PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women has condemned the murder of a ninth grader girl and stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to combat gender-based violence.

In a statement here on Tuesday, KPCSW expressed grave concerns over rise in murders of girls and women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces.

It said that the rising trend of rape and killing of minors required urgent action on part of relevant departments.

The KPCSW said that 51 women had been murdered, 21 committed suicide while nine had been assaulted between July and December 2018.

“In the first two weeks of January 2019, there have been eight cases of murder and rape of minors,” it added.

The statement said that sexual violence was seldom reported as the victims were either silenced in the name of honour or killed by their own families.

“These are grave violations of human rights and can only be combated by addressing the root causes of such crimes -- gender inequality and discrimination. The effective and timely implementation of laws is a prerequisite of justice,” it added.

KPCSW recognises the efforts of KP police in tracking the culprits on the priority basis, the efforts of media to highlight such cases and the struggle of civil society organisations to create awareness among people and work with government to eradicate such violence.

“However, the entire system starting with reporting, prosecution, sentencing, shelters and post shelter integration requires strengthening,” said the statement.

It said that a comprehensive approach involving relevant government departments along with the government commissions for children, information and right to services as well as civil society was must to work on a practical roadmap for arresting and reversing those trends.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019