Punjab Govt Is Doing Good To End Violence Against Women. Other Provinces Must Follow
Women in Pakistan continue to die due to increasing violence and abuse. They are consistently subjected to kidnappings, rape, sexual abuse and honor killings among tens of other crimes.
Each year, more than 1,000 women and girls are murdered in the name of ‘honor’. In most cases, the culprits are brothers, fathers and male family members or relatives of the girls. According to a report, 90 percent of women in Pakistan are victims of domestic violence.
According to another study, Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women in the world. The poor and illiterate women do not have their fundamental rights, recognition and respect they duly deserve. But the situation is slowly improving, thanks to the many NGOs and charity organizations working for the welfare of women.
Through piecemeal legal forums, females are slowly getting empowered in Pakistan. Though the numbers of women who are part of the initiatives are few, it’s still a good start. But most still are forced behind closed doors by husbands and family members or by fears that their steps outside might ‘ruin family honor’.
Pakistan does not have a very high female literacy rate, so it’s understandable that the majority of the women don’t know about their rights. What’s worse is that women continue to absorb all abuse without uttering a single word. For example, women subjected to sexual abuse seldom raise their voice because they know the consequences that might lead to it.
This results in more violence and abuse.
This year, the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act 2016, and it is the first legislation in Pakistan and the south region to have its own organization to eradicate violence against women.
United Nations (UN) Women Pakistan country representative Jamshed Kazi estimates that over the past few months, cases of violence against women have increased rapidly. The problem persists countrywide but there aren’t many solutions.
Almost one in three women have been the victim of violence. The Punjab government deserves applause since it is the only one to have thought about the protection of women. Though it cannot be said the situation is ideal in Punjab, there are visible improvements. At least, Punjab is doing something that others are not.
The Punjab government is ready to tackle all sorts of problems faced by women. However, the problem cannot only be solved solely via legislation. Men too need to unite against oppressors and know their responsibilities.
The concerned authorities should discuss other key areas towards gender equality such as women’s economic empowerment, education for girls and women’s voice in decision making. These things can bring positive changes and help the Punjab and other provinces to protect the women.