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Aurat Foundation

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

December 2012 This booklet is produced to share the key findings of five GEP research studies carried out by SEBCON, Ms. Maliha Hussein & Ms. Shazreh Hussain, Department of Gender Studies, University of Punjab, Semiotics and Ms. Naghma Imdad under the Gender Equity Program of Aurat Foundation with the financial support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Copy Rights Aurat Publication and Information Services Foundation.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Summaries of Research Studies

This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aurat Foundation / USAID or United States Government.


Consolidated GEP Summaries

The Gender Equity Program (GEP) is a fundamental part of Aurat Foundation's long-term commitment and action to serving the cause of women's empowerment and advancement in Pakistan. GEP is a five-year USAID-supported grant-making program which aims to close the gender gap in Pakistan. Implemented with the collaboration of Asia Foundation, GEP strives to facilitate behavioral change, enable women to access information, resources and institutions, acquire control over their lives and improve societal attitudes towards women and their empowerment. The objectives of GEP are: Enhancing gender equity by expanding women's access to justice and women's human rights. Increasing women's empowerment by expanding knowledge of their rights and opportunities to exercise their rights in the workplace, community and home. Combating gender-based violence. Strengthening the capacity of Pakistani organizations that advocate for gender equity, women's empowerment and the elimination of gender-based violence. In the first year of GEP, research commenced on five studies on gender based violence. These consisted of: 1. Research Study on Domestic Violence 2. Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices on Sexual Harassment 3. Customary Practices Leading to Gender Based Violence 4. Social and Legal Responses to Rape: A Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Study 5. Study on Internal Trafficking of Women and Girls in Pakistan Given that these topics are very sensitive, GEP had to struggle to find researchers ready to undertake these studies, particularly on rape and internal trafficking. Although there were many security related delays GEP pressed on with the studies the findings of which have carefully informed the design of Grants Cycles 6, 7, 8 and 9. The GEP team has compiled this booklet to render a brief overview of the findings from the five gender based violence studies. The findings and recommendations of these studies will prove to be an invaluable asset for future GEP cycles designed to offer seamless service to victims and survivors of violence. Simi Kamal Chief of Party Gender Equity Program (GEP)

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Table of Contents
Preface Table of Contents Acronyms and Abbreviations i iii vi

1. Domestic Violence 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Domestic Violence 1.3 Legislation for Domestic Violence in Pakistan 1.4 International and National Commitments, Plan and Policies 1.5 Literature Review of Domestic Violence in Pakistan 1.6 Important Findings from Research 1.7 Causes of Violence 1.8 Domestic Violence and the Law 1.9 Impact of Domestic Violence 1.10 Domestic Workers Situation 1.11 Recommendations for Place of Action with Key Stakeholders

01 01 02 02 03 04 05 07 08 08 08 09

2. Sexual Harassment 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Study Findings 2.3 Key Findings of the Characteristics of Perpetrators 2.4 Key Findings about the Trends in Awareness, Behavior and Practices of Harassment 2.5 Respondent's Knowledge of Sexual Harassment 2.6 Perceptions on Sexual Harassment 2.7 Key Findings for Responses to Sexual Harassment 2.8 Key Findings on the Role of Employers in Context to Sexual Harassment 2.9 Key Findings on Role of Governing Agencies and Police 2.10 Conclusion 2.11 Areas of Action

11 11 12 13 13 14 15 15 16 16 17 19

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


3. 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15

Customary Practices Leading to Gender Based Violence Introduction Study Methodology and Study Area The Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents Behavior, Attitudes and Customary Practices towards GBV Inferential Analysis of Data Results Key Findings from In-depth Interviews with Stakeholders The Inferential Analysis Shows the Variation among Median and Rank of 'Gender Practices' of Selected Stakeholders by Locality The Inferential Analysis shows the Variation among Median and Rank of 'Gender Awareness' of Selected Stakeholders by Locality Key Findings from Focus Group Discussions with Community Group Views of Women in Context to GBV Analysis of Case Studies Analysis of Newspapers The Content Analysis of Newspapers from the Last Three Months in Context to GBV in Pakistan Conclusions Recommendations

25 25 25 26 26 28 29 30 30 30 31 32 33 33 34 35

4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13

Social and Legal Responses to Rape Introduction Purpose of Study Sampling Design and Size Key Stakeholders Survey Findings Specific to the Profile of Respondents KAPs related to Rape Protection and Vulnerability in Context to Rape Knowledge about Susceptible Aggressors in own Community Profile of Survivors/Victims of Rape Profile of Rapists Knowledge about Laws and Judicial Procedures Disclosure of Rape Police Reporting

37 37 37 38 38 38 39 39 40 40 40 41 41 41


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19

Medico-Legal Examination Attitudes in Context to Rape Community's Response to Rape Impact on Survivor's Life Conclusions Recommendations

41 41 42 42 43 43

Internal Trafficking of Women and Girls in Pakistan Introduction Defining Trafficking Methodology Key Constraints Literature Review Review of Existing Legislation Review of Press, Police and Court Cases Profiles of Trafficking Dynamics of Internal Trafficking Profile of Victims Factors that Contribute to Trafficking Response to Trafficking by the Government, Donors, International Organizations and Civil Society 5.13 Recommendations on Action Plan

5. 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12

45 45 45 46 46 46 48 49 50 51 52 52 53 54

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Acronyms and Abbreviations

AF AASHA AGHS BLSA CAMP CEDAW CIDA CrPC C-PRISM CSA CSO DFID DUA ECA FGD FIA FIR GBV GEP GII HH HRCP IDP Aurat Foundation Alliance Against Sexual Harassment Asma, Gulrukh, Hina, Shahla Bonded Labour System Abolition Act Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Canadian International Development Agency Criminal Procedure Code Promotion of Rights, Capacity Building Measures and Initiatives to Curb Illegal and Temporary Migration including Human Smuggling and Trafficking Child Sexual Abuse Civil Society Organization Department for International Development Dar-Ul-Aman Employment of Children Act Focus Group Discussion Federal Investigation Agency First Information Report Gender Based Violence Gender Equity Program Gender Equality Index Household Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Internally Displaced Person


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Information, Education and Communication International Labour Organization International Organization of Migration Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Member of National Assembly Ministry of Interior National Commission for Justice and Peace National Commission on the Status of Women Non-Government Organization National Plan of Action North Western Frontier Province Programme for the Advancement of Gender Equality Pakistan Penal Code Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Welfare Centres Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority Standard Operating Procedure Society for Protection of the Rights of the Child Trafficking in People Training of Trainers Trafficking Victims Protection Act United Nations United Nations Development Program United Nations Children's Fund

