Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-29-02

Pakistan: Police Response to Crimes Against Women Lacking

The suicide of a young woman raped at gunpoint follows a series of recent incidents in which horrific crimes against women in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been brought to the world’s attention. Since the case of Mukhtaran Bibi, who was gang-raped as punishment for her brother’s “crime,” made headlines last month – the number of women reporting rapes has skyrocketed, according to the New York Times. While six men were arrested for the crime against Bibi, women’s rights advocates are concerned that other reports are not being taken seriously. “Women are encouraged to report the crime of rape now,” Asma Jehangir, the most prominent female lawyer and women’s rights advocate in Pakistan told the Times. “We are, of course, receiving information that they are getting very disappointed.”

Naseem Mai told the police she would kill herself if the man who raped her was not arrested, according to the New York Times. Two days later she watched as the police allowed her rapist to flee. She died moments later after drinking a bottle of pesticide. Although the man was arrested a week later, Naseem’s family does not have much faith in justice – her rapist is from a wealthy family who can easily bribe the police.

Meanwhile, a deal last week between two Pakistani families settling a “blood debt” was canceled after details of eight forced marriages prompted a national outcry. To spare the lives of four men from one family who were convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of two men from another family, eight girls — ages 5 to 18 years old — were offered, along with $130,000, for marriage to the victims’ family. The intended husbands, most of whom already had wives, were considerably older - one was 80 years old. Fervent protests by human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Aurat Foundation, Women Action Forum, Rozan and Amal, led to intervention by village elders and the Pakistani government. The four convicted men may again face execution, unless an alternative settlement is reached.

While the number of forced marriages each year in Pakistan is unknown, experts suggest they are common practice, according to CNN.com. “Women continue to be seen as possessions of men, as something that can be given away, like cattle or gold,” said HRCP Joint Director Kamila Hyat. In a statement released last week, the human rights groups expressed the need for change: “We call upon all Pakistanis to raise their voice against this incident, which is not just a matter of the breakdown of law and order, but also of the persistence of the ugly feudal traditions in our society and the absence of the basic norms of human decency and conscience.”

Media Resources: IRINnews.org 7/25/02; CNN.com 7/26/02; UN wire 7/26/02; New York Times 7/28/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM. According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice. Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .
 
7/29/2014 Supporters March for Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville - Hundreds of supporters from all over the United States marched to the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, FL yesterday to demand that all charges against Marissa Alexander be dropped. . . .
 
7/28/2014 Study Proves Texas Laws Have Significantly Reduced Access to Abortion - The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) released a study in the medical journal Contraception finding that access to abortion has been significantly reduced since the state enacted it omnibus anti-abortion law HB2. The study, released last week, details the striking impact that HB2 has had on abortion access in Texas. . . .