State of women rights deplorable: Minhaj Women League

Addressing a special ceremony held to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, Mrs. Farah Naz, President of Minhaj Women League, said that one thousand women are killed in the name of honour in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan per year and more than ten thousand women suffer various forms of violence including domestic violence every year. She said that these are the psychopaths who resort to torturing women and they need to be dealt with in every possible way. He said that Punjab tops the list of federating units with ‘enviable’ record of 74pc crimes happening here, adding that the least such crimes are committed in Balochistan, the most backward province of the country followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Afnan Babar, Umme Habiba, Zaynab Arshad and other women were present on the occasion.

Mrs. Farah Naz said that crimes against women registered an increase of 28pc in last three years between 2014 and 2016, which is a point of serious concern. She said that bias still exists in relation to provision of education and jobs to women, adding that out of the total ignorant population, women constitute 59%. She said that the federal and provincial governments do lip service when it comes to policies and projects for the women empowerment and this explains why anti-women crimes are increasing instead of decreasing.

Addressing the ceremony, Mrs. Afnan Babar said that the true followers of Islam cannot even think of beating women. She said that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) rejected every form of oppression against women 1400 years ago. She said that he eliminated the heinous practice of burying the daughters alive. She said that Islam has conferred the status of respect and honour on the women as mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. She said that the increasing incidents of violence against women in an Islamic country are a matter of serious concern. She highlighted the need of a great debate to ponder over the malaise of violence against women.

Umme Habiba, while speaking on the occasion, said that Punjab takes the lead when it comes to anti-women practices. She said that there is nothing surprising in it as the government has been found wanting in resolve to check such incidents. She said that the Model Town tragedy is a living reminder wherein the police killed the innocent women, Shazia and Tanzila in broad day-light on June 17, 2014. She said had the Punjab government not been involved, those killing the women would have been arrested and made an example of by now but nothing of the sort has been done so far.

Mrs Zaynab Arshad said that the plight of women rights in Punjab can be gauged from the reports published by women NGOs such as Aurat Foundation. She said that Punjab has continued to retain no 1 position for last 8 years in relation to the worst treatment meted out to the women.