PACHTO The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


1 Domestic Violence
A Primary Data Research Study SEBCON
1.1 Introduction Domestic violence is a global phenomenon that comes under the realm of health, law, education, development and most importantly, human rights. Often relegated to the private sphere, domestic violence is often overlooked, excused or denied. The term 'domestic' includes violence in any place and form by either an intimate partner or family member. Although males have been known to suffer from this menace, the majority of victims are women and the children in their care. Victims of domestic violence are unable to make their own decisions, voice their own opinions and protect themselves and their children. Having signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and subscribed to the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), Pakistan remains the only South Asian state that has yet to pass a law on domestic violence. As a result, women continue to suffer. Patriarchal cultural norms, misinterpretations of religious scripture and failure on the part of policy-makers to devise effective strategies to address the problem have enabled domestic violence to thrive in Pakistani society. In addition to this, the fact that domestic violence is viewed as a private matter that belongs within the four walls of a home has rendered perpetrators a free hand to physically and psychologically abuse their female family members with impunity. There is a dire need to highlight the fact that women and children are entitled to State protection even within the confines of their homes. Pakistan ranks 115 in comparison to other developing nations in South Asia in the Gender Equality Index (GII), lagging behind in indicators

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


related to women's health, education and gender equity. Although the State attributes this dismal situation on the impoverishment of resources, there are a number of other factors that contribute to this inequality: Lack of access to available resources Lack of access to legal aid information Lack of awareness in context to domestic violence Deeply held patriarchal beliefs in context to women and their rights

1.2 Domestic Violence Although domestic violence is usually viewed through a gender lens, the abuse of women can not only be attributed to patriarchy as that would over-simplify the complex dynamics at work. Research shows that power hierarchy of class cuts through gender when it comes to domestic violence. As an illustration, the abuse of female domestic workers at the hands of upper class women or bride burning which is often perpetuated by mothers-in-law rather than husbands is proof of this phenomenon. Lack of statistical data on domestic violence and avoidance to report cases of domestic violence make it hard to ascertain the magnitude of domestic violence in Pakistan. There is no question, though, that the problem does exist. Furthermore, some types of domestic violence are hard to estimate such as stove burning as victims often succumb to their injuries before

reaching a hospital where they can record a police statement. The most vulnerable members of society, owing to their illiteracy and economic dependence, women are more susceptible to violence due to cultural, social and political factors. In its 1999 report on violence against women in Pakistan, "In the Name of Honor", Amnesty International found that while positive changes have occurred in the area of women's rights, the State of Pakistan still fails to provide suitable protection for women against abuse at the hands of family and community. When women have approached the law for justice in cases of sexual assault or rape they have encountered a series of obstacles such as the failure of police to register First Investigation Reports (FIRs), misrepresentation of victims' statements, misogynistic laws such as the Zina Ordinance that further terrorize victims and untrained medico-legal doctors who conduct faulty examinations. 1.3 Legislation for Domestic Violence in Pakistan Although the Constitution of Pakistan in its Chapter on Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy, accords every citizen equal rights and equal treatment before the law, these avenues of recourse are inaccessible to many women in Pakistan. The factors that hinder women from approaching the legal system for justice are a lack of awareness regarding their fundamental rights, costly lawyers they cannot afford and gender insensitive law enforcement officials.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

There is no law in the Pakistan Penal Code that specifically covers domestic violence, however, several sections such as 313 to 316 (causing miscarriage); sec 317 (abandonment of under-12 child); sec 319 to 338 (causing hurt); sec 339 to 348 (wrongful confinement and restraint) do deal with various aspects of it. Laws on sexual violence come under the umbrella of the Hudood Ordinances which were enacted in 1979. However, rather than combat violence against women, these laws further victimize. Additionally, laws such as the Qisas and Diyat protect the perpetrator rather than the rights of the victim in cases of bodily harm. In December 2006, the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act was passed containing several clauses in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) relating to women including sexual offenses. It also made amendments to the Offense of Zina. Section 545 of the CrPC now allows the court to provide compensation to victims by imposing a fine on the perpetrator. Similarly, section 174-A was added to the CrPC in 2001 in an attempt to curb dowry related violence. Under this provision, all burn cases are required to be reported to the nearest Magistrate by a designated medical practitioner. However, despite the creation of various laws to protect women and the amendments made to existing laws, gross human rights violations continue in Pakistan. Additionally, a lack of implementation of existing laws further exacerbates their plight.

Currently there is no law in Pakistan that deals with abuse of domestic workers even though they remain the most exploited segment of society. Even the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act passed in March 2010 is not inclusive of domestic helpers. It is a poorly drafted legislations such as this that leave one of the most vulnerable segments of society with little hope of protection or justice. In August 2009, the National Assembly passed the Domestic Violence Bill. The Bill defines a "domestic relationship" quite widely by including ties of kinship, adoption, joint family, employment and domestic help. The bill also lays down provisions for the protection of and monetary compensation for victims, meting out punishment in the form of fines or jail time for those who violate protection orders. 1.4 International and National Commitments, Plans and Policies Although Pakistan ratified CEDAW on April 12th, 2006 it declared that it does not consider itself bound to paragraph 1 of article 29 of the Convention. Under this stipulation any two State parties that disagree on the interpretation or application of the present Convention must refer their dispute to the International Court of Justice if they are unable to reach an agreement through arbitration. Additionally, becoming a signatory to the convention is not synonymous to including it in the legal framework of a respective State. CEDAW provisions require enabling legislation

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


of which there is none in Pakistan. In Pakistani courts CEDAW can only be cited as a legislative ideal; it has no legal jurisdiction to influence any court decision. In an attempt to honor its national and international commitments the Government of Pakistan has developed the National Plan of Action (NPA) for Women with a fifteen years perspective. The NPA aims to fulfill the commitments made during the Beijing Conference in 1995. In the same spirit, the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) was established in July 2000. The NCSW is a statutory body mandated to examine policies and programs in context to women's development and gender equality, to appraise the implementation of these policies and render recommendations for effective impact. The NCSW is also authorized to review laws, rules and regulations affecting the rights of women and suggest repeals, amendments or new legislation. Some of the measures that have been taken in order to support female victims of violence include: The setting up of crisis centers for women in distress Providing free legal aid and temporary shelter to victims at these centers The establishment of women police stations in ten major cities Introduction of women's cells in existing police stations that are managed by female police officers

1.5 Literature Review of Domestic Violence in Pakistan During the course of this study no large-scale data dealing with domestic violence in Pakistan was identified. The most common types of violence against women in Pakistan include but are not limited to, dowry violence, acid throwing, burning, sexual violence, harassment and indecent assault, rape, kidnapping and abduction, trafficking and forced prostitution (Parveen 2011). It is estimated that a woman in Pakistan is raped every two hours; approximately 70-90 percent of women suffer from some form of domestic violence and there were at least 3,296 cases of violence against women in Pakistan in 2002. A study conducted by the Punjab Development and Social Welfare Department released in 2001 stated that around 42% of women accepted violence as a part of their fate, whereas over 33% felt helpless to take a stand against it. Only 19% protested against it and only 4% took a stand against it. The culprits of such violence were mostly found to be male relatives (53%) and husbands (32%). Women were also identified as perpetrators (13%). A study conducted in 2005 on men's attitude towards domestic violence in Karachi found that most abusers had been victims of violence at some point in their childhood (55%) and 65% had witnessed their mothers being beaten. According to UNICEF's study in 2005, children who have


