As foreign reports claim that Pakistan is among the least secure countries for women, local NGO Aurat Foundation reports that violence against women decreased by 6.41% in 2010 compared to figures from 2009.
The NGO’s report, titled Violence Against Women in Pakistan 2010, revealed the ‘surprising’ fact that 8,000 cases were reported across the country in 2010 against 8,548 cases in 2009.
According to the report, Lahore is the most violent city against women with 1,089 reported cases. Out of these cases, 521 comprised kidnappings, two acid attacks, 28 domestic violence, 110 rape, 19 honour killings, 109 murders, seven sexual assaults, 76 suicides, three burnings and 214 incidents of custodial violence, torture, trafficking, child marriage and attempted murder.
The other top nine districts where cases of violence were reported include Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Kasur, Okara, Multan and Sialkot respectively.
Murder cases in the country, however, showed an increase from 1,384 in 2009 to 1,492 in 2010. Of the murder cases, 758 occurred in Punjab, 328 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 308 in Sindh, 27 in Islamabad and 15 in Balochistan. During 2010, 557 women are reported to have been killed for honour compared to 604 cases in 2009. The highest number of honour killings (266) was reported in Sindh.
During the year, 2,296 incidents of abduction were reported across the country of which 1,890 were from Punjab. This figure constitutes 82.32% of the total number of abduction and kidnapping cases of women in the country.
The NGO’s officials, however, said that since Punjab has the largest population, the percentage of incidents of violence in Punjab was more or less the same as in other provinces. The maximum number of abductions in Pakistan took place in Lahore, where 521 women were kidnapped.
The report also said that violence against women was the main drive behind suicide and 663 women reportedly committed suicide in Pakistan during 2010 while 683 cases were reported in 2009.
Nine hundred and thirty-seven incidents of rape/gang rape were reported in the country in 2010, out of which 741 took place in Punjab. The report also showed 32 cases of acid attacks on women, a decline from 52 cases recorded in 2009.
According to the report, police cases were registered in 76.31% of all reported cases, no case was registered in 15.11% of the cases while no record could be found of the remaining 8.58%.
Sources of data collection include news reports, First Information Reports, monitoring cells and citizen committees.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2011.
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