Khalida Niaz

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6 women were gunned down in different incidents during the last week.

As per the police reports, the first incident took place on March 17 in Mansehra, where the husband shot his estranged wife dead at her parents’ house. According to DPO Mansehra Zahoor Babar Afridi, the incident took place in Kot area of Oghi Tehsil, where a man named Sajid killed his wife, mother-in-law, and two sisters-in-law over a family dispute.

The second incident took place on Sunday, March 19, in Pakha Ghulam area of Peshawar, where a husband killed his wife over a domestic dispute. The police said that as a result of the firing, the wife, her son, and sister-in-law of the accused were killed, while two women, including an eight-year-old girl, were injured.

It’s pertinent to mention that hundreds of women have been killed in the whole country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa either in the name of honor or over domestic disputes.

4 thousand women were killed in 3 years

There was an alarming increase in violence against women during the years 2019 and 2021 when more than 63,367 incidents of gender-based crimes were reported, 3,987 women were murdered and more than 10,500 women were victims of sexual violence, reports The Express Tribune.

In 2019 alone, 25,389 incidents, wherein women were involved, while in 2020, 23,789 incidents of other crimes including rape were reported. Similarly, in 2021, 14,189 cases were registered.

Non-enforcement of laws, a major cause of crimes against women

Khurshid Bano, the chairperson of “De Hawa Lor”, an organization working for the rights of women and transgenders, attributes the excess in cases of violence against women to the non-implementation of laws.

While talking to TNN, Khursheed Bano said that there are laws regarding honor killing and domestic violence but they are not being implemented and, the second important thing is that, there is no awareness among women regarding their rights.

She said one of our problems is that domestic violence is considered a domestic problem, women die, but the state does not play the role of a third party in it, and by doing this, the accused often escape punishment.

Why women do not want to file a case against the family?

Referring to a recent incident, she said that in Gujranwala a woman was killed due to domestic violence, so unless the laws are implemented and awareness is spread among the people, these laws will be of no use.

She said that women are subjected to domestic violence on a daily basis and hundreds are even killed, but only a few incidents are reported.

Khursheed Bano maintained many women come to her who want justice but do not want to file a case against the family because they say where will they go after filing the case.

When was the law against domestic violence made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?

In relation to the prevention of domestic violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to the law made on January 15, 2021, in addition to physical violence, economic, psychological, and pressurizing for sexual gratification will also fall under the category of violence against women.

The Law envisages that an application to the court within 15 days of violence shall be submitted, and the court will be bound to pronounce the decision of the case within 2 months.

Men’s Society and Economic Independence

On the other hand, the Provincial Coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shahid Mahmood, said that our society belongs to men who enjoy all the powers, whenever a woman is killed, the rest of the women are silenced and thus, even an FIR cannot be registered against these cases.

He said that the reason for the increase in crimes against women is they are not raising their voices for their rights as no one will speak for their rights until they raise their voices themselves.

Shahid Mehmood said that apart from this, the non-implementation of laws, weakening of institutions, long backlogs in courts, and unavailability of witnesses are among the other reasons behind the increase of crimes against women.

He said that until the government institutions do their part in preventing crimes against women, it is difficult to end it.

Khurshid also insists that the government should protect women with laws and make them economically independent so that women can benefit from the laws made for them.

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