Systemic change necessary to protect women from violence in Pakistan, says Amnesty International

Published March 28, 2019
A Lahori woman has accused her husband and his employees of allegedly stripping her, shaving her head and beating her over not dancing for them. ─ Photo courtesy Amnesty International South Asia Twitter
A Lahori woman has accused her husband and his employees of allegedly stripping her, shaving her head and beating her over not dancing for them. ─ Photo courtesy Amnesty International South Asia Twitter

A day after the story of Lahori woman Asma Aziz ─ whose husband and his employees allegedly stripped her naked, beat her, and shaved her head over not dancing for them ─ made headlines, Amnesty International South Asia called for Pakistan to make systemic changes to protect women from violence.

The rights organisation in a tweet on Thursday stated that although it is "glad that strong and swift action has been taken against the torturers of Asma Aziz, we note with dismay the alarming rise in reported cases of violence against women."

"System change to protect women is necessary," Amnesty said. "Action can't only be taken on a case-by-case basis."

Husband, employee sent on physical remand

Earlier today, Aziz's husband and one of his employees were handed over to police on four-day physical remand.

The two were taken into custody on Wednesday after a video of Asma Aziz, the wife of one suspect, began circulating on social media. Aziz said her husband of four years had "always hit her a lot".

"He took my clothes off in front of his employees. The employees held me as he shaved my hair off and burned it. My clothes were bloody. I was bound by a pipe and hung from the fan. He threatened to hang me naked," she said in the video.

Read more: Husband and employees allegedly strip woman naked, beat her over refusal to dance for them

Aziz in a March 26 first information report said her husband of four years and and two of his employees tortured her over her refusal to dance for them. Lahore police on Wednesday arrested the husband and one of his employees.

The Investigation Officer told the judge at a district Model Town court today that the husband had admitted to shaving his wife's head.

Prosecutor Muhammad Imran Arif submitted a police report in the court and said that investigators have yet to recover Aziz's hair, the machine used to shave it off, as well as the stick used to beat her. The prosecution requested the court to grant a 10-day remand of the suspects.

Asma, in her video, had also alleged that when she went to the Kahna police station to register a complaint, the officers, instead of providing her the FIR number or conducting a medical examination, asked her for money.

Superintendent Model Town Muhammad Ali Wasim had taken notice of her allegations and directed the deputy superintendent of police to look into the matter.

Pakistan ranks 150 out of 153 countries on The Georgetown Institute's Women, Peace and Security index ─ among the five worst countries for women in the world. According to 2016 data, 26.8 per cent of Pakistani women said they have experienced intimate partner violence.

Opinion

A decade of change & stagnation
Updated 20 Sep 2021

A decade of change & stagnation

Over a decade, three more women out of 100 aged between 19 and 39 have acquired college degrees, compared to only two more men.
All about life
20 Sep 2021

All about life

Absence of life skills in the SNC must be rectified.
‘Honourable men’
20 Sep 2021

‘Honourable men’

Is it ambition to support our athletes only after they bring us glory?
Concerns of proxy wars
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Concerns of proxy wars

A lobby in the US favours a plan for proxy warfare so that America can sustain its global influence.

Editorial

20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...
Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...