South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

By Bhagwandas
KARACHI: More than 1,175 women fell victim to violence in 940 incidents in the province during the first six months — Jan to June 2010, says a report launched here on Tuesday.
The report says that 31 women were murdered in violence, including seven of them were killed on the pretext of honour — Karo-Kari a crime considered to be occurring in remote areas of the province only — during the same period in Karachi.
The report prepared by an NGO, Aurat Foundation, says that more than 209 people — including 151 women and 58 men — were murdered on the pretext of Karo Kari, including an incident in which four people were killed.
The report was launched by Sindh Chief Minister’s adviser Sharmeela Farooqui at Karachi Press Club.
The report says that out of these 940 incidents, only 312 incidents’ FIRs were registered while for 614 incidents the FIRs could not be registered and for the rest of 14 incidents it is not known if the FIR was registered or not.
The report says that over 163 women were killed owing to domestic disputes, enmity, disputes related to matrimony and while resisting the robberies.
Some 187 women were kidnapped and 104 women, including young girls, were raped.
The report says that 84 women committed suicides, while 16 others tried to commit suicides, owing to poverty, ailments, forced marriages, and domestic problems.
More than 71 women faced violence in their homes and acid was thrown on three others.
The report says that police also arrested 117 women either for minor crimes or when their male relatives, wanted by the police, could not be arrested and were severely harassed.
Despite the order of the Sindh High Court which banned the organising of jargas, some 56 jirgas were organised in which 22 women were handed over in compensation to secure peace between warring parties.
Speaking on the occasion, CM’s adviser Sharmeela Farooqui said that one should not be misled by these figures as although the figures presented a gloomy picture of already very high crime rate against the women, these figures represented just the crimes or incidents that were reported, while people, because of to social stigma attached to women related crimes, rarely reported the incidents.
She said that police as well as members of the lower judiciary needed to be sensitised regarding the women and children crimes.
Sindh Assembly member Humaira Alwani said that she had submitted a bill relating to domestic violence in 2008 but it had not been taken. In the meantime, a similar bill was passed in National Assembly, but later it could not be passed through Senate in the prescribed time limit because of some reservations shown and resistance put up by a religious party, owing to which it lapsed, she said. Now again the process will be restarted. She urged the legislators in general and women legislators in particular to rise above party politics and forge a unity on such sensitive issues.
Aurat Foundation representatives Mehnaz Rehman, Shirin Aijaz, Farida Hanan and others also spoke.
Source: Dawn – 11.08.2010