KARACHI: A report furnished by Sindh’s women development department shows a total of 1,643 cases of various types of violent acts — from honour killing to custody of children and maintenance — were filed by women from across the province since July last year, it emerged on Wednesday.
The report carried the cases registered in the women complaint cells and Benazir Bhutto Centre for Women in Sindh since July 1 of last year to date.
Read: Crimes against women: The stories we all forgot
It shows 13 cases of honour killing in Sindh with Jacobabad being infamously on the top with eight such crimes.
The figures show this brutal custom has crept into the cosmopolitan fabric of Karachi, which recorded three such cases.
Officials said such trend was gaining roots in the provincial capital for some years, showing the people settling here from various parts of the country were practising it with the same brutality.
Sindh’s second largest city, Hyderabad, has also recorded a case of honour killing while the remaining one was reported from Benazirabad.
Out of five cases of rape or gang rape, three of them were reported from Jacobabad and one each from Benazirabad and Shikarpur.
Two out of five cases of sexual assault were reported from Jacobabad and one each from Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.
Benazirabad reported most (55) cases out of 252 cases of domestic violence and harassment; followed by Jacobabad (45), Mirpurkhas (35), Hyderabad (32), Karachi (23), Larkana (12), Khairpur (10), Naushahro Feroze (nine) and one each from Sanghar and Shikarpur.
A single case of women trafficking was reported from Jacobabad.
There were 18 cases of violence in custody, of which nine were reported from Benazirabad, five from Hyderabad, and four from Naushahro Feroze.
Two cases of child marriages were reported from Hyderabad and Larkana.
Three cases of ‘unlawful or fake marriages’ were reported — two from Jacobabad and one from Hyderabad.
Karachi and Hyderabad reported five cases each of murders or kidnapping. Another four such cases were reported from Jacobabad and one from Sanghar.
A single case of acid throwing on a woman was reported from Sukkur.
The report claims the department’s facilities did not receive any complaint vis-a-vis forced conversion of non-Muslim girls and their marriages.
It says 26 women were referred to shelter, 21 women were wounded and needed medical help in various districts, 119 women sought legal aid, 102 others looked for police protection and another 154 for legal suggestions.
The report further says 173 cases of custody of children or maintenance, 168 cases of dissolution of marriage/khula/recovery of dowry articles/dower amount and 268 cases pertaining to family matters were filed.
Some 75 cases were related to property and 107 others were related to miscellaneous issues.
The overall leader vis-a-vis all such issues was Benazirabad with 457 cases, followed by Sukkur (286), Hyderabad (213) and Karachi (196).
Shikarpur turned up fewer cases (six) while no complaint was received as per the report from the remaining 13 districts of Sindh.
Officials, however, said the report also showed that women in some districts were aware about the presence of such government facilities where they could file their complaints.
They conceded that much work was to be done as around half of Sindh’s districts had not produced such complaints because of deficiency of such facilities available to them.
“We are expanding our network in all parts of Sindh, which will be there to receive complaints and ensure action is taken by the relevant authorities in soonest possible time,” said a senior official.
Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2018