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How Many Rapes Per Day In Karachi?

Posted on September 16, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Women
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Adil Najam

Sometimes you see a headline that just stops you in your tracks and makes you wonder. I saw such a headline in The Daily Times today: “At Least 100 Rapes in Karachi a Day.

Art by Abro: Violence againat Women

The story is reporting a statement by Dr. Zulfiqar Siyal, Additional Police Surgeon (APS), Karachi, where he claims that on average, 100 women are raped in Karachi every 24 hours. It takes a little careful reading to realize that he is not saying that this is the number of actual rapes per day, but that he thinks that it must at least be this much and possibly more. In fact, he himself points out that the number of reported rapes are much less, because of the social stigma of reporting such a crime.



I have no reason to is agree with the statement from the APS. Indeed, I have plenty of reason to believe that he is right and that the real number of rapes must be much more. But I did want to make sure that readers interpret the news report properly. Excerpts from the report.

On average, 100 women are raped every 24 hours in Karachi city alone, and a majority of them are working women, said Additional Police Surgeon (APS) Dr Zulfiqar Siyal. A majority of them are working class women or those working as domestic help and are mostly up to 20 years old, he said.

“I am saying with full authority that such a large number of rape cases happen in the city,” he told Daily Times on the sidelines of a discussion on sexual violence organised by the Aurat Foundation on Monday. “But very few rape survivors have the courage to come forward in search of justice.” They do not come forward because of the lengthy medical process and delayed justice system in Pakistan. Only 0.5 percent of cases are reported and the majority (99.5 percent) of survivors prefers to stay silent.

Part of the problem is that there are 11 medico-legal sections in three major public sector hospitals but there are only six women medico-legal officers (WMLOs) for the 18 million population of Karachi. “I am sure that there are more than 100 rape cases every day … but you can gauge how many are reported from the official data which says that during the last eight months (between January to August 2008) a total of 197 cases were reported,” Dr Siyal said. The WMLOs also face a lot of problems, he said. Karachi is also short on hospitals where rape survivors can go through the entire medical examination. “It isn’t just medical facilities but you won’t find a single women police officer (WPO) in any of the total 101 police stations of the city,” he said.

I think that even more important than the number he gives is the point he makes about the majority of rape victims in Karachi being working class women or those working as domestic help, 20 years old or younger. My own sense would be that the situation is not much different anywhere else in Pakistan, whether in terms of the numbers or in terms of who the victims are. I am very glad that the APS has spoken up. I wish more people would, including more victims. However, I can understand all the reasons why many victims do not. As in many societies, this crime persists because the social stigma is attached to the victim even more than the culprit. It is but one aspect of the deeper scars of violence against women.

As with so many other crimes against humanity, rape this a crime that thrives on silence. Not only the silence of the victim, but the silence of society. When, as in this case, the silence is broken, one feels empowered. One hopes that others will break the silence too.


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Also see:

Silent Against Domestic Violence
Violence Against Women: Breaking Down Walls
Being Woman in Pakistan
Celebrating the Lives of Pakistani Women
Changing Rape Laws in Pakistan

51 Comments on “How Many Rapes Per Day In Karachi?”

  1. Anwar says:
    September 16th, 2008 9:18 am

    Rape is one of the symptoms of much deeper fissures in a society in part due to poverty, social injustices and lawlessness besides many other…

  2. Ahmad says:
    September 16th, 2008 9:57 am

    this makes me very sad.

  3. jk says:
    September 16th, 2008 10:26 am

    And instead of addressing these problems, maulvis are sitting in their comfortable chairs in the Geo news room inciting violence against people of different religious beliefs.

    Simply unbelievable.

  4. MQ says:
    September 16th, 2008 11:21 am

    100 rapes a day! And very soon you will have an apologist coming up with statistics showing that New York has more rapes per hour than what you have in Karachi per day. So, why worry? But if you are still obsessed with this minor problem (is this a problem?), just call Alim Online.

  5. Lateef says:
    September 16th, 2008 12:18 pm

    Thank you for posting this brother – there aren’t enough of these stories out there.

  6. naseer says:
    September 16th, 2008 1:24 pm

    This is Islamic republic of Pakistan, where 90 percent of the populations is Muslim!!!!
    The people who are commiting these crimes are indeed are criminals in the eyes of scoiety and faith.
    What about the people who knows it and see the problem and dont do anything about it. Newspapers are filled with analysis of political situations, mullah is screaming for jihad but morality of the society is crying in dark corner somewhere.

  7. Kabir Das says:
    September 16th, 2008 2:40 pm

    We have rough idea about the magnitude of this problem in the west. We have now started getting an idea about this problem in Pakistan. Does anybody know what is the situation in this regard in Saudia Arabia? The situation in Saudi Arabia with Islamic laws in vogue may throw some light on how to deal with this problem.

