VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
By Sahil Novlani
Violence against women is now being recognized as a major issue of public health problem, A barrier to solve global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, famine and also the health problems around the globe which are not noticed and often undocumented due to its proscribed nature. Violence against women is extensive and very important cause of morbidity and mortality among women. Around the world, there are a lot of women that have been beaten, forced into sex, or generally abused in their lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her or a stranger which devastates their lives. Also, the equal rights of women with men are denied due to cultural discrimination on the grounds of class, race, social status, ethnicity, sexual identity and age. Such forms of discrimination restrict women’s choices, increase their susceptibility to violence and make it more difficult for women to get justice. There are several categories of violence against women which are carried out by “individuals” as well as “states”. The forms of violence are rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence, traditional practices such as, honor killings, marriage by abduction, dowry violence, and forced marriage.
In Pakistan, violence against women has also been noticed at high rate, Women face discrimination on a daily basis due to the religious and cultural norms but unfortunately all such acts are not presented in white and black. A few of them has raised their voice and out of those few have got justice. After democratic republic of Congo and Afghanistan, Pakistan has been ranked as 3rd in regards to violence against women. This ranking was done by Trust Law. During 2009-2010, 700 women in Pakistan were victims of honor killings and around 90% were targeted for domestic violence. In Pakistan, few females with their bravery have raised their voice for justice. Such brave females were Mukhtaran Mai, Rukhsana and Zakia. Rukhsana and Zakia got the support of another female named Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and fortunately another support from Doctor Jawad who is a Pakistani working as a surgeon in UK. He came back to Pakistan to serve these victims and bring justice to them. Domestic as well as state violence has been reduced by a great extent after the release of documentary filmed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy in the year 2012. In this documentary, true stories of Zakia and Rukhsana were narrated that how they have faced domestic violence. It has not only served as a platform for claiming justice but also a way to reveal the cruelties of men. Such documentaries have also led to introduce the women’s rights act in the Pakistani law which will give an equal status to women in the society.
Violence against women is not only the societal case in Pakistan but also a root cause problem in India. In India, these violence cases are not reported due to feudal power or other political issues. The major reasons behind the violence are usually noted down as young age of woman, lower level of education and most importantly dowry issue. Such violence acts create a bad impact on women’s health. It has been recorded that majority of them go for suicide or go under mental trauma and many women have been victims of acid attacks.
With the increasing number of such acts, different local and international NGOs are stepping forward to provide their support and help to such victims. They are trying their best to bring justice to them through every possible way. With the help of these NGOs, such victims are now able to raise their voice for justice and rights. They are also involving themselves in various activities like teaching, skill work etc. They are not letting themselves left behind in the society. Unfortunately, media is condemning such acts. Nothing can really happen until and unless we don’t raise our voice for such social cause but with the effort of such NGOs, Women empowerment and also due to women’s rights acts it has been hoped that the violation of the women’s rights won’t take place and such acts will serve justice in near future.