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

witnessed domestic violence in their childhood are at risk of becoming perpetrators of violence in adulthood often resorting to it as an acceptable means of resolving disputes and asserting themselves. The same study conducted in Karachi revealed that 46.0% of the 176 men surveyed felt they had a "right" to discipline their wives through violence. The scourge of domestic violence exists throughout South Asia. Identifying the various forms of abuse, their causes and impact are essential if the affected are to be helped. The identification of the different forms of domestic violence will also help in eliminating it. The Asia Foundation as sub-grantee of Aurat Foundation has awarded SEBCON a project to conduct a research study on the prevalence of domestic violence in Pakistan. The main focus of the study has been to examine the responses to domestic violence which are influenced by knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding this practice. The study identifies behaviors and practices that reinforce domestic violence, quoting figures and providing recommendations where needed. A household survey, focus group discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews with key informants, case studies and observations were used to comprehend people's knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to violence.

Allama Iqbal Town was the sampled location selected by the Gender Equity Program (GEP) team. Qualitative data was collected from a meeting that was held with community elders and key influencers, five FGDs were conducted with male and female community members, domestic workers and students, ten individual interviews were carried out with opinion leaders, professionals, teachers, lawyers, religious leaders and representatives of civil society and ten case studies were developed---eight of victims and two of abusers. As far as the quantitative data is concerned, a total of 400 household (HH) surveys were conducted which included 194 male respondents and 206 female respondents. 1.6 Important Findings from Research The study revealed detailed findings regarding knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in context to domestic violence. The purpose of this executive study is to highlight some of the major findings of the research conducted by SEBCON in an attempt to render an overview of domestic violence in Pakistan: According to the HH conducted in context to perceptions regarding domestic violence, nearly 79% of the respondents considered physical abuse of a spouse as violence on a domestic level. Physical abuse was classified as slapping, pulling hair, pushing or shoving, grabbing, hitting with an object, and arm twisting, kicking, punching, physical

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


punishment, forced intimacy, insulting the victim in front of others, forcing one to leave the house, deprivation of education and/or health facilities, harassment, taunts and mental torture. Other examples of domestic violence according to respondents included mental torture (28%), forced to act against other's will (almost 13%) and keeping the other person short of money (11%). The FGDs and case studies revealed that a large majority of respondents felt that domestic violence was on the rise. In fact, the HH surveys disclose that 100% of respondents viewed domestic violence as a serious issue between family members. In regards to violence at home, approximately 34% reported very rarely, 15% reported that instances of violence occurred once a month, 9.7% said at least once in three months whereas 10% reported them at least once in six months. It is important to note here that male and female responses were quite similar in nature to these questions. The HH surveys show that arguments happen most frequently between husbands and wives (64.7%) followed by disputes between mothers and daughters-in-law (5.9%) and then between fathers and sons (5.6%). Interestingly, a higher percentage of males had disputes with family members (almost 17% with parents and 11% with siblings) as

compared to females. On the other hand, a higher percentage of females had disputes with spouses (74%) in comparison to males (almost 67%). Responses from FGDs and case studies show that the level of education has no bearing on the frequency of domestic disputes. Put differently, educated men were just as likely to be perpetrators of verbal and/or physical violence as those less educated. In terms of who instigated violence, 69% of the respondents held the other party responsible. More female respondents (73%) as compared to male (65%) blamed the other person. These figures support this research study's FGDs and case studies that provide evidence that when it comes to abuse women are the majority of victims. As per the HH survey findings, approximately 71% respondents reported the spouse (usually the husband) as the instigator of violence, often with the aid of other family members. However, in the majority of cases, the husband alone was involved. A major source of dispute between couples was women avoiding sexual relations with their spouse. There is a perception in Pakistani society that a husband has unlimited sexual access to his wife, regardless of her consent or not. Only 1.5% of respondentsfrom the HH survey admitted to having


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

experienced forced sex/marital rape. The researchers suspect that this figure must be much higher in reality especially since the FGD with domestic workers in Kamran Block maintained that one of the most common forms of violence they experience. 1.7 Causes of Violence There is no single factor that can be attributed to the reason behind violence being perpetuated against women. Culture and custom have both played a role in the historical subjugation of women. Factors contributing to the unequal power relations between men and women include socio-economic forces, the family institution where power relations are enforced, fear of and control over female sexuality, belief in the inherent superiority of males and legal and cultural endorsements that have traditionally denied both women and children an independent legal and social status. Some of the underlying variables that lead to violence or abusive behavior are: Children remained the leading cause of disputes for more than 58% of households. More specifically, issues related to their disciplining, education and marriage. For 21% of respondents economic instability and unemployment followed by division of household chores for almost 21% of respondents. In regards to economic instability, it is worth noting that according to the FGDs and case studies, financial

pressures leading to domestic disputes are not solely because of trying to meet inflating living costs but also due to rising costs of education for children and an intense competition with family/friends in terms of lifestyle (i.e. clothing, housing, children's education etc.). Customary practices such as the giving and receiving of dowry is also a major reason for domestic violence. Dowry-related violence remains a serious issue in Punjab where according to the HRCP at least four women are murdered in "accidental" stove fires on a daily by husbands and other family members (Domestic Violence against Women and Girls, 2000). Witnessing violence at home as a child put many men at risk for becoming perpetrators of violence as adults. Although in the HH survey only 1% of respondents considered this as a major cause of domestic violence during the FGDs women cited examples of three generations of male family members repeating this pattern of violence. A majority of FGD participants and individuals interviewed cited ignoring norms and values of religion as one of the causes of frustration, dissatisfaction and disputes that eventually led to domestic violence. During FGDs and individual interviews, both print and electronic media were also held

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


responsible for promoting a culture of consumerism that was leading the younger generation farther away from religious values. Participants blamed the media for promoting the wrong "culture" and "ethics." 1.8 Domestic Violence and the Law According to the HH surveys, 45% of respondents were aware that there was a law in place for domestic violence. Most of these respondents (88%) had become aware of this law through the electronic and print media. On the other hand, only 30% of respondents were aware of individuals or organizations that provide support to victims of domestic violence. Only 18% of respondents from the FGDs were aware of Dar-ul-Amans and viewed them as prostitution dens where staff members were involved in drug peddling. Discussions with lawyers revealed that most victims of domestic violence were poor women who had little mobility or access to legal and other support services. And most importantly, often did not have any concrete proof of their abuse to produce before the courts. Furthermore, mental torture which was at times just as painful as physical violence was not recognized or addressed by the law. 1.9 Impact of Domestic Violence This section of the report seeks to review the psychological impact of domestic violence on