  8. Watan Aziz says:
    September 16th, 2008 4:13 pm

    Is the outrage tied with a number?

    Is 1 rape too little, 100 sounds good and 1000 too many?

    Is the location important? Lahore, Karachi, jail, thana? NYC? London, Tokyo, Paris?

    Am I missing something here? Why is the number important? Will it be more important if you were a victim or less if you did not know the victim? Why is the location important?

    ***The outrage should be that there is a single person who has been violated.***

    >>
    Rape happens when there is a power imbalance. Rape happens when boundaries are crossed. And rape happens without consent.

    This is one survey:
    1 in 4 women surveyed were victims of rape or attempted rape
    84% of those raped knew their attacker
    Only 27% of women whose sexual assault met the legal definition of rape thought of themselves as rape victims
    84 % of the men who committed rape said that what they did was definitely not rape.
    41 % of the raped women said they expect to be raped again.
    About 16% of rapes are reported. Of those, about 62% lead to an arrest.
    98% of the victims of rape never see their attacker caught, tried, or imprisoned.
    Over half of all rape trials are either dismissed before trial or result in an acquittal.
    (http://fruitiondesign.com/dealwithit/article1.php3):
    <<<

    And this is for one location in one country. There may be differences based on locations, and social surroundings, but the crime is the same.

    I am disappointed that numbers are being thrown around so carelessly. Especially, by the author of this blog (who should know better). It is irresponsible to manufacture numbers for a crime on a helpless; except to illicit response (and I am the trap; just as well).

    And why should the response to crime of humanity be termed in as “Muslims” or spelled out with official name “Islamic Republic of Pakistan (as if this is a crime scene; and I know where you are coming from for you have nothing good to say about Pakistan when you spell it out; be it Cowasjee or anyone else)?

    Why; does not God’s creation live everywhere? Is the core problem of one part of world any different from another? Do they bleed differently? Do they weep laughingly? Do they get fever without high temperature? Or do they drink water hanging upside down?

    And yes, perhaps the society should rise to next level of open discussion. There is such a long list of things that need to be addressed. Alas, Pakistan is a poor country whose powerful rape it daily; hourly; what can it do? Any poor country? And rape is a crime on a weak and poor person. How much weak and poor can you be to be raped in a weak and poor country?

    I am not sure what the numbers are in PK. Perhaps there should be some funding for serious attempt to get a sense and extent of this crime with the underlined thought that

  9. Raza says:
    September 16th, 2008 9:05 pm

    100 per day is a pretty big number and I’m sure the actual number is much less than that, seeing that Dr. Zulfiqar is just hazarding a guess – not that it isn’t worrying enough.

    It is the way our sick society works, unfortunately, that nobody has the courage to come forward and seek justice. There’s probably more oppression inside our homes than we can imagine, and that’s sad.

  10. Noumaan says:
    September 16th, 2008 10:34 pm

    Empower the women and educate the people is the most durable solution to address this problem. Empowering and educating the masses in the current lawlessness sounds very difficult. But thats our only hope meanwhile we should speak up against these crimes.

    I have this idea that some NGO with the help of police should print brochures and distribute them among working women. Something that tells them about how to report the crime, how to get help and support to deal with the trauma, where to go, whom to trust, etc. Also women should be educated about how they protect themselves better. Though I think women are a lot more smart and they can read the eyes of a dirty minded criminal. But I think they should learn how to deal with sexual harrassment at the workspace and beyond.

  11. Mohammad Ali says:
    September 16th, 2008 11:57 pm

    The real issue here is how many poor women, specially who work as domestic help, sweepresses, etc. get abused because they are poor. Too many rich kids I know got their first sex experience with a woman working in their house.

    Yes, rape is always about power and I think the doctor here is right in his estimate.

  12. jk says:
    September 17th, 2008 1:01 am

    Raza > No. You have no reason to believe that it is much less. Evidence shows otherwise. I agree with Adil Najam that the number is going to be much higher. Rape is far more common than people expect and it is even higher in developing nations such as Pakistan.

  13. Masroor Ahmed Rehan says:
    September 17th, 2008 2:10 am

    The figure of Hundred medico-legal procedures each day is not equal to hundred rapes.
    Consider this:
    In our society, quite often, a couple leaving home and getting married with their own will invoke a severe reaction, specially from the girl’s family. In order to recover the girl from the custody of the boy, usually police help is sought. In all such cases, where the father of the run-away girls go to police, an FIR under PPC 365B is filed, accusing the boy and any other accomplices, of rape(or forceful marriage). Some parents go a little further and declare their daughter to be already married and produce a fake “Nikah Nama”. This is done to avoid the situation when the girl appears and confesses her marriage to be a willful act. In this way she and her husband could still be prosecuted.
    Now when the law is set in motion, a set of procedures must be followed, requiring a medico-legal by an appointed doctor, whenever the girl is recovered (or appears on her own). All such cases require a medical examination of the girl, no matter which ever side she decided to go.
    A close examination of all such cases usually reveal honor and vendetta, not rape. But again as I have said that law is law, some procedures have to be followed. If the aggrieved party is saying that their daughter has been abducted and raped, then its abduction and rape. No policeman will say that it is not, although off the record they will tell you the true story.

