Young women are safer in their parents’ homes, Karachi study finds

Published: April 4, 2012
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“Marriages are making girls vulnerable,” remarked Khalida Ghaus of the Social Policy and Development Centre.

“Marriages are making girls vulnerable,” remarked Khalida Ghaus of the Social Policy and Development Centre.

KARACHI: Young women are safer in their parents’ homes, a study on the socioeconomic violence against women in Karachi has found.

“Marriages are making girls vulnerable,” remarked Khalida Ghaus of the Social Policy and Development Centre as she presented the findings on Tuesday at the Marriot Hotel.

The case study of Karachi interviewed 50 victims of violence. It found that these women spent more on legal services than on medical treatment. According to the report, a female victim spent Rs50,300 in judicial or legal services, Rs36,400 on police services. The least they were spending was on medical expenses – about Rs 10,100.

Ghaus said that 40% of the respondents belonged to the 19 to 29 age bracket, while a majority of them were unlettered and economically inactive. Around 64% were poor.

Physical abuse was the most common with 37.4% of victims suffering the aggressive nature of a perpetrator. The majority of injuries were sprains and bruises (33%).

Around 42% of such victims of violence were married, and a majority of the perpetrators (55%) were husbands, and 22% in-laws. Parents who committed violence on their daughters were said to be four per cent.

At the SPDC seminar another study was also launched: ‘Gender Dimension of Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement: A Case Study of Lyari Expressway.’ It was this that became subject of a heated discussion.

A researcher who had conducted a study on the plight of women displaced by the project said their education and employment has discontinued. Former project director Shafiqur Rehman Paracha attacked him for it. “Did you visit the 42 colonies where these people lived before they were resettled?” he spat out. “Around 377 teachers from the community are employed in 27 schools in Taiser Town. How can you say that the displaced women have no employment?”

A series of questions and answers started with the researcher saying that the affected people were not consulted before being uprooted. Paracha argued that they previously had an even worse living standard — 20 people were crammed in a 16-square-yard house. It was then that Ghaus intervened and said that they were not saying that the project had been a success or a failure; their research was based on interviews.

The study included interviews with 508 households living in Hawkesbay, Taiser Town and Baldia, the three resettlement locations. SPDC economist Nadeem Ahmad presented the findings. “Employment figures have gone down drastically,” he said. “The percentage of men employed at the time of displacement was 73.9 and it is currently 66.5, while the figure of female employees has gone down from 11.4 to 6.7.”

He had other shocking figures to share. According to the study, currently 42.7% households have zero income. The women have no source of income, their education and employment has been cut off. Around 63.3% of females interviewed felt that living standards had declined.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • ALi
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:11AM

    This means liberals would mock religion and marriage and promote gf/bf culture.!

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  • zalim singh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:25AM

    gives insight into Pakistani men.

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  • Asif
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:59AM

    Right, so the next step will be to make marriage ‘Haram’ all together?
    Talking about all the statistics regarding poor people and having a conference where? At ‘MARRIOT Hotel’, you got to be kidding me!!!

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  • Citizen
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:16AM

    What a shame .Why no statistics provided on how many women got justice ? Justice is denied and delayed . Its a big tragedy.

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  • Nobody
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:01AM

    It could also mean ‘liberals’ will promote more economic independence for women as many already do. Part of the reason women are treated as such AND they put up with it is because most men/in-laws know most of these women don’t have anywhere else to go, or simply won’t because their self-worth is so low in their own opinion. This problem can only be tackled if all angles are looked at and worked on together, we can’t simply point the finger at ONE thing. It’s a number of cultural and non cultural factors that need attention.

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  • Uzair
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:08AM

    @ALi: Oh yes, and because of this we also promote flogging those who do not agree with us, stoning to death of parents who force their children into arranged marriages, beheading of people who don’t allow girls and boys to talk as normal human beings, etc. Because of course us liberals are fascists just like the taliban and their supporters and we have been committing gross acts of violence since day 1 to make others “see the light” and turn to our beliefs.!

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  • Umer
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:16AM

    Now what you are actually trying to say ? Should women stay at their parents home now ? or the marriages should be stopped? Totally confusing.

    Instead, we should literate the public and try to stop violence instead bringing this lame concept to stay at parent’s home or not to marry.

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  • Ahmed HM
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:08AM

    The whole study seems to be too vague. But as it is too vague and speaks against the family system, ET found the need to present it. The study was presented in the Marriott, which significantly reflects what kind of people would have been a part of it.

    And they should keep a record of these ladies as well, they would definitely be harassing their daughter in laws, mother in laws, sister in laws or pumping their sons to do the same. :)

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  • zalim singh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Absolutely. Sad commentry on Pakistani men.

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  • Be_logical
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:08PM

    O Man……I thought only religious fanatics are crazy, but liberal extremists are a step ahead……What a stupid inference from this study by a bunch of so called feminist liberals……If your logic is to followed then what about the fact that humans are more safe in home than outside, where they can face accidents, terrorism etc……does this mean humans should stop going outside!!!!

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  • Disco
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:34PM

    Shame on us Pakistani men. If we can’t respect our women then we are no different than animals.

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  • sars
    Apr 4, 2012 - 1:07PM

    hmm instead of blaming liberals try to get your own house in order. If women are not as safe due to marriage, the answer is not to ban marriage as per liberals. More conservative people like to jump to conclusions quickly. REason should be a part of the thinking process.

    The answer is to make sure that women have multiple protection against abuse

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  • Huma Shah
    Apr 4, 2012 - 1:26PM

    i dont know if any of the comments above were made by women…. but u are all being ridiculous! it doesnt say u should outlaw marriage but if u read it the inference is that u need to change the mindset where women are treated as chattel and fifth class (second class being too high a spot on the ladder for them) we need to change our societies thinking for women! ridiculous and off-the-point argument by all the above commentators!

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  • Uzair
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @Huma Shah: Hey, some of men here are speaking in defense of women :)

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  • THE
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:56PM

    @Huma Shah: Agreed and then there are some pathetic Indian trolls who just want to put Pakistan down no matter what the story! They can’t look inwards probably since it smell too bad under their collars.
    The solution to this problem and many others in the society is swift and inexpensive justice system. I wonder what kind of police services cost Rs36,400 for a woman to get her case registered with the police?? There are many other factors including proper education and employment that would give these woman more self confidence and make then their own bread winners.

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  • Sir fetimi udukekari cephas
    Apr 7, 2012 - 10:45PM

    I seize this medium to say a very big thank you to Dr khalida Ghous and her group for their good works.How can i be part of this group?

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