The condition of women in Pakistan is worse than that of their Afghan sisters. The Afghan Taliban does not hide their dislike of women unlike Pakistan, which obfuscates the issue to divert attention, reported policy research group, Poreg.
Pakistan ranks 167 in a list of 170 countries on the Global Women, Peace and Security Index. It was placed 153rd on the Global Gender Gap Index.
In its 2022 report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Pakistan has a plague-like problem of women abuse – rape, murder, acid attack, domestic violence and forced marriages. The HRW has left out forced conversions and kidnappings of very young Hindu and Christian girls for forced marriage.
Pakistan is the second worst country when it comes to gender inequality, shows HRW data on violence against women. This inequality is reflected in education, the job market, and even in sports.
Abuse of its children, women, transgenders and economically weaker sections places Pakistan in the company of Sub Sahara countries, reported Poreg.
Perhaps, it leaves behind these countries in the art of making men, women, boys and girls disappear forever or kill them in fake encounters, the report said.
Notably, about five lakh children are abused in Pakistan every year. This is the finding of a leading daily, the Sindh Express published from Hyderabad, the eighth largest city in the country. This figure does not include unreported cases which could be many times more.
The Sindh Express’s report is an eye-opener, detailing as it does how small girls and boys are kidnapped for rape and sodomy in Pakistan.
The News International reported that as many as 2,211 cases of child abuse were registered in Pakistan in the past six months. Of them, 1,207 were girls.
The majority of the victims suffered rape or sodomy. Sodomy of young boys is a daily occurrence in Pakistan. There is no official record of children abused for pornography and prostitution.
Around 2,101 children were kidnapped, raped or sodomized in the past six months, says The News. The largest province Punjab, which is steeped in feudalism, tops the list with 1,564 child abuse cases. The break-up for other provinces is Sindh – 338 cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – 77 cases and Balochistan – 23 cases. The federal capital chipped in with 99 cases.
According to a media report, young boys and girls are picked up from garbage dumps. “As they are rummaging for leftover food, discarded toys and the like, mafia lures them into their net”, according to an Urdu daily.
Crooks, who make pornographic films, lure small girls with money. Other hunting grounds include dargahs where children, who ran away from their homes, reach for free food. While good-looking girls are either sold to brothels or drafted into pornography, young boys become victims of sodomy and are made to run illegal errands, reported Poreg.
The Successive Governments in Pakistan are aware of child abuse but have done precious little to curb the menace. Nor have they addressed the issue of school dropouts, which remains very high.
Lakhs of children are deprived of education, going to official statistics, which attribute the phenomenon to all-pervasive poverty.
“Either their parents are too poor to send them to school or there is no school in their vicinity. If there is a school, there are no teachers”, said a recent media report.