Friday, November 14, 2008
By by Myra Imran
A quarterly report on the situation of violence against women shows a sharp increase in such cases during the last three months as compared to previous two quarters.
Released by Aurat Foundation on Thursday, the third quarterly report 2008 is a collection and compilation of statistics on the incidents of violence against women during July to September under its National Programme ‘Policy and Data Monitor on Violence against Women.’
Presenting the findings to mediapersons, Member Watch Group on Violence against Women Aliya Mirza said that 2,531 incidents of violence against women were reported during the last three months as compared to 1,705 between April and June and 1321 from January to March.
She said that in the third quarter, reported cases of abduction (601) were much more in number as compared to the first two quarters. “In the first quarter the ratio was 246 and in the second it was 356,” she pointed out.
Expressing concern over the increase in number of suicide cases, Aliya said that 216 women committed suicide in the last quarter as compared to 66 in the first and 126 in the second quarter of the year.
She said that the highest number of cases were reported in Punjab (1,582) with Balochistan ranked the lowest at 220 whereas 66 such incidents happened in Islamabad. She made it clear that if cases were not reported in newspapers that did not mean that no violence took place in those areas.
Aliya said that the most honour killing cases were reported in Sindh (70) with Balochistan (49) standing second. “Most cases of rape and gang rape were reported in Punjab i.e. 127 and 100 respectively,” she said adding that out of 441 murder cases of women, 242 were reported in Punjab, 129 in NWFP and 50 in Sindh.
Representing Aurat Foundation, Rabia Shah said that the report aims to identify the number of cases of violence against women in order to mobilise the social pressure against the menace. “This data would in the long run provide policy and law reform input to legislators,” she said.
Keeping in mind the sharp increase in number of cases, she demanded that the government immediately pass legislation on violence against women to provide them legal protection. “Continuous increase in number of such cases indicates that we still need to do a lot in this direction,” she said.
Director Potohar Organization of Development Advocacy (Poda) Samina Nazir stressed the need for developing a mechanism through which the data about such incidents could be collected at the district level.
“Violence against women is a persistent problem in Pakistan and around the world and it affects women’s social and economic equality, physical and mental health and economic security.”