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pakistan
Saturday Feb 13 2021
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Pakistan reports highest incidence of violence against women at peak of coronavirus pandemic in 2020

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Of all the provinces, Punjab reported the highest incidents of murder, rape, suicide, acid burning, kidnapping, child marriage, dowry and inheritance. Photo: AFP

  • Over 2,000 cases of violence against women reported in 2020
  • This number is despite the challenge of under reporting because of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Findings show that among the total number of incidents, 57% were reported from Punjab


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported 2,297 cases of violence against women from 25 districts between January and December 2020, according a recent report by the Aurat Foundation.

This number is despite the challenge of under reporting because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The data shows that at the peak of the pandemic in July, cases of violence against women were highest. Following this, the number of cases dropped again, but rose in September due to the resurgence of COVID-19.

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A report, ‘Violence against women and girls in the time of COVID 19 pandemic’ was released by the Aurat Foundation in collaboration with SAP-PK under the project Jazba- Democracy and Empowered Women or Jumhoriat Aur Baaikhtiar Aurat'. 

Women rights activists, parliamentarians, academicians and media persons attended an event on the report.

The research is based on review and analysis of data on the incidents of violence against women collected from selected newspapers verified by local police stations in 25 selected districts, analysis of 14 case studies of violence against women and analysis of six interviews from key government officials in Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women.

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The key findings of the review and analysis of the data were presented by Dr Rakhshinda Perveen. 

Province-wise breakdown of violence against women cases

The findings show that among the total number of incidents, 57% were reported from Punjab, 27% from Sindh, 8% from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6% from Gilgit Baltistan, and 2% from Balochistan.

Of all the provinces, Punjab reported the highest incidents of murder, rape, suicide, acid burning, kidnapping, domestic violence, child and forced marriage, dowry and inheritance. 

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Sindh had the most cases of honour killing. The victims of violence and survivors of violence ranged from two years to middle age and they belonged to all socio-economic backgrounds. Violence occurred both in home and public places.

The launch event also featured a theater performance on violence against women and COVID 19 by Alina Chaudhry. Through solo performance, Alina highlighted the correlation between COVID 19 and the situation of women.