Sustainable Social Development Organization Launches Annual Report on the State of Violence Against Women and Children

Islamabad, 10th March 2022: Every year, SSDO publishes a report entitled “State of Violence against Women & Children in Pakistan: District Wise Analysis” to provide accurate data on the prevalence and statistics of violence against women and children. This report is published bi-annually, with data collected via two means: media tracking of Pakistan’s six most widely read newspapers (3 in Urdu and 3 in English) and data from the government on officially registered cases with the police by filing Right to Information (RTI) requests. This is the first report of its kind where the data collection is not based on estimates or projections, but through official data gathered from the police in terms of FIRs registered.
On Thursday 10th March 2022, SSDO officially launched the annual report for 2021 and presented some key statistics at the National Press Club, Islamabad. In terms of violence against women and children, the statistics showed dismal results, as there was not only a stark increase in cases from the year 2020, but also a large increase from the first half of the year. In terms of media tracking, the number of cases reported in the media were dwarfed by the actual number of cases that took place, demonstrating that majority of such cases get no media traction.
The report found that across all the indicators concerning women and children’s social wellbeing, a record (52,370) cases were reported. Only 8,719 cases were reported in the media. The report also found that violence against women was rampant in the country and a record (27,273) cases were reported. Amongst the provinces, Punjab remained at the crest with 25,751 officially registered cases that constitute more than half of the cases of violence against women reported. The media could only report 3,160 cases. During the same period, there were 128 cases of violence against women in Islamabad registered whereas 40 cases out of these were covered by media. Of those total cases of crimes reported, kidnapping of women (18,390) also saw a great hike. Nevertheless, the mainstream media tracked only 2,699 cases of kidnapping of women in the same period. It leads to a colossal difference in the treatment of the cases in the media and official numbers. The highest number of cases of kidnapping of women (177) registered in Islamabad were contrary to only a small number of (68) cases reported in the media. (Given) the fact that Islamabad hosts one of the largest media outlets, print and electronic likewise.
Chairperson National Commission on the Rights of Child, Afshan Tehseen commended SSDO and its Executive Director Syed Kausar Abbas for their work on the report. She stated how such sensitive cases often go unreported in the media, and it is commendable of SSDO to launch a comprehensive report of such consolidated data, especially when no one else is doing so. Furthermore, she stated that women need to be cognizant of their basic human rights, and there needs to be work done to ensure that awareness is spread.
Speaking at the event, Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director SSDO stated, “Cases of violence against women and children are continuously on the rise. However, the proper resolution of such cases is still lacking, as many of these victims never get justice. All relevant stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, activists, the police, lawyers and the government need to work together to ensure speedy justice and eradicate this problem from society.”

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