Human Rights

Violence against women and child abuse on the rise in Pakistan: Study

Islamabad: The Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), a non-governmental body based in Islamabad, on Monday drew an alarming picture of the state of violance against women and child abuse in the country.

The organization, in its annual report titled “Tracking Numbers: State of Violence Against Women and Children in Pakistan” also exposed the government failure in preventing violence against women and children.

The report states that the number of violence cases witnessed reported manifold during the year 2020.
It is to mention here that the report is based on the data collected from government records and media reports during a period from January 1to December 31, 2020.
SSDO Executive Director Syed Kausar Abbas said “There are needs of serious efforts by governments at all levels to ensure the implementation of laws related to the protection of women and children in the country.”

He said the local government institutions and the police must play a proactive role in curbing the menace of violations of rights.

Pakistan’s Int’l Ranking

In Pakistan, children make up around 39 per cent while women and girls account for 48 per cent of the country’s 207.8 million population. In the international index, Pakistan scores 5.46 out of 10 on the “Child Rights Index” and ranks 164 out of 167 countries in the “Women, Peace and Security Index 2019/20”. The prevailing situation calls for some serious actions.

Though, Pakistan has pledged its commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but still women and children in the country continue to face violence, discrimination, and persecution, with authorities often failing to provide adequate protection or hold perpetrators accountable.

What Report Reveals?

According to the data analysis, eight out of nine indicators were used to assess violence against as per indicators as many as 1,920 cases of children child abuse, 117 of child labor, 32 cases of child marriages were reported in 2020. Similarly, 1,422 cases of domestic violence, 9,401 cases of violence against women, 4, 321 rape, 15,714 kidnapping, and 2,556 cases of honor killing were reported in the country, which a high occurrence throughout country.

However, there were no cases recorded of harassment at the workplace in the criminal record because the subject is dealt in the office of ombudsperson.

In official record, the province of Punjab followed by the province of Sindh reported a considerable surge in almost all of these indicators. The maximum number of cases recorded in kidnapping and violence against women.
As compared to the first half of the year (Jan-June 2020), there has been a considerable increase in the child and women rights violation cases during the second half of the year 2020 (July-Dec 2020).
The cases of violence against women and rape cases have doubled in the last six months of 2020 in Pakistan. Similarly, the number of child abuse cases reported three times more in second half compared to first half of 2020 in Pakistan.

The province of Punjab has reported maximum cases of child abuse followed by Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
However, on the contrary the official data, the data collected from media tracking shows considerable difference.

The women and child rights violations reported in the media are less compared to official records that suggest that either the media has not given priority to these reported cases or the media has failed to properly report such incidents. As per media tracking, the province of Punjab again is leading in reported cases followed by Sindh and KP.

The increased number of reported cases both in official record and in media tracking in Punjab also suggests that such cases are being properly recorded though. On the other hand, the less number of cases reported in official record and media tracking of Balochistan also raise some questions about the proper recording of cases of violation of women and child rights in the province.

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