Any kind of violence must not be acceptable be it based on gender or racial discrimination. Today we are going to underline a very critical issue of our society that is gender-based violence.
What is gender-based violence?
It is discrimination against human beings grounded on their gender roles. It snatches their rights and freedom. And in our society, women and eunuchs (transgenders) are the most common victims of the violence. A few types of violence are as under
- Physical violence
- Educational discrimination
- Illegitimate practices targeting women (Wanni, Swara, Karo Kari etc.)
- Human trafficking
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Harassment of the Eunuchs (Khawaja Sara/Transgenders)
Unfortunately, it has been in the roots of our society for so long that it seems like a no-win game to curb these issues.
1: Physical violence
According to the Pakistan Demographic and health survey 2012-2013, about 32% of women have suffered physical violence. Not only women but also transgenders are the victim of physical abuse. They undergo sexual abuse and physical and mental torture. Moreover, get killed sometimes. Examples are not under any cover. One example of such a brutal step is the killing of a transgender, named Gul Panra, who was recently killed in cold blood in Peshawar.
2: Education discrimination
A major sector is the education sector where we see discrimination. In most of the rural areas, girls are still not allowed to get an education as compared to their male counterparts. And apart from that, educational institutes do not accept transgender’s.. People mock them always. Being citizens of Pakistan they also have the right to education, safety, and respect. But it seems lacking in many areas.
3: Illegitimate practices against women
Some of the most agonizing practices against women are Wanni, Swara, Karo Kari that is legal in so-called jirgas in tribal areas and Sindh. Women’s freedom is exploited using these illicit ways.
In Wanni, marriages of girls takes place for resolving a dispute mostly in tribal areas. And in the same manner, Karo Kari is another abuse in which male or female are killed in the name of honor. It happens mostly in Sindh where women are murdered in honor-killing.
In November 2011, the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act was passed by the National Assembly to grapple with these discriminatory customs. This act also included the following criminal practices:
- Forced marriages
- Marriage with the Holy Quran
- Depriving women from inheritance
4: Human Trafficking
Every year hundreds of women, men, girls, children, and boys fall prey to this inhumane act, in which they are sold across borders for forced labor, sexual slavery, etc. It is an illegal forced trade of people.
According to a UNODC report on human trafficking, children are about 20% of all victims and in 30% of countries, a major part of the trafficked people consists of women. Isn’t it shameful!
The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2018 and The Prevention of Human Smuggling Act has been passed by the Government of Pakistan to tackle this menace. But to what extent they are working, we don’t know!
5: Sexual Abuse
Alas! It has become the biggest issue of today in our country. Every new day is bringing a new case of sexual abuse not only against girls, but also married women, boys, little girls, transgender, and even animals. Hasn’t the limit of violence reached? If we start listing only recent victims, the list will be too lengthy-including motorway case, little Marwa, and many more.
Laws and Bills are present against this, but implementation is not present.
6: Domestic violence
Another gender-based violence against women; another heart-breaking issue of our society. According to a WHO report, 1 of 3 women suffers domestic violence of their intimate partners. And it is not false that Pakistan is one of the countries where domestic violence is so rampant.
Harassment can be social or in any other form. Women and transgenders are harassed mostly. One very recent case of harassment went viral on social media, where police arrest a boy for harassing a girl. We hope he gets punishment so that no one can do such a silly thing again.
Transgender also have to face harassment by powerful citizens and sometimes police. A video went viral in 2016, in which a transgender named Julie Khan was being harassed and assaulted by some men.
We know that because it went viral, but there would be so many similar incidents that we don’t know.
And when they voice for their rights, they are exploited in the hand of police i.e. the same Julie was arrested and kept in men’s jail. Such a humiliating attitude of our Police. Sigh!
What causes gender-based violence?
Justification of violence
This violence is justified in a patriarchal society, where men are seen as a symbol of power. No doubt Islam has given men higher status in power than women, but that doesn’t mean to exploit women’s and transgenders’ rights. The same Islam teaches us equity and unity.
Role of community
Second our attitudes toward victims also play a vital role in gender discrimination. A community must stand with the victim, not the culprit.
How gender-based violence affects a community?
1: Undermining social values and relationships
Gender-based violence undermines social and cultural values and relationships. For instance, a woman who gets sexually abused goes through psychological trauma. The response of our community towards the victim is very vivid that rather criticizing and punishing the perpetrators, blames the victim. It weakens the victim’s relationships. And as a whole, it can deteriorate fragile social links that hold a society together.
2: Sabotaging the image of the country
A country where such incidents of violence are so rife, cannot maintain its image as a developed nation in the international community. According to a Daily Times’ article, Pakistan is the sixth dangerous country for women.
Isn’t it an alarming situation?
How To Prevent Gender Violence’s?
1: Define the rights of women and transgender according to Islam
Before making any law or its implementation, the government must define the rights of women and transgender according to Islam because we are living in the Islamic Republic. The longer we will be at distance from Islam, we will be facing the scorching effects of the violence.
2: Law formulation
After defining rights comes the turn of lawmaking. In most of the examples of violence, laws are already present. Owing to the need of time, formulate new laws or consider the old ones..
3: Harsh Punishments
When crime doesn’t come in control, there are two reasons: either the law enforcement agencies are weak or the punishment is not sufficient enough. Or reform the both.
For example, rape cases are increasing in Pakistan day by day. The only demand of the public is harsh punishment and the demand is valid. For how long, we will have to sacrifice our daughters, children; even boys are not safe.
Then comes the implementation of laws. Law implementing institutions must be working in a specific manner. But their organization is necessary so that implementation can be made possible.
5: Strict accountability and fair system
All the aforementioned points are possible if the system of a country is fair and just. And in a country fair system comes with austere accountability.
Lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and institutions and police they all will work like humans if they will be ‘strictly accountable’ before someone. Without accountability and then punishing those who are guilty of negligence, this framework will not work.
We witness incidents regarding discrimination based on gender every other day. And the point of shame is this all is happening in an Islam state when Islam doesn’t preach us any discrimination.
The basic question is how to tackle the problem because the government must not sit with a blind eye. This problem is not going to end soon. There is a long way to go before the government to eradicate this issue.
The only solution is a fair justice system. Government and Lawmakers must join hands to make justice timely and available.
Otherwise, we will have to face the brunt of their incompetence.
What are your views about this problem? Do let us know your opinion in the comment section.