family members, especially women. According to FGDs, children who have witnessed domestic violence at home exhibit health, behavioral and psychological problems including problems with weight, eating and sleeping. They usually experience difficulty in school which negatively affects their performance. The HH surveys and FGDs reveal that 40% of respondents were concerned for the future of children who had witnessed domestic violence as children. Domestic violence affected different people differently. In most cases it caused individuals to become disturbed, aggressive, less cooperative, low performers and lost interest in household, work and life in general. Girls who have been sexually abused as children show a pattern of engaging in risky behavior and find themselves at a higher risk of unwanted pregnancies. Battered women, on the other hand, tend to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, panic attacks, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, high blood pressure, drug abuse and low self-esteem in addition to other psychological disorders. 1.10 Domestic Workers Situation Most of the domestic workers included in this study belong to the Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market) in Kamran Block where they have lived in unhygienic and unhealthy conditions for the past ten years. A total of eight families were surveyed. As far as monthly income in concerned, males earn Rs. 5663 and females Rs. 2758.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Some of the reasons for employers being discontent with their domestic workers were cited as lack of punctuality, lack of skills, little attention paid to quality of work, theft, dishonesty and lack of hygiene. Regardless of these complaints, 80% of domestic workers described their relationship with their employer as "good" or "very good." Only 20% stated that their relationship with their employer was "fair." Approximately 78% of the total number of domestic workers admitted that at times their disagreements with employers intensified to a level where they were abused. Around 38% stated that the abuse was verbal in most cases or their salaries were not paid on time as punishment. And lastly, 25% were made to work longer hours as a penalty. In reality, some domestic workers experience extreme forms of violence but it is hard to convince them to speak up about it as they fear losing their jobs. It was only during sessions where there was no note-taking involved that they admitted to the violence and abuse they had experienced at the hands of their employers. Furthermore, it was observed that despite the apparent differences in economic status, education levels, gender, caste and creed the responses of the queries (for both FGDs and surveys) and the perceptions in context to domestic violence remained the same. When asked whether they were aware of the new legislation on domestic violence, only 6% of male domestic workers had heard of it. None of the female domestic workers were aware of the law

and had no idea of what to do in case they experienced violence. Additionally, many respondents expressed a disinterest in learning about new legislation as they viewed the judicial system as ineffective and misused. 1.11 Recommendations for Plan of Action with Key Stakeholders This section of the study presents a number of strategies that can be adopted by various stakeholders to combat the issue of domestic violence: There is a dire need to recognize violence against women as a cross cutting theme amongst all government sectors. Interventions to eliminate violence against women at the policy-making, health, education and legal level are required. Religious leaders and scholars must interpret Quran and Sunnah in a positive manner; advocating for women's rights rather than further suppressing them. Additionally, religious leaders at all levels must make it unequivocally clear that religious texts do not condone violence against women. Media campaigns should question prevalent patterns of violence against women that are accepted by society. By doing so, they can help reverse attitudes that tolerate such violence.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


At the community level, a greater surveillance of instances of domestic violence, offering support to victims/survivors and challenging men to stop the violence. Capacity building of police officers via training and sensitization at all levels must be instituted. In addition to this, there must be a system by which the police are held accountable for their behavior towards victims of violence. Sensitization of the judiciary to gender issues is critical. In fact, there is a need for law schools to offer courses on gender. A culture of self-reliance and empowerment must be developed in shelters by the NGO sector. This can be done through education and teaching skills that enable victims of violence to become financially independent. There is also a need to set up helplines in order to guide victims of domestic violence on how to find help. Capacity building of health care providers is also required so that they are able to screen and identify women suffering from domestic violence, both physically and psychologically. The education sector can contribute to combating domestic violence by teaching age-appropriate lessons to students about gender equality and the unacceptability of

violence against women. Also, a support system needs to be set up for students to help identify suspected victims of abuse and to teach them how to cope with physical and psychological trauma.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

2 Sexual Harassment
A Primary Data Research Study SEMIOTICS Consultants (pvt.) Limited
2.1 Introduction This report documents findings of a study on sexual harassment of women on the street and in the work place in Pakistan. This study will further enhance the dialogue on sexual harassment in Pakistan by benchmarking existing knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of key actors regarding the issue. The study will also aid in designing mechanisms and programs to enable women from diverse backgrounds to realize their fundamental right to work, study and move around without violence and fear. More specifically, the objectives of the study are to: Benchmark existing knowledge, attitudes and practices. Identify trends in behavior and practices that reinforce sexual harassment. This KAPs study researched the general public as well as people employed at a variety of workplaces to provide insight into levels of awareness, opinions and attitudes on sexual harassment. The intent was not to gauge prevalence rates but rather to offer a glimpse into the public perception and experiences on this particular issue. The study gathered information about: 1. Knowledge: what respondents know about sexual harassment. 2. Attitudes: what people feel about sexual harassment, their preconceived ideas towards the victim or perpetrator and how they view the response system to sexual harassment. 3. Practices: what people actually do if they encounter such a situation, whether as a

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


victim or witness; and how their knowledge and attitude towards the issue is demonstrated through their actions. 2.2 Study Findings

the educational profile. Vulnerability to harassment increases with a decrease in confidence; less bold/confident females are more prone to it. This may be one of the reasons why single women are more vulnerable as compared to married ones. In Peshawar and Islamabad respondents mostly believe dressing followed by physical attributes, such as facial features, height, physique, skin color, etc. are significant factors in determining a person's increased vulnerability to harassment. The majority of victims were actually conservatively dressed in shalwar qameez with a veil at the time of the incident. Sexual harassment in culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds was observed in Karachi; logically this is due to the fact that it is a metropolitan port city where people from all over have come and settled to make a living. Anyone can be a harasser; familiarity does not lessen the probability of being harassed by someone. At public places and streets, a harasser is a stranger while at work it is a colleague. It seems that chance and opportunity make a harasser. In Christian communities, discriminatory practices in regards to education, such as, girls working as domestic servants from a

1. Harassment on the street seems more prevalent than in the workplace-33% respondents faced harassment in Peshawar, 3% in Karachi and 13% in Islamabad faced it at their workplace. 2. There appears to be a tendency among men to hide information of incidents occurring at their own workplaces. Although 94% men in Karachi and 91% in Islamabad had heard about sexual harassment incidents at workplaces other than their own.

The study confirmed the belief that victims of violence are usually females while perpetrators are mostly males. Further findings of the characteristics of both groups are given below. Females are more susceptible to harassment; most victims are female and harassers are male. Sexual harassment occurs within all age groups, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels. Harassment has more to do with the surrounding environment rather than with


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

young age and boys attending school cause women to become shy and lack in confidence making them easy prey. Joint family systems make girls vulnerable due to more interaction with male members. Especially as they expect no harm from them.

Economic level of street harassers are lower than that of workplace harassers. Furthermore, there is also variation between the workplace type; the harasser at the industry earns less than the harasser in established offices. Due to the open nature of street harassment where anybody could be a harasser, a street harasser earns up to Rs. 50,000. In industries, since harassers are immediate supervisors, their income ranges between Rs. 5000 and Rs. 15,000. In Islamabad harassers fall in higher income groups where 40% earn more than Rs. 85,000.

