Saturday Aug 21, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan saw a significant decline in the reported number of cases of violence against women during the last three years, according to the stats issued by the Federal Ministry of Human Rights, The News reported.
As per the statistics issued by the ministry, the reported cases of violence against women across Pakistan fell over 70 percent in the last three years.
However, despite the decline in the number of reported cases, the data from provincial helplines for women depicts a horrific state of women’s rights, especially in Sindh and Punjab.
Officials working for women’s rights in northern Sindh and southern Punjab consider the place to be “hell” for women and their rights.
The Ministry of Human Rights Toll-Free Helpline data shows Punjab contributed the most to the total complaints registered by women all over Pakistan, as the province made up to 73% of the total cases of violence against women in the country.
Gilgit Baltistan is the only region where these cases are minimal. In this year, only two complaints by women were reported in GB. The maximum cases reported in the region were not even more than 10 in 2018.
Cases related to the abuse of women in Islamabad in the last three years were more than those occurred in all of Balochistan, AJK and GB. In the present year, women's rights abuse cases in the capital are even higher than KPK.
The data provided by Ministry of Human Rights showed that the total complaints made to the helpline (1099) by women in 2018 stood at 6,238. Whereas, in 2020, around 1,718 complaints of violence against women emerged, with only 1,655 in the first half of the current year 2021.
Majority of the complaints made to the National Toll free helpline by women were related to family disputes followed by gender based violence and harassment at the workplace.
Interestingly, the provincial women specific helplines, not affiliated with MoHR show a completely different picture. The News gathered data from prominent helplines working in Punjab, Sindh and KP for the protection of women and acknowledged that the complaints made to these provincial helplines were far more than what were registered on the MoHR National Toll free helpline.
Only in Sindh this year, almost 10,000 complaints by women, subjected to violence or any abuse of their right, are registered with Women Protection Cell till now. From only Hyderabad, 6,325 cases of women rights violations are reported from 2018 till this day. Likewise, Punjab Women Helpline (1043) received 4,649 complaints in the first half of the current year 2021.
The Bolo Women Helpline, operational in KP, stats showed no notable difference from what this correspondent collected from MoHR. The women helpline centre only received 70 complaints in the ongoing year. While 105 complaints in 2018, 89 in 2019 and 165 complaints in 2020.
Briefing about the difference in the number of cases reported in National Toll free helpline and other provincial women specific helplines, Mr Kashif stated that people across Pakistan lack awareness and are not familiar with this National Helpline.
The official said the provincial helplines are specifically oriented for women, are highly active and have a bigger budget.
A top official at the Ministry of Human Rights told The News that the reported cases related to women rights violations were not even half of the actual cases that were happening in Pakistan. He further revealed that the southern part of Punjab was as bad as Sindh.
Ayesha Hassan, a social activist for the rights of women and also head of Women Protection Organisation in Sindh told The News that the northern part of Sindh has become a graveyard for women. "Northern Sindh has been declared a killing ground for women. During the first six months of this year, 91 people were killed among which 66 were women who were blackmailed and then brutally killed".
Last year, in Sindh, 12 people were killed in Sukkur among which 10 were women. In the same year, 25 people were killed in Ghotki and 17 of them were women. In Larkatu, three people were killed, all women, in the past year. Surprisingly, the data present with The News shows that in all parts of Sindh, women are prominent in the total number of killings.