Pope Francis concludes Asia trip
NGO wants real action on crimes against women
Better protection is urgently neededPeople light candles at a vigil against violence towards women
- ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
- November 30, 2012
A human rights group yesterday urged the government to publicize punishments as a way to prevent violence against women.
“The corrupt culture in police stations, the deterioration of law and order and lengthy court cases have diminished the fear of legal repercussions in our male-dominated society," said Abid Ali, program officer for policy and data monitoring at the Aurat Foundation ("aurat" means "women" in Urdu).
He was speaking at a candlelight vigil in Lahore to mark 16 days of activism against gender violence. The participants, mostly women, silently stood with banners reading, “We are not commodities,” and "Protect us."
According to the Aurat Foundation, abduction and kidnapping are the most commonly reported incidents of violence against women in Pakistan, with 1,086 incidents reported during the first six months of this year. There were 792 murders.
Sexual violence in the form of rape and gang rape was the third most common form of violence again women. A total of 435 rape or gang rape cases were reported during this period. However, rape remains one of the most under reported crimes, the foundation reported in a recent study.
In the first half of 2012, as many as 50 cases of sexual assault, 46 cases of acid throwing and 32 cases of burning were also reported.
“The incidents of gender-based violence are increasing on a daily basis. Our political leaders have forged pro-women laws but still many hesitate from becoming a part of politics and progress. Pro-women groups must invite men and state institutions into their seminars and workshops," the foundation said in a statement.