2.3 Key Findings of the Characteristics of Perpetrators Harassment incidents are about chance and opportunity and not about age, occupation and marital status. Wherever the opportunity arises, the harasser avails it. Perpetrators at workplaces are mostly married while those on the street are single young men. Harassers do not belong to any specific occupational group. Those whose occupations allow a greater degree of interaction with women tend to harass more, such as tailors, hair dressers, doctors, and teachers in co-ed academic institutions. Educational background is not correlated with who is prone to harassing. However, street harassers have lower levels of education as compared to those at the workplace. Harassers belong to dominant ethnic groups of the city.

2.4 Key Findings about the Trends in Awareness, Behavior and Practices of Harassment Respondents consider the relative frequency of certain behaviors to determine what constitutes as sexual harassment. More respondents perceive non-verbal acts as sexual harassment as compared to the less frequently occurring verbal, psychological, visual, and physical harassment. In street harassment, whistling, standing close, staring and winking are considered less offensive whereas at the workplace the same are rated high on the scale. The difference may be due to the fact that at the workplace one does not expect such acts from coworkers.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Sexual harassment is an ongoing behavior, frequently experienced by women. The act usually continues for indefinite durations. Men and women attribute different reasons for the occurrence of harassment at the workplace. In Karachi men think personal traits and a lack of manners are causes while women feel it is a game of power. Other causes of sexual harassment are defined by various cadres of employees in Islamabad as employees flirting to progress in their careers, trading sexual favors for promotions or applicants trying to entice potential employers at the time of induction. Major causes of harassment are sexual frustration and patriarchal social structures and norms that lead to unchecked harassment which is considered offensive. Street harassment is often carried out by gangs and is referred to as gang harassment which thrives due to a weak societal response in support of victims and a general lack of safety. Workplace harassment goes unchecked as employees who are insecure about their jobs avoid filing complaints and also due to a lack of organizational processes to deal with such acts. Incidents of sexual harassment are not time

bound; they are about opportunity. Opportunistic times for such acts are rush hours or times at which roads and streets are deserted. At workplaces, late sittings in the evenings can also lead to such events. Usual venues of street harassment are crowded public places. Within workplaces it is either the victim's or harasser's work space and at times common areas/rooms.

2.5 Respondent's Knowledge of Sexual Harassment Organizations that deal with gender issues, work with various international donors, or fall under the government sector are aware of legislation associated with sexual harassment. Awareness of the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 is high among the sampled organizations. Respondents in Islamabad have more awareness of women's legal rights as well as of the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010. In Islamabad the awareness level of men in these areas is higher than that of women respondents. Common sources of information on violence


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

against women are in the public arena, local television channels in Karachi & Islamabad and newspapers in Peshawar. 54% respondents in Karachi and 78% in Islamabad are aware that their respective organization has a policy against sexual harassment. A high percentage of women (47%) in Karachi were unaware regarding the existence of such a policy.

the conduct progresses from mere verbal and non-verbal harassment to plans to harass physically. Religious leaders have opposing views on the impact of the type/system of education on the propensity to harass. As an illustration, Islamic scholars feel a segregated education system will help curb the menace of harassment.

2.6 Perceptions on Sexual Harassment Generally, it is believed that women encourage attacks in public because of how they act or dress. Other reasons cited are traveling alone at night, working late hours, and venturing to unsafe areas. A majority of respondents feel that sexual harassment is harmful to women and unacceptable. Education level and type have nothing to do with who becomes a harasser. Harassment is opportunity based and depends upon the harassers' upbringing and legal prowess. Given an opportunity to harass, a harasser is likely to avail it. An educated rich man will harass in a way different from an educated or uneducated poor man. With higher levels of education, the form of harassment changes. Often times a strong socio-economic level correlates with the severity of conduct. In other words,

2.7 Key Findings for Responses to Sexual Harassment Women generally do not retaliate/react, especially in the case of street harassment. Reporting to authorities at workplaces is higher than in the street where the authorities are less visible and/or accessible. Victims seldom shared incidents of sexual harassment at the workplace with family possibly because family would pressure them to quit their job. Sharing street harassment incidents with family is much more common. Witnesses of street harassment show their support for victims by condemning the harasser. However, in the case of workplace harassment, many witnesses choose to remain silent for fear of losing their job or out of loyalty to their gender.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Termination of harassers is the modus operandi at workplaces where mechanisms have been developed to address harassment by reprimands or warnings. Victims choose not to report and take legal action due to four major reasons: family reputation, hostile behavior/attitude of others, procedural complications and lack of awareness about the law against sexual harassment. Sexual harassment incidents in Islamabad are usually reported to senior management while in Karachi, cases are reported to the line supervisor; depicting the workplace set- up included in the sample. Legal counseling is provided to some extent by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), such as the Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA) and the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) etc. Religious leaders, if and when approached, offer counseling to victims as well as to harassers.

Management seems to downplay incidents of sexual harassment. Most organizations have written policies to deal with sexual harassment incidents. Mostly, policies are shared with employees through posters (26%) and emails (23%). Orientation and awareness trainings on sexual harassment are rare. Most organizations in Islamabad have inquiry committees to deal with sexual harassment (92%). There is a gap in knowledge between management and its employees. More specifically, regarding inquiry committees indicating that employees have limited access to processes. Committees generally adhere to the legal requirements of mixed level as well as gender.

2.9 Key Findings on the Role of Governing Agencies and Police The law enforcement agency is not trained to handle sexual harassment cases. The general lack of awareness on the part of the public regarding FIR registration often absolves the police of taking appropriate action.

2.8 Key Findings on the Role of Employers in Context to Sexual Harassment Most employers refused to have their employees interviewed. Out of 13 industrial set-ups visited, 4 employers refused to be interviewed and 5 refused their employees to be interviewed.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

In many cases, even the inquiry committees that are an integral part of the process have not been notified properly in public institutions.

on the street that creates an intimidating, hostile and offensive environment. Any conduct of a sexual nature that makes one uncomfortable has the potential to be labeled harassment. However, knowledge about what constitutes as sexual harassment varies with every individual as everyone has differing views on what constitutes as harassment. Non-verbal forms of harassment (i.e. winking, staring, and whistling) are more commonly viewed as harassment as compared to less frequently occurring activities such as verbal, psychological, visual and physical harassment. At workplaces even the least offensive of behaviors is perceived as a major offence as employees do not expect it from colleagues. Subsequently, working women are more confident in confronting harassment as compared to their counterparts who stay at home. Sexual harassment is a gender-neutral offense, at least in theory. This means that men can sexually harass women and vice versa. However, findings reveal that an overwhelming majority of sexual harassment is faced by women who have been harassed by men. The trend of men sexually harassing other

