The state of women rights in Pakistan apparently is deteriorating to an alarming extent. The recent Asma Aziz case also lead to Amnesty International South Asia pressing Pakistan to take stern action and bring in systematic changes to protect women against violence.
While it has become the topic of the discussion recently, Pakistan has a long history of turning a blind eye to the plight of women. A report published in early 2018 revealed that in one year alone, 1,643 cases of violence against women were reported in Sindh alone. The cases ranged from honour killing to the custody of children and maintenance.
The report was based on the cases registered with women complaint cells and Benazir Bhutto Centre for Women in Sindh. In the year 2017, 13 cases of honour killing were reported. Jacobobad stood at number one with most cases reported i.e, eight.
”Regressive traditions supporting murder in the name of honour are reason enough for removing punishment waivers and compoundability provisions from the law. In cases where the state becomes the prosecutor in crimes against women, perpetrators have been penalised. Instead of presenting misogyny as tradition, the government is duty-bound to strengthen police investigations and court procedures so that justice is served and the killers of women jailed.”
Among the reported cases, Benazirabad reported most (55) cases out of 252 cases of domestic violence and harassment; followed by Jacobabad (45), Mirpurkhas (35), Hyderabad (32), Karachi (23), Larkana (12), Khairpur (10), Naushahro Feroze (nine) and one each from Sanghar and Shikarpur.
A case of human trafficking was also reported from Jacobabad. 18 cases of violence in custody were reported. Among these 18, 9 were reported from Benazirabad, 5 from Hyderabad, and 4 from Naushahro Feroze.
In the year 2018, Pakistan also saw a shocking increase in honour crimes. Between June 2017 and August 2018, HRCP documented 737 ‘honour’ crimes. However, this does not reflect the actual picture. Many of these cases go unreported as the culprits are close family members themselves.
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