Data on violence against women during year 2012 released
During year 2012, 7515 number of cases of violence against women was reported, of which 4766 were reported from Punjab which makes the highest figure i.e. 63%. Sindh had the second highest instance of reported cases of violence against women i.e. 1628 cases which form 22% of the total cases reported. Among other regions, 674 cases were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 167 cases were reported from Balochistan, whereas 281 cases of violence against women were reported from Islamabad, which is a very high number considering the region is much smaller and houses a very small ratio of population as compared to the other regions, reads the annual report on violence against women by Aurat Foundation.
Aurat Foundation launched Annual Report on violence against women for year 2012 on August 29, 2013, at Islamabad. The report contained a data on violence against women during year 2012, collected and composed under ‘Gender Based Violence Policy Research & Capacity Building (GB-PRCB)’ programme of Aurat Foundation, in collaboration with Violence against Women Watch Group. The data was written and analyzed by Dr Rakhshinda Perveen, Consultant and Founder Creative Anger by Rakhshi. The technical review was done by Mr Naeem Mirza, COO Aurat Foundation, Ms Maliha Zia, Manager Law and Gender, and Ms Rabeea Hadi, In-charge GBV-PRCB programme. As part of its continuous efforts to highlight the issue of violence against women and its different manifestations in Pakistani society, the Aurat Foundation, with the support of Trocaire, has been monitoring the cases of violence against women in Pakistan for the last five years, since 2008, and has so far launched four reports on violence against women. This is the fifth report which shares the data of cases of violence against women during 2012. Ms Rabeea Hadi, in-charge of the programme, moderated the session and took up the question-answer session.
Dr Rakhshinda Perveen, writer and analyst of the report, shared the findings of the report with the audience. She said that violence against women also includes violence against girls and girl children. She also said that in most cases of violence, women / girls loose their lives. She also pointed out that if less number of cases are reported from a region, it does not necessarily means that there is less violence against women and , similarly, high number of reported cases does not mean the region has much violent towards women compared to other regions. She also pointed that lack of terms for ‘marital rape’ and cases of ‘incest’ in national and local languages indicates that our society is insensitive towards these violence / crime.
Dr Ambreen Ahmad, Child Psychiatrist/Advisor, Rozan, talked about the ‘psychological effects of violence on women’. While counting the important social factors behind the violence, she mentioned the condition and status of both women and men in the household, the place where VAW takes place, the nature of relationship between victim and abuser and the prevalent myths and perceptions regarding VAW in the minds of the victim, the perpetrator and society in general. Among various forms of violence, she said that t ‘social abuse’ needs special focus as this kind of abuse is usually not considered as violence or deemed traditional or cultural. She said, among the effects of violence, depression and anxiety leave long lasting affects on women which surely extends to children and other dependents. She also said that women facing domestic violence live in constant fear. “the memory of his humiliation ……….. Shared a diagram depicting a cycle of violence starting from weak social position to feeling shame and finally the feeling that ‘
Ms Mahreen Maqsood, Deputy Director, Gender Crime Cell, while giving the history of establishment of Gender Crime Cell (GCC), she mentioned the process including the formation of syllabus for the employees and training manual and its functions. One of the function include assisting the top policy-makers to develop holistic and effective countermeasures to control this menace. A steering Committee on Human Rights has been established. The reason for Gender Reforms in Police was realization that police is less sensitive towards women. “representation of women in police on better postions, developing capacities and competence of women police, enhancing role, and visibility of women police, assimilating gender learning into police training are few of the outcomes of Gender Reform in Police Project (GRPP), Phase-I”, she said.
Ms Arifa Khalid, MNA, PML-N, said that when peoples asked her, ‘whether I am elected as MNA on general seats or reserved seat’, I feel violence and discrimination and humiliation. While elaborating strategy to end violence, she suggested three steps: know the problem, face it and resolve it. She said that media and film industry in Pakistan is also promoting the conventional role of women in household, society, show-business.
Ms Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson, National Commission on Status of Women, while giving her remarks as Chief Guest, said that the fact that the data on violence against women was collected from newspaper was a weak point as it does not give the complete picture of rate of violence against women. “In times of war and conflict, violence against women is used as a weapon”, she said. Commenting on the role of media in the context of violence against women, she pointed out that most of the time, media highlights only some forms and cases of violence but ignores most dangerous forms of violence. While commenting on the NCSW’s strategy to combat violence against women, she said that NCSW is developing standardized indicators that could be used for future surveys and research and be comparable. Such indicators are being developed with reference the nationally owned indicators such as SAARC Gender Information Base (SGIB), international conventions e.g. CEDAW Concluding Observations and UN’s Statistics Division indicators.
Mr Naeem Mirza, COO, Aurat Foundation, while commenting on the further strategies to end violence against women, suggested that this is the time that National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) shall take task of addressing and ending violence against women.