2.10 Conclusion The results from work places and the common areas such as roads and streets in three cities collectively draw attention to the fact that sexual harassment is endemic and often hidden. It overwhelmingly affects women from all walks of life and exists in all kinds of settings, private and public alike. Empirical evidence collected during the study reflects that; individual power games (i.e. abuse of power), organizational structures (harassment being more common where the environment permits, etc.) unequal status between the sexes and social groups (men as authority figures and women as subordinates and majority versus minority groups), misconceptions of men regarding stereotypes of inappropriate clothing worn by women that supposedly lead to sexual harassment, and lastly, social pressure in cases the backlash associated with confronting harassers especially when the environment they function in is conducive to harassment. Sexual harassment is a persistent problem in our streets and workplaces. It is perceived as an unwelcome sexual advance on the job or

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


men is also on the rise. Knowledge and awareness regarding this issue has improved. It is important to note that even women who have faced some type of harassment in the past usually side with the harasser as opposed to the victim probably owing to societal pressure. Organizationsthatdealwithgenderissueswork withvariousinternationaldonorsandsomeinthe governmentsectorhaveawarenessregarding legislationonsexualharassment.However,in spiteofthelegislationandtheWorkplace HarassmentAct2010,itisstillnotviewedasa problemthatdeservestobedealtwithina systematicfashion. Employees are not aware of policies on sexual harassment in their respective organizations, especially industrial workers where almost half the women sampled did not know of any such policies. Women working in informal set-ups like industries, academic institutions and housewives on roads or public places need to be more aware regarding the legal ramifications attached to these acts. Additionally, it is equally important that societal perceptions about the general image of women be altered through rigorous sensitization using various modes of communication. Religious leaders of both minority and majority groups may prove to be effective catalysts for changing existing

perceptions of people regarding sexual harassment. The general societal attitude is that both men and women are responsible for sexual harassment. Harassment is opportunity based. It was found that depending upon a harassers background and legal accountability, he usually avails the opportunity to harass. With higher education levels, forms of harassment change as they do with strong socio-economic level. The severity of conduct changes from mere verbal and nonverbal harassment to plans of harassing physically. The findings indicate that all major religions recognize sexual harassment as an issue that needs to be addressed. Though the views on harassment (i.e. not following religious teachings) differ. For example, Islamic leaders see the solution in having a segregated society whereas Christian leaders feel that segregation has no bearing on harassment whatsoever. The results with regards to workplace harassment strongly signify that it is still usually the harassed employee, rather than the harasser, whose career is negatively affected. Women are more at risk in government


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

organizations where it is more challenging to take action against harassers who are often at a much higher position. However, the rate of reporting to authorities at workplaces is higher than in the street where authorities are less visible and diligent.

It is also observed that law enforcement agencies have received no training on how to deal with sexual harassment cases or inform the public about the FIR process. In addition, with their reputation at stake, victims mostly refrain from reporting the case or even sharing it with family.

2.11 Areas of Action Prevention of Sexual Harassment Sensitization and Awareness Raising Government and academic institutions should introduce targeted education programs in secondary schools to increase knowledge and understanding regarding sexual harassment thereby enabling girls/women and employees to better respond to sexual harassment. These trainings could be built into courses that address topics such as employment relations, bullying and harassment and general human resource issues faced by employees. Media can contribute to raising awareness by drawing attention to cases of harassment, educating the masses on gender issues & the anti-sexual harassment law, and encouraging people to report harassment. Sensitization programs to educate people about mutual respect between both genders and considering them as equal entities need to be aired regularly. Imparting religious knowledge is important for cleansing of thoughts as well as treating women with equality, fairness and respect.

Employer Education on Responsibilities and Liability Law implementing agencies should promote Legislative Acts and the Code of Conduct for Employers, so that both employers and human resource professionals can increase their knowledge of sexual harassment prevention and response frameworks.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Employer Policies and Training Employers should comply with the Code of Conduct effectively preventing and responding to sexual harassment. The following measures are recommended on an immediate basis: 1. Developing and implementing a formal sexual harassment policy. 2. Providing regular training to employees on the issue of sexual harassment in the work place. 3. Monitoring the frequency of sexual harassment and reviewing the effectiveness of policies through regular workplace audits. The government should fund law enforcement agencies and small business representative groups/associations (e.g. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority [SMEDA]) to develop and promote the use of specific sexual harassment training guidelines for small businesses.

Sharing Knowledge of Best Practices in Sexual Harassment Prevention Reporting of Sexual Harassment Better Legal Protection from Sexual Harassment AASHA should keep an online database of best practices in regards to sexual harassment policies and prevention programs for sharing amongst employers.

Reporting of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Every employer, regardless of the size of the organization, should have a sexual harassment complaints procedure readily available to employees as set out in the code of conduct manual and more specifically, the policy on preventing and responding to sexual harassment.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Amendment of The Protection Against Harassment of Women Act The Protection against Harassment of Women Act should be amended as follows: Extend coverage of sexual harassment to better protect workers from sexual harassment by customers, clients and other persons with whom they come into contact due to their employment Extend sexual harassment protection to all students from all staff members and adult students. This policy should be adopted by all educational institutions in order to protect students belonging to any age bracket.

Police Services Need to be Strengthened to Create a Trustworthy Relationship with Community at Large. More female police officers are needed so that female victims can share their experiences with comfort and ease. Separate help lines for women to register their complaints is also equally important.

Monitoring of Sexual Harassment

Monitoring Sexual Harassment in the Workplace The Government should fund AASHA or other appropriate organizations working on harassment to develop an audit kit to assist employers in monitoring the incidence of sexual harassment.

National Data Collection and Monitoring The Government should fund research surveys every five years in order to track trends on the nature and extent of sexual harassment. The survey should use questions based on the definition of sexual harassment and on specific behaviors to track trends in the level of understanding of sexual harassment.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Indicators developed for violence against women should be tracked as a matter of routine.

Support for Employees in the Workplace Employers should induct professionals such as trained psychologists in order to provide support to victims of sexual harassment.

Better Support for those who Experience Sexual Harassment

Increase Capacity of Other Support Services to Provide Support to Victims of Sexual Harassment Support services such as working women's centres, women's and men's counseling services, women's legal services and sexual assault services should be provided funding to increase their capacity thereby enabling them to better assist victims of sexual harassment.

