Mahnoor Mustafa, a college-going student in Balochistan’s Turbat city, writes about violence against women.
Anti-women laws, gender-violence, honour-killings, rape and abuse – the list of transgressions against women is unending.
According to a paper, four out of every five women in Pakistan face some form of domestic abuse.
A blind girl was once charged under the Zina Ordinance because she was unable to identify her rapists.
A month ago, there was another difficult-to-read news item I came across: A girl was raped before being killed in the name of ‘honour’.
If we go back and turn the pages of Islamic history, as told in our textbooks, we come to know that before the advent of the Islamic era the Arab women were treated like animals. Many girl babies were buried alive and delivering a baby girl was considered a sin.
But as our Prophet (PBUH) came and started preaching the message of Islam, women were given a status, they were given respect and they were no longer treated like animals because Islam had given them a very high and honourable place.
Unfortunately, today the true teachings of Islam have been left behind. The world has reached the moon and Western women are working shoulder to shoulder with men, but in our man-dominated society women are confined inside the four-walls of the house and often become victim of violence.
It is shocking only in in 2013, 5,151 women were subjected to violence just in Punjab. Among them, 774 were murdered, 217 killed for ‘honour’, 1,569 abducted, 766 raped or gang-raped and 427 were driven to suicide.
According to reports, from January 1, 2012 to September 15, 2013, there were 860 honour killings, 481 incidents of domestic violence, 90 cases of acid throwing, 344 cases of rape or gang rape and 268 incidents of sexual assault or harassment.
However, this data only shows the visible violence. Most of such cases go unreported because of social taboos and lack of media coverage.
In every area in Pakistan, women face violence, in one form or the other. Pakistan ranks 82nd out of 93 countries with regard to gender empowerment and stands 115th out of 140 countries in the gender inequality index of 2011.
Reportedly, the recent global prevalence figures indicate that about one in three (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence at least once in life.
Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children (below 18 years of age). Of those women, more than one in three, or some 250 million, were married before 15.
Be it 2000-2010 or 2016, the list of violence against women is long. The situation for our women is even worse, still in the chains of slavery.
It’s a clichéd thing to say but it’s true that women make our world more beautiful — as sisters, daughters, wives and mothers. Without giving equal opportunities to our women we can’t progress.
Violence against women should end and anti-women laws should be nullified by the government.