Islamabad: A new report in Pakistan has thrown the spotlight on the plight of women and children while highlighting the everyday risks of safety, security and rights violations being faced by them.
Women and children in Pakistan continue to face harassment and violence while the Pakistani media has failed to highlight these acts of torture, says a report titled ‘Tracking Numbers: State of violence against women and children.’
Issued by Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO), the report states that as many as 6,754 women were kidnapped and 1,890 raped during the first six months of the current year.
In Punjab alone, 3,721 cases of violence against women were registered during the said period, however, the media reported fewer cases in this regard, the report claims.
Giving details, it says, in Islamabad 34 rape cases were registered while in Punjab 752 cases of child abuse were registered. However, according to the SSDO only 27 cases were highlighted in the media.
The report further says out of 163 cases registered in Islamabad about kidnapping of women only 26 cases were reported in the media.
The report pointed out that Lahore was a hotspot district in Punjab and has the highest number of cases of rape, violence against women, kidnapping, domestic violence and child abuse followed by Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
Right to information
The report is based on information provided by mainstream English and Urdu print media and through access to official registered cases by using Right to Information (RTI) laws.
For collection of information under this research report, a set of eight indicators were developed; which were relatively easy to update periodically.
Out of these eight indicators, three indicators such as child abuse, child labour and child marriages relate to children. The other five indicators were domestic violence, violence against women, harassment of women at workplace, rape of women and kidnapping of women.
According to SSDO Director Shahid Jatoi, while violence against women and children was rampant in Punjab, the lack of proper space in the media over the subject was a more alarming trend.
“Lesser space in media compared to official data”
The less reporting in the media compared to the official data suggests lack of attention over such issues by the media over the alarming situation of human rights violations of women and children in Punjab and ICT, Jatoi added.
The report also stresses the need for all stakeholders including the government, politicians, law enforcement agencies, relevant departments, judiciary, media and civil society to come forward, develop joint action to spread awareness, implement laws to curb violence against women and children in the country.