‘A woman is raped every two hours in Pakistan’

The shocking murder of a young woman at the hands of her husband in a palatial farmhouse of Islamabad has brought to light the rising incidents of violence against women, including torture, kidnapping, rapes and murder, in Pakistan, government and non-governmental data has shown.

The data revealed that as many as 21,900 women were reported to have been raped in Pakistan from 2017 to 2021, Samaa TV reported.

This meant that around 12 women were raped across the country daily, or one woman every two hours.

These, however, are reported cases and could be just the tip of the iceberg since societal stigma and fear of retributive violence prevents women from reporting cases.

The data showed that in 2017, some 3,327 cases of rape were reported. This jumped to 4,456 cases in 2018, 4,573 in 2019, dipped to 4,478 in 2020 before rising to 5,169 in 2021.

In 2022, the media reported 305 rape cases across the country. As many as 57 cases were reported in May, June (91), July (86) and August (71).

As per media reports, in Punjab, around 350 rape cases were reported from May to August this year, but no data was available for the first four months of 2022, Samaa TV reported.

During this period, as many as 1,301 cases of sexual violence against women were heard in 44 courts of the country.

Moreover, the police filed charge sheets in 2,856 cases. But only 4 per cent of the cases went to trial.

The conviction rate in rape cases during this period remained an abysmal 0.2 per cent.

In 2020, the UN Development Program ranked Pakistan top among the 75 countries with an anti-women bias in courts.

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