Further Research on Sexual Harassment

Researchers Should Undertake Further Research. Some Issues that Could be Examined are: Organizational policies and practices which are most effective in preventing and responding to sexual harassment. Workplace contexts and cultures where sexual harassment occurs. Lessons Learned: Effectiveness of workplace complaint processes in combating sexual harassment. The experience of sexual harassment among employees of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and employees with disabilities. The experience of sexual harassment among employees under the age of 18. The long-term impact of sexual harassment on victims, such as future employment opportunities and effects on family life and peer dynamics.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Measures for the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment: Ensure organizations have written policies against sexual harassment that are shared with staff. Ensure the composition of committees for sexual harassment investigations are in accordance with legal requirements. Hold regular orientation sessions for both male and female employees. Establish a network to link organizations with CSOs working on sexual harassment. Provide focused training to law enforcement agencies with support of CSOs. Explore ways to avoid the requirement of disclosing the identity of the victim while lodging an FIR on sexual harassment. Implementation of the law against sexual harassment in the industrial sector. Representation from the lower cadres should be ensured in committees dealing with cases of sexual harassment. Hold mass awareness campaigns for the public and relevant authorities on lodging complaints and following legal procedures in regards to cases of sexual harassment. Launch pilot projects to induct professionals, such as trained psychologists in educational and public institutions to provide support to victims.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Practices Leading to 3 Customary Gender Based Violence

A Primary Data Research Study Department of Gender Studies University of Punjab

3.1 Introduction The primary based research study was undertaken to identify customary practices leading to Gender Based Violence (GBV), create awareness among various stakeholders regarding the sensitivity of the problem, its impact on society and to provide a baseline for future planning and interventions to improve the status of women in society. The conceptual framework of this study builds both on Social Learning Theory and Power Control Theory as factors that explain the causes of GBV. It highlights knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among various key stakeholders in society, with respect to customary practices leading to GBV. It also identifies the role played by key actors in developing trends, behaviors and practices towards GBV. The study is designed to complement the overall project goals of the Gender Equity Program (GEP) and serve as a

baseline for initiating and designing future GEP activities related to GBV in the country. 3.2 Study Methodology and Study Area A guided desk review Identification of stakeholders and secondary sources A mapping exercise (information on demographic characteristics and sample area)

Primary data using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches; a. A household survey based on semistructured questionnaires-813 couples b. In depth interviews-297 interviews with stakeholders c. Focus group discussions (FGDs) -16 FGDs with community members and women

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


d. Case studies-14 cases collected to support information e. Newspapers-3 national newspapers for content analysis Study Area Faisalabad, Jacobabad, D.I. Khan and Quetta 3.3 The Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents

3.4 Behavior, Attitudes and Customary Practices towards GBV A large majority of respondents spend their leisure time with friends (45.1 percent). Recreational activities with family are not viewed as appealing or given much thought (25.6 percent). There is a very clear differentiation between expected roles of boys and girls. Stereotypical attitudes and behaviors of society regarding gender roles continue. More than half of the respondents perceive a 'real man' to be a bread winner. A 'dominant man' giving orders and always in a position of control is perceived by a quarter of the respondents as the norm. A majority of the respondents believe in the basic human rights of women. Women have the universal right to education (30 percent) and access to healthcare facilities (16 percent). Women have the right to file for divorce (accepted by only 5.4 percent). A majority of the respondents were unaware of the laws designed to protect women (77.1

The mean age of the respondents in all four cities is 34 years. More than half of the respondents are uneducated (54.4 percent). Approximately half of the respondents are working as laborers (49.9 percent). A majority of the respondents are married (94.1 percent). Less than half of the total sample resides in a joint family system (40 percent). Very few respondents use computer and internet as sources of information (11.3 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively) as compared to newspapers (35.3 percent). A majority of the respondents have no experience of travelling abroad for work or business owing to economic constraints (93.9 percent).


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

percent). The respondents in Faisalabad as compared to the other three districts have more awareness about the honor killing law (41.9 percent). Children encouraged to be handled with love (64.1 percent). Violence particularly against women is not a practice among respondent families. Of those who have witnessed violence in the family mostly recall their father beating their mother (11.6 percent). It is considered obligatory for the wife to support a husband's decision even if she believes it to be wrong (51.1 percent). Violence is justified against women on the grounds of disobedience to husbands or mother-in-law and negligence towards household and children. The most prevalent customary practices that result in GBV in the sample districts are early marriages (29 percent), Watta Satta (29 percent), honor killing (11 percent) and denial of property rights (11 percent). The customary practice of early marriage is at the highest in Jacobabad (59.1 percent) while honor killing is highly reported in

Quetta (32.4 percent). Watta Satta is reportedly more in Faisalabad (21.4 percent) and D.I.Khan (21.3 percent). The reasons for the prevalence of GBV related customary practices are family disputes (49.5 percent) and poverty (18.9 percent). Customary practices leading to GBV are considered domestic affairs and mostly sorted out according to local customs and traditions. The influence of local communities, groups and families is a major factor that makes it difficult to question existing customary practices. The affected victim and their family members mostly try to ignore any unfortunate incidence when it happens. Victims are mostly excluded from normal life and subsequently withdraw themselves from social events and gatherings. In Quetta, in such cases, the victim is killed by family/community as the incident brings disgrace upon the family (23.1 percent). Most effective role in cases of GBV related customary practices is of religious scholars, police and honorable persons of the area.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Jirga/ Punchait are the most influential stakeholders as their decisions are upheld in GBV cases. Prevalent customs and traditions cannot be changed (43 percent).

society (75.9 percent). There is a denial of a connection between Islam and existing customary practices leading to GBV (84.3 percent). Media is not playing a positive role in portraying cases of GBV (63.1 percent). The main sources of information identified are television and people in the community (64.2 percent). Media can play an effective role by telecasting awareness programs on GBV practices.

Education is viewed as an agent of change in prevalent customs and traditions (42 percent). 64% of the time cases of GBV are not filed with the police. The reasons for not filing cases include dishonor and disrespect of the family associated with such incidents (54.4 percent). Most of the cases are decided by the local Jirga/ Punchait (64 percent). Brothers (22.4 percent), fathers/relatives (21 percent) and husbands (16.8 percent) are the main perpetuators of customary practices related to GBV. Victims herself/himself are also responsible for action taken against them (19.6 percent). Women are affected more as a result of customary practices related to GBV (53.8 percent). The major reason for the injustices against women is prejudice regarding women in

3.5 Inferential Analysis of Data Results Male and female respondents are different in terms of behaviors and attitudes towards customary gender practices. The sample of rural and urban locale is also different in terms of behaviors and attitudes towards customary gender practices. Both female and urban respondents have higher median value on behavior and attitude towards GBV practices as compared to male and rural respondents, respectively. This reflects that females and urban respondents are more conservative in their thoughts and customary practices leading to GBV.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

3.6 Key Findings from In-depth Interviews with Stakeholders The four sample districts show a prevalence of different types of customary practices that lead to GBV. Early marriage and Watta Satta are the most prevalent customary practices that lead to GBV in all the four districts. Bride price and honor killings (Karo Kari) are types of GBV prevalent in the districts. The reasons behind different types of GBV are reportedly poverty, lack of education and family. Traditions regarding GBV in society are not linked with Islam. Family, neighbors and people in the area usually remain neutral or silent on GBV. Quarrels between husband and wife are generally perceived as a private, domestic affair. There is more violence against women than men. According to the NGO sector and judiciary, Jirga and/or Panchait systems are very effective in the districts. According to the media, police and judiciary,

