Are women and children safe in West?

By Sabina Khan

Why are women always targeted? Are they seen as weak or fragile? Or just simply vulnerable.

No matter what country we live in there is a probability that every third woman is attacked and only 10% of women actually seek help from the police. 35% of women around the world have been raped or abused during some part of their life. 40 to 50% of women in the European Union have experienced unwanted sexual advantages, physical harassment or unwanted contact at work.

In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and America between 40 to 70% of females are murder victims, killed by their Intimate partner. In America where there is an estimated population of 313.9 million people, 3million women are abused. Only 54% of those women actually report their crime. Out of those 3 million women that are abused 83% are girls under the age of 16.

UK has a population of approximately 65 million people and around 85,000 crimes are committed against women and children. India has a population of 1.324 billion people approximately out of which only 24,923 cases are actually reported in a year. Yet India’s crime rate against women is at its peak, every 22 minutes A woman is raped.

In Canada  which has a population of 36 million people only 6% of rape is reported yet every 17 minutes a woman is raped. We can talk about other countries as the list is endless but this wont stop the crimes against women and children from happening. The end of violence against women of today is far from today’s reality. I can throw a different range of facts and figures towards you but that won’t help us reach the root of the problem, The cause, or the solution.

So we need to ask ourselves why is crime rising?

What is the cause of these crimes and how can we prevent them or solve them. Before we talk about crime against women and children in other countries let’s look close to our heart, our own country Pakistan where crimes are at an all-time high. Yet The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah had once said “ no nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side-by-side with you” Yet a women is abused, looked down at and treated unequally.

So what kind of crimes are committed against women and children? they are rape, physically abuse, acid attacks, forced marriages, honour killings,dowry and the list is endless. There are many factors that cause crimes in Pakistan poverty, illiteracy, patriarchalism. in Pakistan there is no specific federal law prohibiting domestic violence crimes.

Significant steps have been taken in Pakistan however the laws lacks in implementation and it doesn’t offer sufficient safeguards. There are many shelter homes for women but they also face violent threats and they lack in basic facilities. The police take bribes for ongoing cases of abuse, they threaten and scared the victims to withdraw the statement as evidence collecting against the case is very weak due to lack of facilities and availability of resources.

What about laws and legislation’s?

New rules protecting women and children are always being introduced and implemented in the EU the Istanbul convention was introduced by the Council of Europe in 2011 to help tackle violence against women and girls.

This is to help provide victims  protection from domestic violence, rape, FGM(female genital mutilation),sexual abuse and forced marriages And to prosecute and perpetrators as well as monitor the situation.Social services play a strong role in the protection of children once they get a report of a crime against a child who was neglected or abused in any way they intervene and leave no leaf unturned.

So why is crime so high in the  Pakistani society And rapidly increasing?

Many factors such as poverty, unemployment, gender inequality and divided societies All play a major role as well as Illiteracy rates are high. Lawlessness , fundamentalism, backwardness and double standards prevail in the society. People all over the world have labelled Muslims as terrorists which we are not.

Okay so let’s briefly talk about what the solution is?

Education is a priority it has to be provided to all and this is fundamental. Aathe Pakistani youth are a strong judiciary,  we need honest offices in all law maintaining departments, salaries of police officers needs to be increased (So bribes can no longer be taken), employment opportunities, aid that is received should be used in progress of the nation, industries need to be set up, programs need to be set up to educate train and provide skills related to gender equality. Ending discrimination in inheritance laws.

We can only help on nation if we all unite and help each other. Crimes against women and children are a complex issue that are difficult to analyse and address due to many factors, no matter what part of the world you are in, no matter how advance the country is, crimes against women and children will always exist and that’s the harsh reality that is very hard to digest but it is a fact of life.

Sabina Khan is UK based researcher on child labor, slavery and human trafficking, she can be reached at Sabinakhan0506@gmail.con

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