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November 25, 2016

‘Change mindset towards women’

Lahore

November 25, 2016

LAHORE

On the International Day of Violence against Women, Pakistan, although, has made strides in this direction through protection of women against violence bill but a lot still needs to be done to create an effective infrastructure to enable swift practice and execution of this legislation. 

This was shared by leading Women Rights and Gender Equality Activists when they were contacted to share their views on International Day of Violence Against Women. 

Violence against women is a sad phenomenon not only in developing countries or societies but is a practice that cuts across virtually all nationalities and cultures even to this post-modern world. 

It is a bare truth and unavoidable reality that violence against women knows no borders. 

According to Khawar Mumtaz, Chairman National Commission on the Status of women, “around the globe one out of the four women has been beaten.

Surprisingly, the abusers are their own family members. To end violence against women, November 25 is celebrated as” Elimination of Violence against Women” universal day around the world. Likewise, in Pakistan, it was celebrated fervently to create awareness among women. Honour killings, trafficking, rape, acid throwing, physical abuse etc. are common in Pakistan”.

Violence against women evolves as women have been considered sub-human in our society. It is pertinent to mention here that many cultures have some set of beliefs, norms; religious and societal institutions to legitimise violence. 

“Even to this present day there still are factions that believe that violence against women is an acceptable act socially and according to religion as well”, she added.

There are many bills for women protection but the need is to change the behaviours of society towards women. A human rights activist Fareeda Shaheed showed concern that there is no uniformity on different bills passed by provinces of Pakistan. Violence is not acceptable at any cost.

The abusers must be punished. The problem is that if a woman visits police station to lodge a complaint against her husband. Police discourages her. All family members scold her. How a women can get justice if she is discouraged by the institution meant to provide justice. Women cannot hire a lawyer because of financial constraint. 

According to her, majority of women depend on their male family members for domestic expenditure and other mode of life. That’s why women are being exploited. 

The report shared by Punjab Commission on the Status of Women that “20 percent increase in cases of violence against women reported every year in Punjab. Only 5,391 cases of violence against women had been reported in the province in 2012, while the number of cases reported in 2015 were 6,505.

The report showed that in 2015, 173 women were killed in honour-based crimes. More than 100 cases of honour killing have been reported until June, 2016.

According to Fauzia Viqar, the cases of violence against women relatively are more in rural areas as compared to urban areas. She said the ratio of violence against women is high where literacy rate is low.

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