21 February 2018

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03/08/2008 PAKISTAN

Almost 20 women raped, killed, or fall to suicide every day

On International Women's Day, experts highlight the difficult situation of women in Pakistan. Those who suffer sexual violence are arrested, and abuse in the workplace is frequent.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - In 2007, serious violence against women in Pakistan increased: according to the report of the Madadgar Research and Database Centre, there were 7,870 cases of sexual violence with homicide, suicide, and the application of the "hudood ordinances" (according to which the woman who is the victim of sexual violence can be accused of "extramarital sex" and arrested), as compared to 7,564 in 2006. Firdous Chaudhry, coordinator of the Pakistan Catholic Women's Organisation (PCWO), says that this is one reason why they have scheduled for today, International Women's Day, in addition to exhibits and celebrations, also a debate on the discrimination suffered by Pakistani women.  Under accusation are above all the public authorities, who do not do enough.

"Christian women", he explains, "face threefold discrimination: they belong to a religious minority, they live in an underdeveloped society, and they are women".  For this reason, the PCWO works to make women more aware of their rights and to provide legal and social assistance to the victims of violence.

"The women most at risk", explains Jasmine Joseph, secretary of Caritas in Faisalabad, "are housemaids and others who work".  In addition to receiving low pay, they are often subject to sexual abuse, which they must often tolerate in order not to lose their job, while they lack any effective legal protection.

Shazia Naz, a Christian lawyer, is also a critic, confirming that "women are still discriminated against at work, and are killed in the name of so-called honour".  She says that the amendments to the hudood laws have only been "cosmetic", and even the 2006 law for the protection of women has brought no actual improvements.  In the legal tribunals, the testimony of a woman is still considered only half as valuable as that of a man.

See also

21/09/2013 PAKISTAN
Lahore , Christians and Muslims protest against sexual violence against children
Protests organized by Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation, an independent NGO inspired by the memory of the Pakistani Catholic leader, who died in 2012. They demand justice for a five year old girl, kidnapped and abused several times , and for all the victims of violence.

15/01/2014 MYANMAR
Catholic activist speaks of unspeakable violations as military continues to use rape as a "weapon of war"
A report released by the Women's League of Burma mentions at least a hundred cases between 2010 and 2013. For its authors, they are but "the tip of the iceberg." Most cases of sexual violence, which also involves girls as young as eight years old, are concentrated in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities. Kachin leaders tells AsiaNews that abuses are an indication of "serious deficiencies in security."

28/04/2014 PAKISTAN
As Pakistani Catholics pray against sexual violence against children, more rapes reported in Punjab
Torchlight processions and prayers are held for Sara, who is in hospital in critical condition. In the past few days, two more cases have been reported: a six-year-old girl sexually assaulted in Faisalabad, and a nine-year-old girl raped and killed in Jhang District. A recent study confirms the trend, but acknowledges that only a few cases are reported.

04/02/2006 Pakistan
Pakistan: a new norm to protect women, victims of rape

A woman who is a victim of rape will no longer be condemned for adultery as under the old norm introduced in 1979.  Peter Jacob: "An important verdict but we need a definitive solution to all discriminatory laws".

16/11/2017 14:01:00 PAKISTAN
In support of 'Verna', the film-denouncing rape banned in Pakistan

It was originally banned because considered controversial and politicized. It denounces the hardships endured by rape victims in pursuing justice. Pakistani host: It gives voice to the victims and teaches people how to behave in the face of violent episodes.

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