2,439 women raped, 90 killed in name of 'family honour' in last six months in Pakistan's Punjab province: Data

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)’s recent report, in Pakistan, at least 11 rape cases are reported daily with over 22,000 such incidents reported to police in the last six years (2015-21).

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, February 08, 2022, 06:06 PM IST
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A total of 2,439 women were raped and 90 killed in the name of “family honour” during the last six months in the Punjab province of Pakistan, according to the data provided by the Punjab Information Commission.

In Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province with a population of 110 million, 400 women were raped and over 2,300 kidnapped during this period, the data said.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)’s recent report, in Pakistan, at least 11 rape cases are reported daily with over 22,000 such incidents reported to police in the last six years (2015-21).

The report states that society gives undue advantage to perpetrators by blaming victims. Instead of having a drop in the number of cases, there has been a sharp rise with an overall less than 1 per cent conviction rate.

“Only 77 accused of the 22,000 cases were found to be convicted and the conviction rate is around 0.3 per cent,” the report said.

“Sadly, rape culture is predominant in Pakistan – one that blames the victims of sexual assault and frames all men as naturally violent. Many are working to try to change this discourse, but it is an uphill battle,” Nida Kirmani, a professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) was quoted as saying in the report.

Last week, a man killed his married sister who was gang-raped in the Sargodha district, some 200 kilometres from Lahore.

The 28-year-old victim, a mother of five children, was raped by four suspects in a neighbourhood where she worked as domestic help. The alleged killer told the police that he shot dead her sister for dishonouring the family honour.

Pakistan has one of the highest numbers of documented and estimated honour killings per capita in the world.

An honour killing is the homicide of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief the victim has brought dishonour upon the family or community. The death of the victim is viewed as a way to restore the reputation and honour of the family.

Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death in 2016 by her brother who was upset by pictures she had uploaded to social media.

Often dubbed the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan, Baloch, 26, had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. She posted images and videos of herself twerking and singing, breaking strict taboos in socially conservative Pakistan.

The shocking murder of Baloch by her brother had turned the spotlight on the epidemic of so-called ‘honour killings’ and sparked a fresh push to close loopholes allowing the killers to walk free.

The long-awaited legislation was finally passed three months later in a move cautiously hailed by women’s rights activists.

But years on, activists say honour killings are still occurring at an alarming pace in Pakistan.

According to the World Economic Forum, Pakistan is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of gender parity. Women hold fewer than 7 per cent of managerial positions.

Early marriage remains a serious issue in Pakistan, with 21 per cent of girls in the country marrying before the age of 18, and 3 per cent marrying before 15.

More than five million primary school-age children in Pakistan are not in school, most of them are girls, according to Human Rights Watch.

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