Raped for seeking justice

Published: December 1, 2012
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If and when justice is delivered, it would further empower women into believing that they do, in fact, have rights and they will be protected by the system when they seek righteousness.

If and when justice is delivered, it would further empower women into believing that they do, in fact, have rights and they will be protected by the system when they seek righteousness.

Cruelty seems to know no bounds in our country with even fewer regards given to basic human rights. The latest such incident occurred in Kitro, Sheikhpura district, where five peasant girls — the daughters and nieces of a farmer — were gang raped by their employers, because the girls merely asked them for their wages. They were warned of  “dire consequences”, which resulted in their abduction the same night, followed by the heinous act. The fact that the girls had rightfully earned those wages for hard work rendered on the fields holds little value for the landlords. Such mindsets, especially prevalent in the rural areas, depict the criminality meted out to women for demanding justice for themselves.

It is encouraging to note that four out of the eight accused have been identified, of which three have already been arrested. And while the chief minister of Punjab visited the family of the victims and presented them with cheques, whilst providing them assurances for the capture of the accused, this reassurance must see the light of day and the criminals taken to task so that others, who would consider choosing rape as a course of action to punish women are deterred from doing so. This is not the first instance of gang rape and while its repeated occurrence shows the level of illiteracy prevalent amongst men in our society, it also highlights the need to revamp the system and rid it of loopholes where men can get away after committing such crimes against women. If and when justice is delivered, it would further empower women into believing that they do, in fact, have rights and they will be protected by the system when they seek righteousness.

Althought

Although we are a long way off from achieving the kind of equality witnessed in other countries and developed societies, we need to move towards this balance so that we can ensure the safety and protection of our women and rid our society of the much-ingrained patriarchal culture. There need to be laws to safeguard against such acts and greater awareness must be spread with the help of NGOs with regards to the rights enshrined upon both men and women.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • yousaf
    Dec 1, 2012 - 1:45AM

    The legacy of British legal system of the subcontinent is such that any one seeking justice in a lawful way gets raped.Irrespective of gender.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 1, 2012 - 2:45AM

    Can the establishment and courts pursue these social evils with the same zeal as they did in cases like Swiss letter, Memo case and likes? The resources wasted on these cases did not achieve anything at all. We have to fight this terrorism against our women just like the Taliban terrorists who are killing our innocent people. When we cannot protect half of our population (women) how can we make any progress?

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  • Toba Alu
    Dec 1, 2012 - 3:33AM

    I fully agree with your editorial. Except that I do not understand why you want to involve NGOs again requiring donor funds or gifts. NGOs are excellent in self-preservation. This has to be undertaken by everyone in the society but in the first place, by government agencies, national and local assemblies, media, schools, law enforcement agencies, etc. etc. Special funded NGO projects are only making sure that nobody feels responsible.

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  • Irfan Raja
    Dec 1, 2012 - 3:35AM

    social unjust, disparity …ZULAAM…our destiny?

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  • Cautious
    Dec 1, 2012 - 6:51AM

    In the civilized World if one breaks into your house, kidnaps your children and then rapes them — they either spend the rest of their lives in jail or are executed. In Pakistan they don’t even bother to hide their identities.

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  • Baby ka Husband
    Dec 1, 2012 - 8:57AM

    @yousaf:
    During the British Raj such events did not take place. Women could travel alone from Lahore to Calcutta on train with their children and they would arrive safely without being molested. In the villages events such as this were unheard off. So stop blaming the British. Blame the people who came after them, like yourself.

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  • faheema
    Dec 1, 2012 - 1:14PM

    @ Baby ka Husband, your observation is based on facts but in our so-called Islamic state called Pakistan such historical facts are purposely ignored to replace with some utopian world under Sharia.

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  • yousaf
    Dec 1, 2012 - 4:02PM

    @Baby ka Husband:::Although the author of this article has not kept the issue narrow,to cover only man/woman exploitation,but I feel you have missed the point.Rape though means to make someone do something against his/her consent,but it is popularly taken to mean only a man molesting a women.You ask me not to blame the British but don’t you think that the British RAPED entire sub-continent in all spheres of life for some 250 years and in the end left us hapless beggers while leaving in ’47.If we don’t care to count the later years to date.Actually when I blame the British I have the whole history of the period in my mind when they were in India.First as traders and then rulers over the whole subcontinent which they had come solely to loot and plunder under the prtext of trading.They ruled by formulating laws which were coercive in nature and served only their purpose.Like true looters they paid no attention to uplift the social structure of the country of which we are reaping the fruits today.

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  • Observer
    Dec 1, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Oh Allah What were you doing when those men were raping those girls.

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  • IceSoul
    Dec 1, 2012 - 8:27PM

    @Yousaf: And what about before the British came? When the glorious Muslim Mughals ruled? Ahmed Shah Abdali killed 25,000 when he sacked Delhi. Women were raped in the streets. The subcontinent had never been as safe as it was in 1947.

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  • Dec 1, 2012 - 8:33PM

    @yousaf:

    Yousaf, GROW UP – stop blaming the British – infact if the British still ruled Pakistan we wouldnt be having this kind of filth going on and mullahs running rampant

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  • Arfa
    Dec 3, 2012 - 2:50AM

    Why do you Blame British? Look at your culture and decide what you want to stop.
    British did not create your society.

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  • Dec 7, 2012 - 10:33PM

    Any time I have tried to understand this info it usually slips past about this subject.Recommend

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