    My opinion offers the other side of the story. I am no male chauvinist. I strongly believe in the empowerment of women.I think that the ugliest crime that could be comitted agaist civilization is rape. But I have been through all this. I have seen such cases being registered every day in almost every police station of the city. I have seen hundreds of people booked on charges of rape and forceful marriage. The are booked on a charge that carries death penalty or life imprisonment, still I have not seen a single person going to the gallows. They usually prove their innocence or do an out-of-court settlement, and in some cases, as they say it “lived happily ever after” .

    The Additional Police Surgeon quoted in the news item should have provided a little more data to sufficient his assumption of “hundred rapes a day”. What happened to the accused? Were they booked? Were they convicted and punished? In which area the rape reports are frequent ? What is the age of rapist? What is his socio economic background? In how many cases the victim and the rapist are related to each other? What is the average age of the rapist?. Did our surgeon plot the rape data on the city map to get a relationship between population distribution and crime? What was the educational qualification of the victim and the rapist? What are the usual/frequent crime scenes?
    I think the information provided by him is incomplete and insufficient to draw a “hundred rape a day” conclusion.

  14. Aqil Sajjad says:
    September 17th, 2008 2:49 am

    Note how Farooq Naik, Latif Khosa and Rehman Malik skipped the meeting and Raza Rabbani tried to stop its proceedings and lost his temper when warned that the PPP minister suspected of involvement in the case might try to impede the investigations.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=135504

    Seven Baloch women were killed, buried, Senate body told

    Saturday, September 13, 2008
    By Rauf Klasra

    ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee hearing the gruesome details of the live burial of women in Balochistan was told on Friday that the number of such women
    could be seven and not five or three as earlier reported.

    But the Committee on Human Rights was ignored totally by the PPP government as none of the three important ministers, who are active members of the Senate
    body, attended the meeting chaired by Senator SM Zafar.

    The absence of these three powerful ministers was felt more, not only because of their current ministerial status but in their capacity as its members,
    by the jam-packed Committee Room which heard shocking disclosure that the total number of the unfortunate women might be seven. Those who did not attend
    the meeting were Farooq Naik, Latif Khosa and Rehman Malik.

    The notice of the committee meeting was issued many days back, so everybody had ample time to ensure his or her presence in the meeting. Several senators
    also asked IG Balochistan Asif Nawaz to give them detailed clarifications for making a threatening phone call to this correspondent (Rauf Klasra), in a
    bid to stop him from pursuing the story of those women. They termed it a sort of “shooting the messenger” and wondered how could he expect from journalists
    to share their sources of information with him.

    However, Nawaz clarified that he only meant to get some information from The News correspondent which might have helped the investigations. These senators
    also appreciated the efforts of The News correspondent to keep the issue alive.

    Meanwhile, suspected involvement of one of the PPP ministers in the Balochistan government in the affair is said to have kept the three PPP ministers away
    from the important proceedings. In the absence of Interior Adviser Rehman Malik, the meeting discussed how the police had badly failed to make any breakthrough
    in these investigations and now attempts were being made to bury the issue after the arrest of some loyal servants of those powerful tribesmen.

    Only Leader of the House Raza Rabbani, who in the past had been playing a major role in defending the rights of women, turned up in the meeting one hour
    late. He spoke for five minutes and opposed the role of the Senate body on human rights to discuss the issue at a stage when investigations were underway.

    Surprisingly, Rabbani lost his temper during the meeting when it was pointed out that the PPP minister in Balochistan government might hamper the investigations
    and warned that the proceedings of the committee should remain unbiased and non-partisan.

    Earlier, the furious committee members were totally dissatisfied with the version of the Balochistan Police and after three-hour-long proceedings were of
    the view that a big cover-up was in the making to save some political guns of Balochistan, who had actually killed those girls to settle their own political
    enmities.

    After finding no proper replies to their questions, IG Balochistan Asif Nawaz was put on the mat by well-prepared senators, who used their own information
    to reject the police findings and wondered how it could have failed to apprehend the real culprits, who were still at large and only some loyal servants
    of the tribal chiefs were made scapegoats.

