Pakistan stands at 145 among 146 countries listed in the Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum with Afghanistan as the only country behind in this list for its worst performance.
The Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection Against Harassment’s (FOSPAH) report stated that the body registered 398 harassment cases from 2013 to 2018, while 5,008 cases were registered from 2018 to 2022.
In 2019, 1,000 courts were allocated to cater women’s cases with the aim to make the house and the wider society safe for them, the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat mentioned in its report.
It also stated that 32% women are victims of violence in gender-based crimes, while 40% married women also face harassment.
After the F-9 Park rape incident in Islamabad, women have been experiencing fear and they have felt the extreme psychological impact of the gruesome event.
In February this year, two armed men allegedly raped a woman in Islamabad’s F-9 park at gunpoint. The case surfaced in the news two days leaving the nation shocked at the audacity of the criminals who approached the victim — accompanied by her colleague — at the park, according to the first information report (FIR).
Rabia Shahzad Malik, a lawyer who works on women’s issues, said that several cases of violence against women have witnessed convictions, fines against perpetrators and have also resulted in life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, domestic violence and abuse legislation has also been enacted. The lawyer added that 1,000 courts have been set up to hear gender-related cases.
Malik further shared that these cases will be fought by public prosecutors for free and will proceed without revealing the woman’s identity, while their cases are tried in a “short time period”.
Tasneem Ahmer, an activist who works on issues related to women, said that in order to deal with gender-related crimes is more important to train children than the police.
According to a report by the Islamabad Police, women officers are now being included in the force, while a separate cell for women has also been made in each police station.
The report added that women police teams will patrol different sectors of the federal capital to curb crimes against women.