South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Muhammad Uzair Niazi

There is an old Chinese saying: “Women hold half the sky”

In Pakistan, women fall victim to traditional practices that infringe their human rights. The perseverance of the problem has much to do with the fact that most of these physically & psychologically harmful customs are intensely rooted in the traditional & culture of the society. In modern societies, man and woman both are evaluated and entertained by equal rights.

They work together for the betterment of their societies and play their role for the development of the country. But unluckily, some developing countries have less emphasis on the sensitive issue of women’s equal rights. They have some educational, social, cultural, traditional and religious traditions which make women subservient to men. These societies usually operate under firm patriarchal system where women work under the dominance of men. Some ambiguities lie in their norms, values and belief due to which they have more male dominant societies. In some remote areas of Pakistan women live in an environment, which is structured by interpreted false religious and old cultural values and traditions. As a result, women are subjected to discrimination and violence on daily basis. The situation of violence varies from place to place.

The females of rural areas suffer more than the females of cities. According to a 2008 HRCP report, 80 percent of wives in rural Punjab feared violence from their husbands, and nearly 50 percent of wives in developed urban areas admitted that their husbands beat them. Many communal, cultural, customary and religious traditions which make women submissive to men and are mostly get exploited. In some remote areas of Pakistan women live in an atmosphere, which is structured by interpreted false religious and old cultural values and traditions. As a result, women are tilted towards inequity and violence every now and then. Violence against women is the destruction of self-respect, wellbeing and individual rights.

This impasse is gigantic, mainly the domestic violence and also aggression against women that prevails in the form of diverse uncultured practices. Violence against women is frequently seen as a personal matter, with a slight meddling from the state powers. It is a gigantic transgression and the state has the duty to shield its women from such practices. It is very significant to devise certain laws that can assist in criminalizing the work of violent behavior against women. The appropriate accomplishment of such laws will help out in the eradication of such rough-edged practices.

The practice of violence against women has extremely penetrated in our society and it, needs to be eradicated as early as possible. Annual report on the case of violence against women registered during the year 2012 shows a decrease of 12% in number as compared to last year. There were around 7,516 cases of violence reported in 2012 as compared to 8,539 in 2011. Although the total number of reported cases of violence against women has decreased by 12%, a deeper analysis shows that several forms of violence have in fact increased. One form of violence that shows a momentous rise in reported cases is burning, with a 144% increase, followed by acid throwing at 89%, domestic violence at 62% and murder at 11%.

Amongst those that have decreased as compared to last year are sexual assault 47% decrease, honour killing 39 % decrease, suicide 24% decrease, kidnapping 23% decrease and those in miscellaneous category 37% decrease. Out of total 7,515 number of cases, 4,766 were reported from Punjab, 1628 cases from Sindh, 674 cases from Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Balochistan 167 cases and Islamabad was noted for 281 cases of violence against women. On one hand this violence against women has also played a main role in upsetting the fragments of many families where women are affected by violence.

Over here the position of police needs proper attention, as they can trigger a central position in helping the women affected by violence. The police have the function to safe its inhabitants from diverse dangers, widespread in the public. The social portion of the society can be protected by introducing a helpful policing system in the public. The discrimination that prevails in our police stations is the major hurdle in ending violence against women.
The people also have a unlike approach about police, because of their uncooperative behaviors. It is very important that we as a society must work together, so that we can develop a violence free society. The victim’s that come to the police stations for assistance needs immediate psychological help and it is very important that the police stations must provide such assistance to the victims. It is very vital that the police officers show tolerance while dealing with the people affected by violence.

Most of the women that visit the police stations for the assistance are unsatisfied from the behavior of the police officers, as instead of solving their case they misguide them. On the other hand the role of police on women associated issues is also not agreeable. Unhappily, women affected from violence do not enjoy a proper access to register an FIR (First Information Report). Media can also play an important role in highlighting violence against women issues, so that such cases must come in to limelight. Mahatma Gandhi said “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit”.

Source: The Frontier Post – 04.09.2013 –