    The meeting was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain, Dr Mohammad Said, Prof Khursheed Ahmed, Yasmeen Shah, Jamal Laghari, Mohammad Ali Durrani, Haji Mohammad
    Adeel, Abdur Rahim Mandookhel, Mohammad Talha Mahmood, Anisa Zab Tahirkheli, Maulana Samiul Haq, Haif Rashid, Raza Rabbani, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Abbad Komaili,
    Sadia Abbasi, and Nasar Khan.

    Secretary Interior Kamal Shah and top police cop Tariq Khosa were also present in the meeting. Two human rights activists Tahira Abdullah and Samar Minhallah
    and this correspondent (Rauf Klasra) were also invited to attend the meeting as observers.

    The senators were angry over the fact that the Balochistan Police had failed to even register the FIR against the culprits and now they were busy in the
    cover-up. ANP Senator Haji Adeel said he was convinced that the number of murdered women might be seven not three or five as earlier reported and the new
    version of the incident was being used to divert the attention from the burial of five women, who were said to be unmarried. He said he had no doubt in
    his mind that a total of seven women might have been killed in the name of honour and graves of five women were missing.

    Jamal Laghari said if those girls were declared Kari, then where were those boys or men with whom they were suspected of having illicit relationship. He
    claimed that a big cover-up was in the making.

    Rahim Mandokhel also wondered how could the girls be killed without identifying those with whom they were captured. He said this was also a bogus story,
    as Baloch traditions did not protect such killings and no woman was killed unless the identity of male was established. But, this is not the case in the
    killing of these women. He challenged the statement of the IG that a Jirga was held before killing those women.

    Prof Khursheed Ahmed also agitated over the cover-up being to save powerful people and wondered how many more versions of this story would be given to the
    parliamentarians. IG Balochistan Asif Nawaz tried to offer his own defence by saying that he was recently posted to Balochistan and he was working with
    ill-trained police in the area, where this incident had occurred.

    He also claimed that the investigations were still under process and he was giving the information to the authorities, which they were getting from the
    accused under investigation. Asif Nawaz said now he had deputed good officers to investigate the case. He denied that there was any pressure on him to
    let the real culprits off the hook. But he could not reply to the questions that why PPP Minister Sadiq Umrani was so far not questioned although he was
    the first one to confirm these killings in his area. The IG claimed that all the people accused of attending the Jirga had gone underground and he was
    trying to “lure” them.

    But the senators refused to accept the IG’s version of the events and expressed their total dissatisfaction over the police investigations.Policeman Tariq
    Khosa said unless the state would not become a party to the honour killing and courts would disallow any compromises, women

  15. Zecchetti says:
    September 17th, 2008 3:04 am

    Will we Muslims finally realise that the way to prosperity and security is to believe in Allah and His divine laws?? If a single rapist was to be publicly executed, and the women observed hijab, this problem would be cured overnight!

    O Allah, make us see.

  16. Tina says:
    September 17th, 2008 3:31 am

    Zecchetti:

    Three words for you:

    Saudi, Iran, and Afghanistan.

    If you think more covering of women and more public executions are the answer I suggest you move to one of these three Paradises on earth.

    This is a problem of the women being defenceless once outside the protection of their families; in Pakistan you are only as safe as your family is rich and powerful. Until the basic inequity is addressed the problem will remain in society. It won’t matter how much women cover themselves or how many men are put on the scaffold. Both modest dress and severe punishment of offenders have been proven over time to be no deterrent to crimes against women.

    The crime only decreases when there is less inequity in society as a whole and when there is justice for the poor as well as the rich. Although in this case women are the victims, this is not really a gender problem.

  17. Tina says:
    September 17th, 2008 3:39 am

    Kabir Das:

    to answer your question, how can anybody in Saudi report a rape, when they throw the victim in prison and sentence her to hundreds of lashes?

    Of course it’s not possible in such a situation to have any idea how many rapes happen. We do know from foreign housemaids that many working women are forced to have sex with their employers or other men in the house.

    I’m sure the rate is very high.

  18. Zecchetti says:
    September 17th, 2008 3:45 am

    @ Tina

    “Both modest dress and severe punishment of offenders have been proven over time to be no deterrent to crimes against women.”

    Are you sure about that? Then why would Allah enjoin the hijab on the women in the Qur’an? This measures certainly do work which is why if you were to compare rape rates of Karachi to Saudi you would see a stark difference.

    I don’t completely agree to the treatment of women in Saudi, but you cannot deny that modest dress brings about the honour and dignity of a woman. It is because of the wanton display of beauty that women are being judged at first glance by men on how sexually appealing they are. In other words, women are being seen as no more than pleasure objects. If you ask me, THAT is women’s degredation. Islam came to give women their proper rights and the respect that they deserve.

