Violence Against Women Needs to End NOW!

Neemopani pays homage to the Domestic Violence victims and Survivors.

In 2021, 26,134 cases of violence against women, 19,271 of the kidnapping of women, 4,660 of rape, and 822 of domestic violence were reported only in Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad. These horrifying figures are just from the last year that were reported. Many million cases go unreported due to shame.

Sarah, Noor, Ayesha, Zainab, and many more were not just names, they were actual beings who lived joyful lives before succumbing to fate’s cruel hands. Violence Against Women is a taboo subject in Pakistan that no one discusses. They would observe things happening but would say nothing since it is always considered an internal affair. Such insensitivity to this topic has resulted in several horrific cases, which are constantly trending on social media.

It’s about time, we need to raise our voices against Violence against Women before it consumes our society collectively. Neemopani has also made an awareness AD regarding it. We must recognise that it is women who give birth to us and who embed in us fundamental human traits.

Because of the impunity, secrecy, stigma, and shame that surrounds it, Violence Against Women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most common, persistent, and destructive human rights abuses in our world today.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment);
  • human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
  • female genital mutilation; and
  • child marriage.

To be more specific, the UN General Assembly’s 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”

That is why the theme for 2022 is UNITE! Activism to Put an End to Violence Against Women and Girls

Domestic abuse is considered a private concern in Pakistan since it occurs within the family. Unless it takes the severe form of murder or attempted murder, spousal abuse is rarely regarded a crime in society. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, mental, and emotional abuse. Domestic abuse affects around 70 to 90% of Pakistani women, according to estimates. Almost one-third of married Pakistani women claim physical abuse from their husbands. Only 22% of Pakistani women are officially stated to be working. Intimate partner abuse is costly in terms of medical bills and lost work days. Women’s rights were regressed in Pakistan in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and legislations were altered to reflect this inequality.

courtesy: Shehzadi Noor Fatimaa

However, there has been some progress in enacting regulations and legislation to discourage behaviours such as early marriages, honour murders, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape in the previous 10-15 years. Many of these legislation were proposed by female MPs in Pakistan. According to a poll, 35% of women hospitalised in hospitals were beaten by their spouses. Every day, at least two women are burnt in domestic violence events. Only one province reported 282 burn incidents involving women in 1998. 65% of the reported cases died as a result of their injuries.

Written by Shazia Gulzar

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