The number of incidents of violence against women increased by 13 per cent in 2009, says a report by the Aurat Foundation set to be released on Wednesday.
The report states that 8,548 incidents of violence against women were reported in 2009 compared to 7,571 incidents reported in 2008. Of these, 5,722 were reported to have occurred in Punjab, followed by 1,762 in Sindh, 655 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 237 in Balochistan. Similarly, 172 cases of violence against women were reported in Islamabad, the report said.
The report chronicles incidents of violence against women occurring between January 1, 2009 and December 31 of the same year.
The Aurat Foundation is a non-profit society that works to empower women and to further citizen’s rights.
Representatives of the foundation and the organisation ‘Violence against Women Watch’ (VAW) on Monday expressed their outrage and resentment over the increase in violent crimes against women in Pakistan.
“We have no expectations from the interior ministry or the provincial governments and their departments,” they said. “But we urge the ministry of women’s development, which is under the prime minister’s authority, and the women’s parliamentary caucus, which is headed by the speaker of the National Assembly and comprises women MNAs who are strong supporters of women’s rights, and the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), which is headed by a renowned women’s rights activist, to do something to stop this terrible situation of violence against women in the country,” they said.
The data compiled by the Aurat Foundation was collected by the organisation’s offices in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
Despite the fact that fewer statistics were available from several districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan due to security concerns, reported incidents of violence against women are still higher than they were in 2008, the report says.
The report states that 1,384 women were murdered, 928 were raped, 683 committed suicide and 604 women were killed for ‘honour’s’ sake in 2009.
Out of 1,384 cases of murder 752 took place in the Punjab, 288 in Sindh, 266 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 39 in Balochistan and 39 in Islamabad. Out of 604 cases of ‘honour’ killing, 245 took place in the Punjab, 284 in Sindh, 14 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 59 in Balochistan, and two in Islamabad. Out of 1,987 cases of abduction, 1,698 took place in the Punjab, 160 in Sindh, 64 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 13 in Balochistan and 52 in Islamabad. Out of 928 cases of rape and gang rape 786 took place in the Punjab, 122 in Sindh, 7 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4 in Balochistan and 9 in Islamabad. A total of 1,977 cases of violence of a miscellaneous nature (vanni, sawara, custodial violence, torture, trafficking, child marriages, incest, and threats of violence, sexual harassment and attempted murder) took place in the four provinces and in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2010.