Pakistan’s Punjab province has decided to declare an “emergency” amid a rapid increase in reported cases of sexual abuse against women and children.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Punjab Home Minister Atta Tarar said an increase in such incidents was a serious problem for society and government officials.
“Four to five cases of rape are reported daily in Punjab, which is why the government is considering special measures to deal with cases of sexual harassment, abuse and coercion,” he told Geo News.
“To deal with the rape cases, the administration has declared an emergency,” he said.
The minister said that civil society, women’s rights organizations, teachers and lawyers would be consulted on this. In addition to this, he urged parents to teach their children the importance of safety.
Tarar said defendants in a number of cases had been detained, the government had launched a campaign against rape and students would be warned about harassment in schools.
The Home Secretary said now is the time for parents to learn how to protect their children. He said the government would rapidly increase the number of UKTN samples.
“An abuse system will be in place in two weeks, reducing incidents,” he added.
Pakistan is suffering and struggling with an epidemic of gender-based violence and violence against women cuts across all classes in the country.
Pakistan ranks 153rd out of 156 countries, just ahead of Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, according to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Index ranking.
An article published in the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) states that Pakistan reported up to 14,456 women in the past four years, while Punjab reported the highest number.
In addition, harassment of women in the workplace, domestic violence against women and other discriminatory activities against women are also 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 document states. of the Ministry of Human Rights.
IFFRAS said overlapping, loophole legal systems and deep-rooted patriarchy in society combine to ensure that women survivors of violence are unlikely to seek justice in the view of human rights activists. man, lawyers and survivors.
“The whole process, from the moment a crime is committed against a woman to her registration with the police – and then the court process – is structured in such a way that justice remains elusive,” Nayab Gohar Jan said. , a prominent human rights activist. in May.
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