A few years back a survey on 216 women was conducted by the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, and a staggering 96.76 per cent (209/216) admitted to having been subjected to abuse, ranging from hitting and shouting to being threatened by gun or knife. Even though the scope was limited, covering only the twin cities, more astounding: 108 (51.7 per cent) reportedly did not respond in any way and merely suffered the violence and its attendant consequences in silence. Furthermore, according to the most conservative estimate by Human Development in South Asia, Lahore, there is an average of 16 cases of bride burnings a month, with most of the victims belonging to poor families. Women are sufferers and are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse in their home by partners, in-laws and in some circumstances by their brothers and parents too. The factors associated with domestic violence in Pakistan are low status of women economically, lack of awareness about women’s rights, false beliefs, imbalanced empowerment issues between males and females, male dominating social structure and lack of support from the government.


Karachi, April 22.