Pakistan: 432 women killed in first six months of year 2012

Pakistan: 432 women killed in first six months of year 2012

Rising cases of women murders show gender vulnerability: Zia Awan

Karachi, August 09: Increasing cases of murders of women and girls in Pakistan has fully exposed the gender vulnerability in Pakistan, as 432 women have been killed in the first six months of the current year, said President of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) here Thursday.

He said the growing gender discrimination and violation of women rights has created an alarming situation in Pakistan. Referring to Madadgaar National Database report he said that from January to June 2012 as many as 432 cases of murder of women were recorded in Pakistan, whereas 736 women were killed in the year 2011.

The noted human rights lawyer said from January to June 2012, the Madadgaar National Helpline received 2808 calls of victims of violence and abuse and also handled 531 walk-in-clients, extending services to them. The helpline facilitated the heirs in 36 cases of murder of women.

Awan regretted that the rising incidents murders of women & children show the tendency of our society to take the rights of women and children for granted. He said this trend is on the rise, as the number of walk-in clients increase every year. He demanded of the government and civil society to give a serious focus on gender-related issued to create gender justice in Pakistan. He urged the law enforcement agencies to take serious steps to save lives of women and children.

Zia Awan said ironically in many cases women are murdered by their close family members, who later try to dub the killing as suicide.

Quoting a case of 27 years old deceased Mehnaz of Landhi No 06 Karachi, he said she belonged to a poor family that married her off at an early age. She had three children, a son and two daughters. On 22nd May, 2012 she was brutally murdered by her husband, who hanged her from a ceiling fan and slashedher both wrists. Later, he claimed that she had committed suicide. The brother of the victim contacted Madadgaar National Helpline and said that the police was not filing his case. The Madadgaar helped him in not only lodging the FIR, but also in the arrest of the accused.

Quoting another case, he said 20 years old deceased Sajida of Abbottabad married on her free will to Faisal of Baldia Town Karachi on 29th May, 2012. After a few days of her love marriage, she wanted to return back to her parents, but his husband refused. When she insisted hard, her husband strangulated her to death on 21st June, 2012.

Medico legal formalities were carried out by Medico Legal Officer, Civil Hospital Karachi, who also referred this case to Madadgaar. Madadgaar National Helpline pursued the case and FIR was lodged and the accused was arrested

Zia Awan said there are a lot of cases in which innocent women and girls like Mehnaz and Sajida are murdered cold-bloodedly and the killers go scot-free as the protection of women and girls is not on the priority of either government or society. He demanded joint efforts of government, civil society, media, judiciary, parliamentarians and academia protect the rights of the women and children in Pakistan.

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