Violence against Women More than Doubled in Pakistan Last Year
A report released by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday reveals that violence against women has gone up to 4,276 recorded cases. This number is more than double that recorded by the HRCP in 2006. HRCP Secretary Iqbal Haider told the BBC News that 2007 was a "brutal year for women."
The HRCP recorded 1,202 cases of murder, including 636 honor killings, 755 cases of sexual harassment and violence, 736 kidnappings, and 143 attacks by burning. Two women politicians, Zille Huma, Punjab Minister for Women Development, and Benazir Bhutto, the chair of the Pakistan People’s Party, were assassinated. Throughout the country, women were prevented from voting, and girls were terrorized into staying away from school. The HRCP recorded 258 cases of rape and gang rape against children.
The conclusions of the report were not optimistic. The introduction to the report states that "...the country's human rights agenda was unlikely to be lightened in 2008, and that there was no alternative to constant vigilance."
According to the HRCP, conservative social practices and religious extremism are the main causes of these human rights violations.
Media Resources: BBC News 04/15/08; Deutsche Presse-Agentur 04/14/08; Pakistan Daily Times 04/17/08; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan