On one hand we rejoice that the Women’s Protection Bill has finally seen the light of day, and yet on the other, women are raped and tortured in different parts of the country and are denied justice when they come forward to report the crime. A young woman from Muzaffargarh has moved the Supreme Court after she was turned away from her local law enforcement officials and has accused her employer of raping and blackmailing her for eight months. She has asserted that she was also gang-raped by her employer and police personnel. If the police continue to be part of the wider problem, there is no hope for the women of this country who are subjected to violence, rape and murder in the name of honour.

The deep-seated issue is how rape is conceived and reacted towards when a victim does summon the courage forward. The victims are blamed, shamed, disregarded and often termed as liars. When there are no proper procedures for carrying out forensic evidence to verify the rape, the perpetrators are often set free without incrimination or allowed out of court settlements as in the case of the Afghan MP who recently raped a dancer in Peshawar. Why has this incident garnered little attention or outrage is because being a ‘dancer’ she was ‘asking for it’. Is this woman not a human being who should have ownership of her own body? Does she deserve to be raped because of her profession, whatever it may be?

Rape is a heinous crime against another human being regardless of the situation it was conducted under. Does a victim ‘ask’ to be murdered? In another case a jirga in Ghulam Nabi Shah settled a gang rape case of a fourteen-year-old girl for a compensation of 30 maunds of wheat. That is the worth of children who are raped everyday in this country.