- Posted September 13, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Speaking up about sexual violence
Rape a cowardly act.
Rapes can be termed as India's most common crimes against (usually) against the female gender and by the United Nations human-rights chief this should be considered and dealt as a national problem. The magnitude of rape in Pakistan, and the official failure to punish rape, is matter of concern as well in international human rights and women's rights communities – World over.
Records do indicate that per-capita reported incidents are quite low compared to other countries (but it would be fair to say that most cases do go unreported), as in developed countries, a new rape case is reported every 20 minutes (complied data suggests). According to 2012 statistics, New Delhi India has the highest number of rape-reports amongst all Indian cities. Sources show that rape cases in India have doubled between 1990 and 2008. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 24,206 rape cases were registered in India in 2011, although experts do tend to agree that the unreported cases of sexual assault could be way higher.
In Pakistan among types of rape that appear officially sanctioned or go unpunished are "honor rapes" and rapes by police and members of the armed forces. The prevalence of rape received international attention in 2002 after a victim of sexual assault, Mukhtaran Bibi, spoke out and pursued a case against her rapists.
According to a BBC report in February 2013, more than 7,200 children are raped each year in India alone. Underage victims who do report the assaults are often subjected to mistreatment and humiliation from the police and other law enforcing agencies. A landmark government survey in 2007 revealed that the vast majority of children in India are physically abused and that such occurrences are disturbingly very common and the government just seems to have turned an blind eye (for a moment lets all hail democracy in India). In January 2013, a 7-year old girl was raped in the school toilet while studying at school in Goa, another 2013 incident in Lahore –Pakistan has occurred where allegedly a gang raped a five year old girl.
A group in Pakistan known as War against Rape (WAR) has documented the severity of rape problem in Pakistan and of police indifference to it in a report released in 1992, of 60 reported cases of rape, 20% involved police officers. In 2008 the group claimed that several of its members were assaulted by a religious group as they tried to help a woman who had been gang raped identify her assailants.
Young girls are bought into prostitution in India, often by women who have been trafficked themselves. As adults they use personal relationships and trust in their villages or small towns of origin to recruit additional girls. India is categorized as one of the riskiest countries for trafficking children. According to Women's Studies professor Shahla Haeri, rape in Pakistan is often institutionalized and has the backing and at times the explicit approval of the state or the clergy which also acts like mafia. According to a study by Human Rights Watch, there is a rape once every two hours and gang rapes every eight hours. Asma Jahangir, a lawyer and co-founder of the women's rights group Women's Action Forum, reported in a 1988 study of female detainees in Punjab - Pakistan that around 72 percent of them stated they had been sexually abused while in custody.
Let’s be fair and compare both nations where India on one hand claims to be the largest world democracy and Pakistan on the other hand claims to be an Islamic Republic. Both governments have miserably failed to counter or even address this issue properly, and as usual the common masses suffer with no concrete answer at all, as often claims are made that India – Pakistan has a rich cultural history and we are proud of our heritage. What pride can we claim when our daughters, sisters & mothers are not safe on our very own streets and our governments have decided to be rather mute on these grave issues?
It’s time to think and think hard and reevaluate our priorities as a nation as country and decent responsible human beings.
Photo & Write up Akbar Warris 416 -271-9849.