'93% of Pakistani women experience sexual violence'

Published: March 8, 2017
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KARACHI: Pakistan is among those countries where 70% women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime by their intimate partners and 93% women experience some form of sexual violence in public places in their lifetime.

This was stated by founder of Madadgaar National Helpline 1098 and national commissioner for children, Zia Ahmed Awan, while quoting the statistics of international organisations during a press conference at their office on Tuesday.

Awan lauded, in tribute to the International Women Day which is celebrated on March 8 every year, the courage of the 8,897 women and children from across Pakistan who came forward in 2016 and fought for their rights and protection by calling, visiting or contacting Madadgaar’s helpline.

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“The data recorded by our organisation is just the tip of the iceberg. Our helpline would [if there was awareness] have been flooded with calls from victims and survivors,” he stated, adding that only 10% cases of violence are being reported in Sindh and Punjab in media with even less reporting from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

According to him, in order to prevent violence against women and children, the government should act boldly and announce an emergency in the country.

“For us, every day must be women’s day,” he emphasised, saying that an inefficient social justice system is the reason for different forms of violence in Pakistan.

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According to the World Economic Forum, it will take another 169 years to bridge the gender gap at our current pace, he shared.
“Out of the total cases reported on the helpline, the highest percentage of victims was that of women at 56%,” explained Madadgaar’s general manager Muhammad Ali Bilgrami who added that cases reported by boys were 16%, 15% by girls and 13% by men.

According to Bilgirami, 7,561 cases were reported from Sindh and the least number of cases, 306, were reported from Balochistan. Unrest, targeted killing of the legal fraternity, weak law enforcement, absence of rule of law and overall social, cultural and religious barriers stop people in Pakistan, especially women and girls, to come forward and report violence perpetrated against them, said Bilgrami.

While sharing the nature of cases reported in 2016 to Madadgaar National Helpline, Bilgrami briefed that 118 cases of child marriage, 162 of cybercrime, 14 of child abuse, 2,092 of domestic violence, 14 of forced marriage, 562 of harassment, 12 of karo-kari, 2,251 of missing children, 213 of missing women, 792 of mental torture, 5 of rape, 6 of sodomy, 10 of sexual harassment, 7 of sexual abuse and 5 cases of trafficking.

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Most of the violent crimes committed against women are strictly prohibited by laws in Pakistan such as child marriage, sexual violence, domestic violence, karo-kari, kidnapping and harassment, said Awan, saying that laws are however, not being implemented and there is a lack of awareness on addressing the complaints through a proper channel.

Awan also highlighted that gender-based cyber violence is on the rise in Pakistan. Children and youth are particularly at risk, he said, demanding that special courts in lower judiciary and special cells at police stations must be established to provide relief to women victims in a male chauvinist society.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mobin Naqvi
    Mar 9, 2017 - 8:10AM

    I dont agree on these stats these so called organisations exxagerrate things just to get funds for themselves its non official reports so i dnt see such kinda things here .Recommend

  • riaz
    Mar 9, 2017 - 10:54AM

    Mr Anoop’s comments are totally based Indian narrow mindset towards Pakistan. % not that high due to (still but less) social values. Results compiled probably based on mere observation. May be harassment is more in rural areas than urban due to more male chauvinism.Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Mar 9, 2017 - 1:14PM

    @Riaz,

    This is ignorance and denial. Marital rape is indeed not a crime in Pakistan. You can go and check with any lawyer or the least google it.

    Usually conservative societies like Pakistan experience crime against women. Women are too afraid to report and figures tend to be lower than what they are. 93% is an astonishing rate. I feel sorry for the women in Pakistan. Recommend

  • syedpk
    Mar 9, 2017 - 1:42PM

    @Riaz,

    When our Mainstream religious leadership comes on TV and says women who were raped should stay quite and stay home unless they can provide 3 good character male witnesses, then who in right mind would go and report harassment ??
    The stats are a bit surprising but I have no problem believing it. Open your eyes and look around whats going on.Recommend

  • ashraf joyia
    Mar 10, 2017 - 6:26AM

    all the wrong .because man’s power ruined Recommend

  • Engr. Shahid Ayaz
    Mar 10, 2017 - 9:11AM

    Unbelievable stats,
    93% means 93 out of 100,
    Whrereas atleast I am unable to observe such a case while observing deeply around,.
    This is simply a trap for trustees,
    No originality,
    Fake stats,
    Fund raising,
    Attempt to prove “Islam dont care for women” Recommend

  • kamran khan
    Mar 10, 2017 - 10:00AM

    I reject this report for several reasons. First of all, Where does these stats come from? You didn’t mention any reference. You said around 9000 cases in a country of 200 million people were reported and it’s 93%. I have serious doubts on your mathematical skills. You touted that if your organizations had more popularity, these cases would have been much higher. That’s just a speculation and you can’t give such a startling figure without any proper research.

    Secondly, Pakistani media has become a flag bearer for smearing the image of Pakistan with such horrendous headlines in front of international audience and all media regulation authorities are sleeping. There should be punishment for reporters or writers who spread propaganda, fake news and exaggerated reporting. Also, I have observed a few amateur writers on tribune who just for the sake of getting their articles published does such tabloid reporting by spreading a paranoia.

    Having said all that, I firmly discourage male chauvinism and patriarchy in our society. Violence against women and harassment should be discouraged at all levels of society whether it’s domestic or at work place. Recommend

  • kamran khan
    Mar 10, 2017 - 10:53AM

    I reject this report for several reasons. First of all, Where does these stats come from? You didn’t mention any reference.
    You said around 9000 cases in a country of 200 million people were reported and it’s 93%. I have serious doubts on your mathematical skills.
    You touted that if your organizations had more popularity, these cases would have been much higher. That’s just a speculation and you can’t give
    such a startling figure without any proper research.

    Secondly, Pakistani media has become a flag bearer for smearing the image of Pakistan with such horrendous headlines in front of international audience and all
    media regulation authorities are sleeping. There should be punishment for reporters or writers who spread propaganda, fake news and exaggerated reporting.
    Also, I have observed a few amateur writers who just for the sake of getting their articles published does such tabloid reporting by spreading a paranoia.

    Having said all that, I firmly discourage male chauvinism and patriarchy in our society. Violence against women and harassment should be discouraged
    at all levels of society whether it’s domestic or at work place. Recommend

  • gp65
    Mar 10, 2017 - 9:50PM

    @kamran khan:
    @Engr. Shahid Ayaz:

    Please understand, sexual violence does not mean only rape. It also includes when men grope women. So if a woman has been groped even once in her life either in a bazaar or by a neighbor or whatever, she would answer yes to the question.Recommend

  • Asad
    Mar 11, 2017 - 8:43AM

    Isnt it funny that all those in denial every time there is a report about sexual violence against women are men themselves who are not even the victims here. Rather, Pakistani men, like their counterparts around the world, don’t even realize the repurcurssions of their own actions. Pakistani Women here wear the burqa for a reason, and it’s not because of dairy, it’s because they want to hide themselves from you and your aggression since you will be in denial about your actions. Recommend

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