Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday sought strict implementation of pro-women legislation for elimination of violence against women.
They referred to the statistics for three years and highlighted that gender-based crimes were on the rise in the country. As many as 1,842 cases were reported from Faisalabad in 2011 – more than 1,726 reported in 2010 and 1,193 in 2009. Of the crimes reported in 2011, ; 828 were of kidnapping, 196 of severe assault, 195 of sexual assault (52 gang rapes), 170 of murder, 43 of honour killing, 43 of suicide; 25 of burn injuries by acid attack or stove-explosion, 19 of sexual harassment, 13 of forcible abortion, five of trafficiking and three of genital mutilation.
These also included 21 attempted rapes, 87 attempted murders, 52 attempted kidnapping and 90 attempted suicides. The seminar was organised Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation in connection with International Women’s Day.
AWAM executive secretary Naseem Anthony expressed concern over the rising incidence of crimes against women. He said women were increasingly being subjected to physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence at homes and workplaces.
Abusive language, restraint on free movement, assault, genital mutilation, acid attacks, stove-burning, kidnap and sexual assault, honour killing, harassment, imprisonment under false charges of fornication, forced conversion, forced and underage marriages, trafficking, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy and forced abortion were identified as common complaints reported by women.
AWAM coordinator Shazia George called for collective efforts to rid the society of gender-based discrimination and violence. She said government, media, educators, religious leaders, families and women rights activists should come together and discuss these problems. The government should ensure the pro-legislations were enacted and action taken against offenders.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.