  19. Sonya says:
    September 17th, 2008 4:37 am

    I would disagree with the comment that a hijab protects women from rape or harassment. In Egypt, the reverse is true.
    What do you do when a government supports such violence, as in Egypt?
    * See Eye candy for the Egyptian man (28 August 2008)
    http://www.menassat.com/?q=en/news-articles/4510-eye-candy-egyptian-man

    “A recent study by an Egyptian women’s rights group claims that a whopping 83 percent of Egyptian women have been exposed to sexual harassment of some kind. Various groups have launched media campaigns to raise awareness, but some of them appear to be blaming the victims. ”

    or What about in the case of Lebanon, where laws might be in place, yet are not enforced, or really even known in the general public?

    See “Lebanese women still vulnerable to violence”
    The Daily Star 9 June 2008
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=92895

    “….As violence is deeply embedded in social (particularly familial) culture, many Lebanese women finding themselves without legal protection continue to suffer in silence.

    Although there are no accurate, up-to-date statistics about domestic violence in Lebanon, a 2006 study entitled “Domestic Violence: The Lebanese Experience” reported that the rate of domestic violence is high among Lebanese women and is a significant health issue.

    A cross-sectional survey of women presented to four primary healthcare centers between September and October 2002 revealed that out of 1,418 participants, 494 (35 percent) experienced domestic violence. Three hundred and seven women (22 percent) knew of family members who had been abused within the family.

    However, some leading figures openly condemn violence against women and advocate the need for change.

    Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, a senior Shiite cleric, called for the elimination of violence against women in 2007. He issued a number of fatwas reaffirming women’s rights and he clearly stated that Islam forbids men from exercising any form of violence against women.

    “Physical violence in which women are beaten proves that these men are weak,” he said, “for only the weak are in need of unjust violence.”

    My comment: From my experience working with Palestinian and Lebanese women in Lebanon, cases of rape and sexual harassment in Lebanon are seen as targeting a woman’s honor, not her person. Restoring her honor, therefore, takes precedence over her well-being. This perception exists among both Muslims and Christians. And Lebanon is considered one of the more “progressive” Middle Eastern countries. Hmmmm….

  20. SH Kavi says:
    September 17th, 2008 5:05 am

    @Zecchetti,
    Do you know what BLAMING THE VICTIM is?

  21. Tina says:
    September 17th, 2008 5:46 am

    To Zecchetti,

    There are different studies and projects which confirm what I asserted–I don’t have them at my fingertips.

    From personal experience, I have had friends who became more committed to religion after college or later in life. After they started wearing hijab, they were disgusted to find out they were teased and harrassed more often than before.

    We discussed it and decided that for some reason boys think conservatively dressed girls are shy and timid and therefore easier targets. When the girls went about bareheaded, men felt they were more assertive and independent, so perhaps it would not be safe to tease them.

    I feel this is perhaps a partial explanation, although the whole subject is complex. It’s enough to say that wearing hijab is not a safeguard against eve teasing, rather the opposite in some cases.

    People argue about what is meant by hijab in the Q’uran, whether its normal but modest dress or the burqa or something in between. I don’t want to get into that debate or speculate as to the reason for hijab. Its purpose, however, cannot be to protect women from rape, since it clearly does not do that.

    What protects women from rape is an environment in which attacking women is not acceptable, a society in which women are perceived as equal even when they are out of work raising their families, and a functioning judiciary. Pakistan, among many other countries, is far down the continuum on these points. However I think social justice for all poor people would be the first big step forward for poor women–I think these things go hand in hand.

  22. Zecchetti says:
    September 17th, 2008 7:17 am

    @ Tina

    “What protects women from rape is an environment in which attacking women is not acceptable,”

    You have just confirmed the very point that I was trying to make. Modesty on the part of women is needed, but public punishment and humiliation is needed for offenders. This is why the complete package of Islamic law is needed, not just the bits that seem pleasing to us or the influental superpowers.

    And you made another stark point – that is women working. Islam clearly permits women to work is the need arises, but today, practically every family needs their women working as well as the men because there is so much poverty and inflation. And the reason for that is we have adopted a Riba (interest) based economic system where the banks get richer and the population gets poorer! Another example clearly highlighting that Islamic law needs to be implemented as a whole and not partially for there to be properity. The Islamic caliphates of the past have clearly demonstrated the justice of a complete Islamic system. Those were the days when the Muslims were the richest in the world.

  23. Salman says:
    September 17th, 2008 7:39 am

    How about addressing the following two types of rape:

    1). Date rape
    2). Wife rape

    I believe the above two are more of a problem than domestic female staff being raped. The domestic help is more than unlikely to come forth and report such incidents.

    Can we have a candid discussion the above two types of rape?

