The Pakistani province of Punjab has decided to declare a state of emergency amid a rapid increase in reported cases of sexual abuse of women and children.
At a press conference on Monday, Punjab Home Affairs Minister Atta Tarar said an increase in such incidents is a serious problem for society and government officials.
“Four to five cases of rape are reported daily in Punjab, leading the government to consider special measures to address cases of sexual harassment, abuse and coercion,” he told Geo News.
“To tackle rape cases, the government has declared a state of emergency,” he said.
The minister said civil society, women’s rights groups, teachers and lawyers would be consulted about this. He also urged parents to teach their children the importance of safety.
Tarar stated that in a number of cases the accused had been detained, that the government had launched a campaign against rape and that students would be warned about harassment in schools.
The Home Secretary stated that now is the time for parents to learn how to protect their children. He stated that the government will accelerate the number of DNA samples.
“In two weeks, an abuse system will be implemented, which will reduce the number of incidents,” he added.
Pakistan is suffering and fighting an epidemic of gender violence and violence against women across classes in the country.
Pakistan ranks 153 out of 156 countries, just above Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, according to the Global Gender Gap Index 2021 ranking.
An article published in the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) states that Pakistan has reported as many as 14,456 women in the past four years, while Punjab has reported the highest number in this regard.
Additionally, workplace harassment, domestic violence against women and other discriminatory activities against women have also been rampant.
“The 5,048 cases of harassment of women at work and violence against women reported in the country in 2018, followed by 4,751 cases in 2019; 4,276 cases in 2020 and 2,078 cases in 2021,” the Human Rights Ministry document said. .
IFFRAS said overlapping legal systems with loopholes and an entrenched patriarchy in society mean that female survivors of violence are unlikely to receive justice, according to the view of human rights activists, lawyers and survivors.
“The entire process from the time a crime is committed against a woman to the reporting to the police – and then the judicial process – is structured in such a way that justice remains elusive,” said Nayab Gohar Jan, a prominent human rights activist. in May.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)