As many as 1,704 women tortured, beaten up or humiliated by their parents, in-laws and husbands in Faisalabad have sought help from the Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Centre for Women (BBHRCW) in the last year, BBHRCW Manager Kanwal Shehzadi said on Thursday.
Talking to The Express Tribune at her office in Amin Town, Shehzadi said the women had approached the human rights centre on their own.
“In majority of the cases, the women were tortured and manhandled by their in-laws and husbands for asking for money to run the households,” she said.She said in 36 cases, the women were physically and mentally tortured. In 32 cases, she said, underage girls were forcibly married.
“Torture of women in police custody has also been reported in 13 cases,” she added.
Shehzadi said between July 2012 and June 2013, four women sustained burns in acid attacks. She said 76 miscellaneous cases were also reported to the centre during this time.She said 1,533 cases of women having marital problems had been resolved by mediation. “We have been providing legal and financial assistance to them… the women too should raise their voice against inhuman treatment,” she said.
Shehzadi said the society needed to treat women as equal citizens and give them the respect they deserve.
“There is a dire need for extending all available facilities to working women and ensuring gender equality,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.