  24. naseer says:
    September 17th, 2008 9:16 am

    If the figure 100 rapes a day is close to actual by any measure and including any definition of rape then

    36,000 rapes per year and 360,000 rapes over the last 10 years.
    In a population of 10 million consider half of them is women then this comes to around 8% of women were raped over the last 10 years.
    And we are not taking into account the abuse of young boys ….

  25. Ahmed says:
    September 17th, 2008 10:57 am

    @Sonya

    The first link you referred to was regarding Egyptians. I must tell you that in Egypt nearly 63% men of 30 and below remain unmarried. This is because if one wants to marry he must first own atleast an apartment, the cost of which is beyond the means of many. Men out of frustration turn to religion or seek some other methods to suppress the need.

    “Although statistics in Egypt are notoriously wobbly, there are signs that some pressing social tensions have eased. Ten years ago, for instance, 63% of Egyptian men remained unmarried at 30, a frightening indicator in a tradition-bound society where marriage is seen as a prerequisite for independence and adulthood. That figure fell to 45% in 2006. This shows that the cost of marriage, which typically includes the purchase and furnishing of a house, remains prohibitive for many, but it also suggests that the level of youth frustration may be dropping. Crucially, too, for a country whose inhabited area is barely the size of the Netherlands, the rate of population growth has slowed, from 2.3% a year in the 1980s to 1.9% today.”

    http://www.economist.com/world/mideast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12202321

  26. Ahmed says:
    September 17th, 2008 11:03 am

    @Sonya

    Furthermore please refer to the link
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap-crime-rapes

    A question:
    Does lack of headscarf prevent rape? If so why western countries, given they are enlightened, are even in the table on this website?

  27. Jahanzeb Effendi says:
    September 17th, 2008 1:17 pm

    This is terrible realization of something so rampant in the city! 100 cases per day? How many of them get reported? How can this go on? who are these women? If karachi alone produces a figure of 36,500 women per year, what is the country’s figure? Somebody do something about it

  28. Sonya says:
    September 17th, 2008 9:59 pm

    @ Ahmed,
    I’m trying to understand why you would put forth a stat that in the very next paragraph you post is revealed to be outdated by a decade and unreliable.

    While it may be unfortunate that less than half the men at age 30 in Egypt are unmarried (we can’t be sure, though, since aren’t stats in Egypt wobbly according to Encyclopedia Economist?), their single status or financial challenges give them no right to harass or rape women, covered or not.

    Also, what is this “need” you referred to in your post when you said that men ” seek some other methods to suppress the need”? Are you implying that men have a need to rape women which can only be suppressed by harassing them? I’m confused.

    A major point of the Menassat article (http://www.menassat.com/?q=en/news-articles/4510-eye-candy-egyptian-man) was that wearing a veil made no difference and went on to say this:

    “Perhaps most shocking of all are the reasons for harassment given by the Egyptian men questioned for the study.

    Some said they did it simply out of “boredom.” One man, who admitted to having harassed a woman wearing the full niqab, said the woman must have been either “beautiful” or “hiding something” for her to cover her face completely. ”

    Regarding the other site you posted, its information is 6 years old, is listed by total, not capita, conveniently excludes many countries, even major ones (like the one’s in the Middle East and Muslim world we’re talking about), has inconsistent definitions of “rape” across countries, therefore you can’t even compare the numbers, and is done by a UN office, so the numbers are politically skewed. They mean nothing.

    In no way did I imply a headscarf or no headscarf has any effect on rape, nor does one’s geographical location. Neither matter so much.

    What does matter are the legal institutions in place protecting victims (whether they be religiously influenced or not), the level of enforcement of those institutions (often related to a municipality’s economic situation), protections and services afforded those who come forth, and probably most of all the social norms surrounding rape and harassment (and related to that–acceptable public and private behaviour for men).

    It seems to me that you feel it’s an acceptable behavior for a man to treat a women like an object, and that men aren’t responsible for their actions since they have this “need” (to blame the victim, blame the economy, blame Mubarak, blame the West, blame ?).

    That’s sad. For men and women. For humanity. I thought we were better than that.

  29. Tina says:
    September 18th, 2008 12:54 am

    Sonya–I believe Ahmed is referring to the sexual needs of men, which express themselves in rape. This is an old argument, that men need sex so much they must rape women if they cannot get it from a willing party (this is also the argument used to justify prostitution–”men’s needs”).

    In spite of the antiquity of the argument, it doesn’t hold up very well, given that married men rape, men with attractive and even multiple wives rape, etc. and so forth. Also as you correctly noted, even the presence of the full burka does not restrain harrassers. They are asserting their power over the weak and that is the real issue. Anger/aggression is the real motivation behind sexual assault, as any woman who has experienced it can tell you.

