ISLAMABAD: Representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights informed the National Assembly on Wednesday that 63,367 cases of violence against women were registered in the country during the last three years.

Shockingly enough, 11,160 rape/gang-rape cases were registered in the country during the last few years, ministry officials informed the National Assembly.

In a written reply to questions from MNA Mussarat Rafiq Mahesar, Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada pointed out that rights violations were reported/registered with federal and provincial police departments, in terms of criminal offences. Accordingly, action was taken by them against persons involved in such cases.

In this regard, all inspectors general of police (IGPs) and officials from the National Police Bureau were requested to provide a list of cases of violence against women registered in the country during the last three years.

11,160 rape/gang-rape incidents reported during the period

According to information received from the National Police Bureau, the total number of rape/gang-rape cases registered in the country during the last three years was 11,160. As many as 4,637 rape/gang-rape cases were registered in 2019, 4,133 in 2020 and 2,390 cases were filed in 2021.

Similarly, 1,578 women were murdered in 2019, 1,569 in 2020 and 840 in the year 2021. While the year 2019 saw 2,018 cases of beatings, 2,019 cases of beating were registered in the year 2020 and 1,134 in the year 2021.

In 2019, 13,916 cases of kidnapping were registered, 12,809 cases were filed in 2020 and 7,651 kidnapping cases were registered in 2021.

Likewise, 391 cases of murder were reported in 2019, 397 in 2020 and another 237 cases were registered in 2021. On the other hand, 77 cases of incest were registered during the last three years and 103 cases of acid throwing were filed with the police between 2019 and 2021.

Other offences that were registered include vani (forced child marriage), custodial violence, physical harassment, sexual harassment and 7,137 cases of abduction in the last three years.

In his written reply, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzadasaid the government was committed towards ensuring promotion and protection of women’s rights as envisaged under the Constitution as well as international commitments by adopting all possible measures.

He said the basic function of the human rights ministry was to monitor rights violations in the country and to create awareness among citizens regarding their rights.

The National Assembly was informed that the ministry had launched a project titled ‘Human Rights Awareness Programme’ for the purpose of creating awareness among people with a special focus on the rights of women and children.

Besides, the human rights ministry and the government had set up a full-fledged National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) as a specialised institution for the promotion and protection of the rights of women, in accordance with law.

The minister shared that the Ministry of Human Rights and the NCSW had close coordination with law enforcement agencies at the national level for effective implementation of the above-mentioned pro-women laws.

Besides the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, as a regular feature, 16 Days of Activism, an advocacy campaign on women’s rights with a focus on ending violence against women was launched on Nov 25, every year.

Moreover, capacity building/training workshops were regularly arranged by the Ministry of Human Rights with exclusive sessions on women’s rights and pro-women laws.

The Ministry of Human Rights was also operating a toll-free Helpline (1099) for legal advice on human rights violations and even addressing such cases through law enforcement agencies and other authorities. Women facing issues involving the violation of their rights could easily approach this helpline free of cost for assistance, as per law.

The Ministry of Human Rights was in the process of finalising a comprehensive national policy on violence against women. The policy would address all forms of violence which women faced during their daily life.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2022

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