Pakistan

Speakers concerned over spike in violence against women in Punjab

A civil society forum for the elimination of violence against women, the Mumkin Alliance, expressed its concern over the growing violence against women in Punjab.

Analysts Salman Abid and Bushra Khaliq and others addressed a media workshop which was attended by several journalists from electronic and print media.

Mumkin Alliance is a network that raises voices, violence against women.

As per a study crimes of sexual harassment against women have increased to 300 percent and 642 cases/FIRs of sexual harassment registered during the last 45 days.

In August, police registered 323 cases of sexual harassment, and in September, 319 cases of harassment.

Speakers said that the surge in cases of sexual harassment against women was a dangerous trend and lack of enforcement of laws, violence against women and girls has been increasing.

In Punjab, although the government has taken various legislations, policies and various important steps despite the crimes against women have increased instead of decreasing.

Similarly, there is no punishment for the perpetrators of various crimes. 

Mumkin Alliance demanded from the Provincial Commission for Women, the Provincial Ombudsperson, and the Women Protection Authority to devise effective strategies on women’s issues so that women in Punjab could be protected. Additionally, the government of Punjab must empower the institutions made for women’s rights and protection.  

The civil society representatives demanded from the media to play their role of watchdog effectively.  They added it is the responsibility of the media not only to expose incidents of violence against women or girls but also to monitor or follow up on these incidents to make perpetrators accountable for the welfare. In the seriousness of the incidents against women, the reporting of cases should be carried out in an objective manner so that these incidents could be dealt with better. Positive portrayal of women in the media should be part of the main agenda, said they will talk to media persons.  

The civil society representatives suggested, in cases of violence against women in Punjab, immediate assistance at the government and institutional level must be transparent, especially at the district level so that justice could be delivered without any hindrance.

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