  30. Alveena says:
    September 18th, 2008 1:24 am

    No Molvee, nor any leader ever had tried or even think of this problem. Where is DR(if he is) Amir Liaqat? He can propogate for killing people, can’t he say something about it?
    About reporting a rape from the victim, will it make any difference? few years before there was Vina Hayat case in which she herself pointed out the person(Irfanullah Marwat) who was son in law of one of the presidents of Islamic Republic of Pakistan(Ghulam Ishaq Khan) and was the education minister in sind during Mushraf tenure.
    Vina Hayat launched the FIR, his poor old father(Saradr Hayat Khan) a very noble and well known person, came himself in media but nothing happend. Our society is dead and selfish nothing positive can be expected. God help us all

  31. Tina says:
    September 18th, 2008 6:33 am

    Those who think rape is a crime of sexual lust need to peruse this article from today’s news:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/texas_execution;_ylt=AtV6toQ_yClw0BEuB3S2S5NH2ocA

    It’s safe to assume that a 93 year old woman is not an object of lust, furthermore she was in her own house, in her own bedroom….

    it’s clear that you don’t need to be a young hottie in a leather mini skirt to be raped. You can be any woman, anywhere, who gets in the way of an angry man.

    When men were asked what they feared from women, they replied, “we are afraid they will laugh at us.” When women were asked what they feared from men, they said, “we’re afraid they will kill us.”

    And frequently, they do kill us. And then, as this thread shows, they tell us it’s our fault. Must be nice for them to have it all worked out like that.

  32. A Karachiite says:
    September 18th, 2008 8:37 am

    On what basis is the learned Zulfiqar Siyal quoting statistics to us?

    After living for several years in the West I think the feminist groups in Pakistan have got it all wrong about rape. They attempt to exaggerate statistics to seek attention and create mass-hysteria which are counter-productive. A similar claim was made a few months ago by “War Against Rape” about a woman being raped every hour in Pakistan which was similarly baseless and discredited.

    I also think that a particular group of “human rights activists” notably Asma Jehangir and her hypocrite husband Jehangir Badr are prejudiced individuals with twisted minds out to defame Karachi…

  33. Tina says:
    September 18th, 2008 9:35 am

    Dear Karachiite,

    of course, it’s all just an evil plot to “discredit Karachi”. I think you should tell us why the vile Asma Jehangir and her “hypocrite” husband have a grudge against Karachi. Did somebody from Karachi diss them or something? We’d like to know. There must be a reason behind their strong desire to fling mud at Karachi. Right?

    Or, sould it be you are just denying the problem behind a rather absurd premise. Look, the police chief and others have admitted that their figures are speculative and mere estimates. They can’t do more because true figures are hard to achieve in a shame based society where women practically never report the crime. The police chief’s statement is startling because he is the one who ought to know. Asma Jehangir, too, didn’t just make her numbers up.

    It really doesn’t have anything to do with Karachi’s public image. Could Karachi go any further down in the world’s eyes after the eighteen year old bride was held for days, raped many times and by different men, right in the offices of Jinnah’s Masoleum itself? This case was so brutal it was undeniable. There is maybe some symbolism in it for those who want to see.

  34. MQ says:
    September 18th, 2008 9:52 am

    Hey, Karachiite! You better get your facts right before you begin to distort them. Asma Jahangir’s husband is Not Jahangir Badar.

  35. Aqil Sajjad says:
    September 18th, 2008 11:29 am

    Asma Jahangir’s husband is Jahangir Badar? hehehehehe
    That’s just too much of a stretch.

    Asma Jahangir does have a soft corner for the PPP and the HRCP does at times act like the PPP’s b-team, laikin itna bhee bura haal nahin hai keh Asma Jahangir would marry Jahangir Badar.

  36. ShahidnUSA says:
    September 18th, 2008 7:20 pm

    to all the victims,

    “What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger”.

  37. Tina says:
    September 19th, 2008 12:43 am

    To ShahidnUSA:

    That quote is total garbage out of an old Arnold movie.

    Often, what doesn’t kill you cripples your spirit, breaks your body, and destroys your life. Forever.

    How flippant and disgusting of you to say this.

    “you whiny ladies. you should welcome being raped by men so that you can use the experience to become stronger”.

    Where’s your head, mister? Left it behind on the way into work this morning?

  38. Aqil Sajjad says:
    September 19th, 2008 1:49 am
  39. ShahidnUSA says:
    September 19th, 2008 2:31 am

    Tina and company,

    What do you expect me to say to the victim, who is already under lot of trauma and stress and the cultural shame you put on the victim, that ” your life is over and now go ahead and jump off the bridge”?

