Curbing Domestic Violence
In 2006, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) conducted a study which showed chilling results:
80% of rural and 50% of all urban married women are regularly abused by their husbands.
Back in 1999, Human Rights Watch concluded that 90% of the country’s women were being abused. Though the prevalence has dropped somewhat in the following ten years, a lot more needs to be done.
In August 2009, the National Assembly passed a Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Bill, but it lapsed after the Senate failed to do so within 3 months (as required by the constitution).
Even though President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani supported the bill, it was delayed by unofficial opposition from some ministers who had privately urged members of Islamist parties to oppose the bill in the upper house.
Islamist parties had not opposed the bill in the National Assembly.
The bill that could be the saviour of millions of Pakistan women is now hanging in legislative limbo, waiting to be brought back to life.
Domestic violence is a serious matter, and we must do everything we can to make sure this scourge dies out before the last strands of our country’s esteem do.