in Multan. The aim of this center is to improve the country’s justice system and to offer services such as first aid, FIR lodging, police reporting, prosecution, medical exam and treatment, psychological evaluation and counseling as well as post- trauma rehabilitation to women.
This step is indeed a good effort of Punjab government. Coming from KPK, I feel the need to build the same centers in Peshawar, Mardan and Nowshera and government should take action accordingly. Currently, the only mean to report violence against women is a toll-free helpline which support victims of human rights abuse. Unfortunately, due to low literacy rate and lack of awareness at KPK, women may find it difficult to lodge complaints on phone. Even after lodging complains on phone, the victims of violence against women need to have continuous guidelines and support such as FIR Lodging, medical treatments and shelter homes.
Furthermore, the current laws at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are not women friendly as it does not mention the protection of women against violence. In 2017, more than 180 cases of domestic violence had been reported in the province out of which 94 women were murdered by their relatives.
The entire scenario is showing an alarming picture of Pakistan which needs to be addressed.
Note: The writer here depicts her own views. Bedari is providing a platform for writers to present their ideas through this volunteer’s corner. The writer could be approached at:
Sidra khan ( Chartered Accountant, Motivational and anti-violence writer, Social Activist )