  40. Tina says:
    September 19th, 2008 5:02 am

    Shahid,

    If you don’t know what to say, there are people, maybe in a rape crisis counseling center, who can help you communicate helpfully with a woman who has gone through this…

    That quote however is very dismissive and offhand, and will therefore be offensive. You really ought to be able to see why.

    I actually met one man who said, rape really doesn’t hurt women, and then they grow up a little bit and figure out how to behave themselves with men, etc. All just a learning experience.

    That really did make me want to jump off a bridge.

    I think men don’t really “get” this particular crime, unless they’ve been raped themselves (and plenty of men have, but almost entirely by other men, unfortunately). In their minds its still categorized as sex and not violence.

    For the record, I don’t think you meant anything terribly bad. But it was rather thoughtless.

  41. Dude says:
    September 19th, 2008 6:22 pm

    “100 rapes a day! And very soon you will have an apologist coming up with statistics showing that New York has more rapes per hour than what you have in Karachi per day.”

    Indeed. Consider me that apologist.

    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (http://www.hrcp-web.org) compiles statistics for each year. You can find them in their Publications section. For 2007, there were a total of 731 reported rapes across the country. For the previous year, it was 800-900.

    Two years ago, the following BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6148590.stm) was brought up on some forums, replete with Muslim bashing (in the forums – not the article), because it said that in Pakistan a woman is raped every two hours, and gangraped every eight. There

  42. blueandgrey says:
    September 20th, 2008 1:11 am

    ShahidnUSA,
    this linkof dos and don’ts might help. It may not be complete but it does give a good idea of what to do and what not to do. Each of those dos and donts have very good reasons for them. In addition to this, you may want to consider this.

    A rape victim is someone whose control over her own life was completely taken away from her by the rapist. By telling her that she must get over it or that this will only make her stronger, we are snatching away from her, the right to feel as she does, or the right to heal at her own rhythm. This is an additional way of taking control away from her and only adds to the initial trauma.

    I think that the bottom line here is that there are alternatives to thinking that a rape victim should either throw herself from a cliff or that she should get past it because it will make her stronger. There are sensitive, respectful ways of supporting a rape victim that will help her rebuild her rebuild her life at her own rhythm and won’t add to the trauma she is already experiencing.

    ps: and here is another link. This one describes different stages. Once again, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I agree with Tina regarding getting help from places like a crisis/counselling center.

  43. Parveen says:
    September 20th, 2008 2:23 pm

    Some of this discussion is quite silly.

    In every society, many women do not report rape because of the stigma. In Pakistan this has to be more. If there is one rape that is one too many. But there are clearly too many!

  44. Affan says:
    September 21st, 2008 12:06 am

    Well even one rape is one too many and the number will be exacerbated because rapists knows that there is a big chance that they would get away with it! If 90% of rapes do get unreported then it is deplorable to say the least. We need to remove this stigma from our society that a woman becomes impure when she gets raped. When society becomes more acceptable of rape victims, and women know that they would not lose their honor and respect, and when our men start realizing its ok to marry a rape victim then women would not be as afraid seeking for justice and that would at least deter some of the rapists from fear of getting caught.

  45. ShahidnUSA says:
    September 21st, 2008 8:00 am

    I agree with Tina,
    My comments were little too insensitive and was not well thought out but I still think if the victims join the support groups and counselling, it may help them to cope in later stages.

  46. Aisha says:
    September 21st, 2008 4:55 pm

    At first I thought the number of Karachi rapes seemed alarming and then I did a few searches to look at the rest of the world and found it all to be just as alarming. There are several sites that attempt to gather global information. However, all over the world, most rapes go unreported because of the stigmatism attached to the rape victim so these stats are minimal at best.
    http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html#global also check out http://www.nationmaster.com

    As for Pakistan, many women who report being raped are often imprisoned because their “Male” attacker makes claims that the woman was a willing participant, she was not forced.

  47. Aisha says:
    September 21st, 2008 5:21 pm
  48. ASLAM says:
    September 25th, 2008 8:00 am

    This problem is not unique to Pakistan but the silence must be broken if we are to solve this

  49. mumraiz jokhio says:
    March 19th, 2009 10:49 am

    Dr. Zulfiqar is absolutely right and i have also gone through many newspapers and articles, infact i have also met those girls and women.Its not only karachi but whole pakistan and i think that Islamic punishment can only stop these violent acts which is not being implemented in pakistan.

  50. mauricio says:
    March 19th, 2009 9:49 pm

    what kind of changes are going to take place?and is the goverment going to enforce the new laws?is religion going to play a role with the new anti-rape laws and if so,isnt it time someone stopped living in the past, not every problem is solved by reading the bible or the koran!

  51. April 19th, 2011 3:55 am

    big issue to deal ?

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