Honour crimes on the rise in Rajanpur, Mirpurkhas: Study -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Honour crimes on the rise in Rajanpur, Mirpurkhas: Study

By: Asma Ghani

ISLAMABAD – According to a study conducted by National Commission on the Status of Women honour crimes are on the rise in two districts of Punjab and Sindh despite the enactment of law in 2004 to end women related crimes.

NCSW in collaboration with National Rural Support Programme, Pakistan (NRSP) and Rozan conducted a pilot study to gauge the implementation and impact of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004 in Rajanpur and Mirpurkhas.

The study says every year hundreds of women die as a result of honour crimes. Many more cases go unreported and almost all go unpunished. The isolation and fear of women living under such threats are compounded by state indifference to and complicity in women’s oppression.

It highlighted the prevalence of domestic violence, karokari, wani/sawara, suicide, murder, sale, physical punishment, mental torture and sexual harassment in those areas. It said 87 per cent affectees of the crimes are women while 13 per cent affectees are men. It revealed that only 2 per cent cases are reported while 98 per cent cases remain unreported.

The study said the major causes of honour crimes are early marriages, wattasatta, forced marriages, love marriages, property disputes, political conflicts, poverty and lack of education.

After the study NCSW designed a project named “End Honour Crimes” to address the issue. Under this project they initiated a situation analysis to understand the frequency and factors affecting honour crimes in two districts, Rajanpur (Punjab) and Mirpurkhas (Sindh).

Based on the situation analysis report NRSP developed a comprehensive training programme with input from NCSW and Rozan for the people of these two districts. The target group of this training campaign was representatives of law enforcement agencies, judiciary, medical staff and local community organisations.

At the end of the project different segments of society came up with different recommendations to mitigate and eliminate honour crimes from the society. They recommended that Jirgah and Punchait system should be abandoned and order of Prime Minister to eliminate the death penalty should be converted into law for its implementation.

The words ‘Abroo Raizee’ and ‘Zina Biljabar’ should be replaced with the rape. A comprehensive national level capacity building strategy should be devised for the people dealing with honour crimes and school level curriculum should be gender sensitised.

The report suggested that the curriculum of the law enforcement agencies should be revised and capacity building of police personnel regarding gender issues should also be enhanced. Regular performance of law enforcement agencies personnel should also be assessed.

One specialised trained lady constable should be deployed at each police station to deal with women issues and gender promotional material should be available at each level (Province, District, UC) preferably in local languages.

Government should establish a legal cell in the police station with deployment of a lady advocate for the aggrieved women and/or their families. The honour crimes cases should not be confused and/or dealt under the Qisas and Daiyat law.
Source: The Nation
Date:9/3/2010