Rising Rape Cases Cause Pakistan’s Punjab to Declare “emergency”
Women’s Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence.
The province of Punjab in Pakistan has declared a state of emergency due to an increasing number of rape cases. Violence against women is committed in all socioeconomic classes, underlining a systemic issue. With 4 to 5 reported cases of rape a day, the government is considering special measures to deal with the situation. Special measures are planned to be implemented in 2 weeks to address this increase in cases. The ministry is further planning on consulting attorneys, teachers, civil society and women’s rights organizations.
Over the course of the last 6 months, over 2000 women in the province were raped, with multiple being killed in the name of “family honour”. Lahore alone, Punjab’s capital, reports over 400 cases of rape and over 2000 kidnappings in this same time span. The conviction rate for these crimes lies at under 1%, causing an increasing rise in cases due to a lack of prosecution. Rights activist Nayab Gohar Jan stated: "The whole process from the moment a crime is committed against a woman to registering it with the police - and then the court procedure - is structured in such a way that justice remains elusive.” (Pakistan's Punjab imposes 'emergency' due to rise in rape cases, 2022).
In addition to the increase in rape cases, there has also been an increase in reports of workplace harassment, domestic violence and other discriminatory norms. This underscores Pakistan’s ranking as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women according to the 2021/22 Women, Peace and Security Index (Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Peace Research Institute Oslo, 2021).
Bibliography and Sources
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Peace Research Institute Oslo. (2021). Women, Peace, and Security Index 2021/22: Tracking sustainable peace through inclusion, justice, and security for women. Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security Research Insitute Oslo. Retrieved June 22 from https://giwps.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/WPS-Index-2021.pdf.
Pandey, Nikhil. (2022, June 22). With 4 to 5 rape cases daily, Pakistan's Punjab declares 'rape emergency'. Wionews. Retrieved June 22 from https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/with-4-to-5-rape-cases-daily-pakistans-punjab-declares-rape-emergency-490546.
Pakistan's Punjab imposes 'emergency' due to rise in rape cases. (2022, June 22). The Times of India. Retrieved June 22 from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-punjab-imposes-emergency-due-to-rise-in-rape-cases/articleshow/92375315.cms.