Crimes against women up by 18 percent in Pakistan

August 6th, 2011 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 6 (IANS) Crimes against women, including forced marriages and sexual assaults, have risen by 18 percent in Pakistan over a period of one year, reveals a report.

According to a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report, the number of reported crimes has risen from 849 in May 2010 to 999 in May 2011, Daily Times reported Saturday.

FAFEN was established in 2006 as a coalition of approximately 30 leading civil society organisations in Pakistan with the primary objective of mobilising voters and observing the general elections that took place in February 2008.

FAFEN’s latest report is based on a comparison of the number of first information reports (FIRs) pertaining to anti-women crimes in Pakistan’s 61 districts.

The report, which was released Friday, stated the number of cases on forced marriages, incidents of insults and sexual harassment increased significantly while more serious crimes like rape and honour killing witnessed a rise.

It states cases of forced marriages and sexual harassment went up by 42 percent and 17 percent respectively. However, FIRs registered against rape, honour killings and offences against marriage decline by 25 percent, 17 percent and one percent respectively.

The report states that the crimes against women were more widespread this year as the number of districts reporting them increased in May 2011 than in May 2010.

FIRs against 181 incidents of rape were registered in 34 districts in May 2011 compared to 241 in 30 districts the same month last year.

Similarly, 25 cases of honour killings were reported in 12 districts in May 2011 against 30 reported in nine districts in May 2010.

The FAFEN report also states difficulty in ascertaining the true pattern of occurrence of both rape and honour killings based only on the number of FIRs registered nationwide.

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