HRCP alarmed over rising violence against women

Pakistan on 19 September 2013
Location : Lahore, Pakistan | Source : Daily Times.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has voiced alarm over increasing violence against women in Pakistan. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the commission said it was observing with grave concern the rising incidents of violence against women in recent days in the country. 

Unfortunately, such incidents have always been ‘routine’ in the country but now such reports are coming not from far-off places but from the main urban cities. Several cases of rape have been reported from Punjab in the past few days, including that of the five-year old child. In the city of Lahore alone, police had registered 113 cases of rape from January 1 to August 31 this year. Over the same period, law enforcers in the provincial capital had registered 32 gang-rape cases. The HRCP said the problem is hardly confined to Punjab. 

The plight of Kainat Soomro, a young rape victim in Sindh, and the trauma she endured in her efforts to bring her tormentors to justice are there for all to see. Her ordeal represents how rape victims who have the courage to pursue their rapists are left to fend for themselves. Earlier this week, three women were shot dead by family members in the name of ‘honour’ in Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the commission recalled. Until the end of July this year, at least 44 women had become targets of acid attacks, seven of whom had died as a result of their injuries. As many as 44 women had been set on fire; 11 had died in such attacks. 

As many as 451 women had been killed in Pakistan in the name of honour in 2013 by the end of July compared to 918 killed in 2012. Such targeting of a section of population solely on account of gender is utterly unacceptable and it is a matter of shame that the society at large has not felt compelled to raise a strong voice to putting an end to this travesty. HRCP called upon the authorities to include ending violence against women and impunity for the violators to its list of priorities in order to mete out justice to half the population of the country

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