4 women killed in Mir Ali North Waziristan

Violence, Women, and Balochistan

Editorial : 

Incidents of violence against women including murder, ‘honor’ killings, rape, and domestic violence are on a constant rise in Balochistan, Pakistan’s least developed province. The statistics shared by the Aurat Foundation (AF) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have sent alarm bells across the country.

AF and other NGOs at a news conference in Quetta revealed that 38 women murdered during the last nine months in Balochistan. They mentioned that 69 violent acts against women reported across the province during this period. 14 women and 8 men also murdered in the name of ‘honor’ in Balochistan.

True figures of violent attacks and murders of women in this regard can be much higher than what is quoted by the AF, other NGOs. In Balochistan, most of the cases of violence against women go unnoticed owing to tribal taboos and poor governance. In most of the cases, the murderers are still at large. Impunity in such cases appears to be one of the underlying reasons behind increasing acts of violence against women.

The government functionaries have no data that how many accused have been punished, convicted, and acquitted in such cases. Poor prosecution, an investigation by police/Levies are also the main reasons behind the rise in such cases.

Although, 16-days of activism in terms of preventing and reporting violence against women have been announced. But, practically, the majority of the women are unaware of such initiatives since women in this sparsely populated province are deprived of education.

To be precise, women are deprived of social, political, cultural, and economic rights in most parts of Balochistan. The provincial government has recently adopted a women empowerment bill to grant the above-mentioned powers to women. However, bills and words need to be followed by action.

Overall, the women segment of society remained the worst sufferers of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and law order situation. According to statistics of the Balochistan education department, over 1m children are out of schools currently. Most of the out of schools children comprise of minor girls.

The provincial government thus deserves to be appreciated for announcing stipend for girls students in the province to boost female literacy. Moreover, the announcement needs to be matched by action.

Violence, Women, and Balochistan

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.