According to a local NGO, certain types of crimes against women have risen at perturbing rates. There has been a 144 per cent increase in burning incidents, an 89 per cent increase in acid crime, a 62 per cent increase in domestic violence and an 11 per cent increase in murder. Most cases of violence against women are reported from Punjab. However, the numbers from all provinces are reprehensible and should prompt law-enforcement and lawmaking agencies to take better measures for the protection of women all across Pakistan.
There are several ways to interpret this data. First, we know that many cases of violence against women go unnoticed and unreported; women in the other provinces might be more oppressed and more fearful than women in Punjab, who might have better access to the police. Secondly, because Punjab has the highest population of any province, it would statistically make sense that most cases are reported from that province. On the other hand, it might just be that Punjab tends to be more violent towards women and has higher rates of aggression than the other provinces. Even though the report says that overall cases of violence have gone down, eliminating violence against women altogether is a daunting task if we consider the steep rises in certain types of violence. The government should take immediate action to formally monitor and deal justice to those women who are victimised or are vulnerable.
Violence against women should never be considered a private home matter; it is and always will be a criminal matter and hence of public interest, as the public should know who is threatening and harming a person’s well-being unnecessarily, be it a family member or friend of the victim. When a person’s security is compromised, those who are in charge of each person’s well-being should be expected to promptly take action, as is strongly urged in light of this report. We must collectively aim for these horrendous statistics to go down. Women require equal treatment on a par with men and until the perpetrators of violence against women are made examples out of for the entire country, we should fear that these gruesome acts of crime will only increase.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2013.
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