Pakistan: Gender-Based Violence Unreported and Unpunished

In Pakistan, many cases of gender-based violence goes unheard and unpunished. A 2011 report by Amnesty International found that "gender-based violence, including rape, forced marriages, 'honor killings’, acid attacks and other forms of domestic violence were committed with impunity as police were reluctant to register and investigate complaints." These findings are supported by other human rights groups such asHuman Rights Watch which came to a similar conclusion in 1999, and has since called for the implementation of laws to protect women. Additionally, Thomson Reuter’s Foundation’s TrustLaw released a recent survey that listed Pakistan as the third most dangerous country in the world for women. The survey found that 90 percent of Pakistan’s women are victims of domestic violence.

Honor killings and dowry-related violence are two prevalent forms of gender-based violence in Pakistan. An honor killing is defined as “a murder carried out to “save” the perceived “honor” of a family after a woman is accused of “damaging” it in any way”. Victims of rape often become subsequent victims of honor killings. In 2010, honor killings took the lives of 791 women and girls, according to a report by the Human Rights Commission of PakistanPakistan also is party to one of the world’s highest levels of dowry-related violence.

Compiled from: IRINPakistan: Suffering in Silence (28 September 2011).