Rape, acid attacks, kidnap: Girls face rising violence in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Blackwater, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Jan 9, 2012
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    Akhand Bharat
    Attacks on schoolgirls and girls’ education are on the rise, according to a new report from the United Nations office of human rights.
    The report cited a handful of high-profile attacks in recent years. In Pakistan, in the deadliest attack of this kind in years, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered over 140 people, including 132 students at Army Public School in December last year. Two years prior, then 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot at close range in the head by a Taliban gunman, making her the face of the struggle to educate girls. She has since completely recovered and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17.
    Many of the attacks are done in the name of culture or religion, while others are gang-related, notably in El Salvador and other parts of Central America, Veronica Birga, chief of the women’s human rights and gender section at the UN human rights office, said at a presentation to launch the report.
    “Attacks against girls accessing education persist and, alarmingly, appear in some countries to be occurring with increasing regularity,” the report said. “In most instances, such attacks form part of broader patterns of violence, inequality and discrimination.” Many of the attacks in at least 70 countries between 2009-2014 involved rape and abduction, the report said.
    Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2015.

    Rape, acid attacks, kidnap: Girls face rising violence in fight for education, says UN – The Express Tribune
  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 13, 2013
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    Female Pakistani Students Struggle Against Sexual Harassmen

    Sana Rehan defied her conservative family background to enroll in one of Pakistan's best universities and pursue a professional career.

    But the 21-year-old found her dreams nearly shattered when a teacher tried to intimidate her into a physical relationship.

    "For a moment I thought this is not the place for a girl like me," said the student of the disaster management department at the University of Peshawar. "I wanted to run away."

    After a few depressing weeks Rehan decided to fight back, not knowing that her struggle would help expose the issue on a national scale.

    The university suspended professor Amir Nawaz as head of the department two months after the allegations came to light, and an inquiry was ordered against him in March last year.

    "The scale of the problem is appalling," said professor Nasreen Ghufran, a member of the committee investigating Rehan's case and other similar ones. "Such things are happening routinely."

    Teachers close ranks to save their colleagues if one of them is found guilty of harassing their students, said Ghufran, who teaches international relations.

    "I was shocked to hear a male colleague saying girls are one of the fringe benefits of our job," the professor said.

    Legislators in the provincial assembly of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also decided to investigate the revelations and the broader problem of harassment.
    Their findings were even more disturbing, said local lawmaker Nighat Orakzai, one of the committee's members.

    "If parents come to know how their daughters are treated here, none would send them to universities," Orakzai said.

    The pressure on women's education in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is already acute. Adjacent to Pakistan's north-eastern tribal regions near the Afghan border, Islamist militants have burned down hundreds of girls' schools and barred females from seeking education.

    This is the province where Noble Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai was shot for opposing Taliban bombings of girls' schools.

    But the problem of sexual harassment is not limited to one region, said Yasmin Abbasey, a retired judge who heads a federal department to protect women in the workplaces.

    "Our department keeps receiving complaints from university and college students against their teachers from all across Pakistan," Abbasey said.

    The list of resolved cases in the department's files reveals that teachers from nearly all Pakistani universities have been accused of sexually harassing their female students.

    "Unfortunately, it is a reality," Abbasey said during an interview at her office in the capital Islamabad where she conducts daily hearings on harassment cases.

    "Those who were supposed to be the role models in all aspects are lacking in something very basic," she said.

    Pakistan enacted a law to punish sexual harassment in the workplace in 2010, but it does not cover campuses, leaving a legal loophole.

    "That is how most of the time teachers get away with it," said Abbasey.

    A national senator from the opposition Pakistan People's Party, Farhatullah Babar, is pushing an amendment to extend the law's scope to campuses as well."It's a grave problem," he said. "We want our daughters not to suffer anymore."

    Last month, the University of Peshawar restored professor Amir Nawaz to his position because there was no law to punish him.

    That decision has revived some of Rehan's fears, but she said she would press on to get her education and chase her dreams.

    "I've learned that fighting like brave people is what we should do," she said.

    Read more: http://hindi.sputniknews.com/south_asia/20150228/1013608597.html#ixzz3T8wA38rB

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