Jirga and/or Panchait systems are effective to some extent in the districts. Punishments given by the Jirga and Panchait are generally not approved by all the stakeholders. Family members of the victims and Mohalla are most responsible for the prevalence of such incidents. Administrators make the Government responsible for GBV. Police officials hold men as most responsible for such incidents in society. Men and women are not treated equally in such incidents and there is more violence against women than men. Incidents of violence against women are on the decrease. The reasons quoted for this trend is awareness and education of people. Media has played a role in decreasing GBV. Development and implementation of laws regarding women are also a reason for the decrease in GBV. A change is indicated in the tradition of violence against women. The government can play an important role in curbing GBV.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


GBV takes place at family level and/or among husband and wife. Economics is one of the major reasons of violence against women along with cultural practices that sanction this sort of violence in society. Administrators claim poverty is the reason of GBV. Dar-ul-Aman and police representatives view discord between husband and wife, emotional decisions taken by of spouses and a general lack of tolerance as reasons for GBV. Media and judiciary declare a lack of women's rights and viewing women as slaves for the reasons behind GBV. Aside from physical stress, mental stress is one of the major long-term effects of GBV.

practices (33) of Dar-ul-Aman's Faisalabad respondents is high among stakeholders of all four districts (greater GBV). The median value on factor gender practices (30) of judges and lawyers in rural locality respondents is high among all stakeholders (greater GBV). The median value on gender practices (10) of media in urban locality is low among all the stakeholders (low level of GBV).

3.8 The Inferential Analysis shows the Variation among Median and Rank of 'Gender Awareness' of Selected Stakeholders by Locality (- co relation) The median value on factor gender awareness (150) of judges and lawyers in D.I.Khan respondents was high among stakeholders of all four districts (low level of GBV). The median value on factor of gender awareness (64) of media in Faisalabad is low among stakeholders of all four districts (greater GBV).

3.7 The Inferential Analysis shows the Variation among Median and Rank of 'Gender Practices' of Selected Stakeholders by Locality (+ co relation) The median value on factor gender practices (24) of Dar-ul-Aman in urban locality respondents is high among all stakeholders (greater GBV). The median value on factor of gender

3.9 Key Findings from Focus Group Discussions with Community Group Attitudes and practices with regards to GBV are more traditional in rural communities.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Attitudes and practices with regards to GBV are slightly more progressive in urban communities and some change has been witnessed. Watta Satta, Vani, and honor killings are more common in rural areas than urban. Women are still believed to be the bearers of family honor. Disciplining women is thought to be the right of the family. Domestic violence is perceived as a private, domestic matter and any outside interference is unwelcome. The forms of GBV as described by the United Nations are principally not agreed upon. Urban community members more open to change and in giving women their basic rights such as access to education and healthcare facilities.

There appears to be a change in customary practices; as education is now being encouraged. Media can play a positive role in increasing awareness about GBV provided it reduces the element of sensationalism in its reporting. Educated lady councilors and religious clerics can act as agents of change in attitudes and perceptions regarding violence against women (VAW).

3.10 Views of Women in Context to GBV Women have traditional attitudes and practices towards gender roles along with regional variations. Qualities desirable in boys are listed as piety, obedience, financial independence and education whereas in girls they are obedience, education and the ability to care for offspring. In men, the expected role is to be the bread winner and taking care of the family whereas for women it is to run the household and take care of children. Perceived rights of women are education, marriage of choice and a right to Khula and employment.

Parallel systems such as Panchait /Jirga are popular forms of justice delivery, more so in rural communities. Rural communities consider Panchait/ Jirga as fair, accessible and swifter in giving punishment as compared to formal structures such as the police.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Occurrence and frequency of customary practices which facilitate GBV such as early marriages, Watta Satta, marriage to the Quran and honor killings vary regionally. Poverty and economic conditions coupled with ignorance and a lack of education are thought to be the leading causes of GBV. Educated lady councilors and religious clerics can to an extent bring about change in attitudes and perceptions regarding VAW. There appears to be a change in customary practices; as education is now being encouraged. Media can also play a positive role in increasing awareness about GBV.

3.11 Analysis of Case Studies Most of the women included in the case studies live in or near cities. They are mostly middle aged women who were married at an early age and have children now. The women from the case studies are mostly literate and have experienced domestic violence since the early days of their marriage. Customs and practices like marriages at a young age, marriage with the Quran, Watta Satta, bride price, and Karo Kari exist in their communities. Customary practices resulting in GVB, most especially against women. Society has pre-defined roles for both genders; overstepping them results in violence. Illiteracy and poverty are the major reasons that cause violence against women. The main perpetrators of violence are family members. Namely, the mother-in-law or husband, and in some cases, both. Improvement in conditions is associated with marriage of women at the right age and with

Violence is not justified (couples may seek divorce if they do not get along). In some cases, violence is justified on the pretext of a wife disobeying her husband. Violence occurs between husband and wife due to ignorance (lack of education). Families create situations that result in violence. Violence has long lasting effects on women and children. Children often repeating the violence they saw at home.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

their consent. Government and police to take effective actions and establish legislation and ensure its implementation to stop violence. Societal practices that perpetuate violence also need to be checked. Parents can stop such societal practices. GBV can be controlled in some cases by adhering to religious teachings. Awareness and rights like education can also alleviate violence. Media, if used an awareness-raising tool, can bring change in current practices.

also promotes stereotypes. This is evident by pictures of film stars and/or beauty queens without news stories accompanying them. Often reporters frame their stories about GBV subjectively rather than focusing on the facts. The word 'honour' is used in a highly distorted context, thus exonerating criminals from the most heinous of crimes. Rape is referred to as a loss of 'honour'; thus indicating that women are the embodiment of 'honour', which can be taken away forcefully. Urdu newspapers particularly tend to use inverted commas to emphasize particular words, thereby sensationalizing or placing value judgments on the specific crime.

3.12 Analysis of Newspapers The comparison of Urdu newspapers with English shows that the former has a more conventional attitude towards projection of gender issues. Depiction of women as a temptress in cases of adultery is one of the many ways the Urdu press reinforces negative stereotypes. Newspapers are bombarded with glamorous pictures of female models and actresses. The English Press in their own subtle way

3.13 The Content Analysis of Newspapers from the last Three Months in Context to GBV in Pakistan The percentage of abduction/kidnapping cases top the list with 506 cases. Murders combined with 'honour' killings total to 618 cases (30% of total GBV related crimes). There were 178 incidents of rape and gangrape reported during the time period under

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


review. A high rate of suicide was found among women with 186 cases reported in just three months. There were 398 cases of a miscellaneous nature; including Vanni/Swara, custodial violence, torture, trafficking, child marriages, incest, threat to violence, sexual harassment, attempted murder, land encroaching and harassment at workplace etc.

link this to illiteracy and lack of awareness about basic rights. Women particularly are least aware about laws for combating GBV practices. All GBV related customary practices are considered domestic affairs and mostly dealt with according to local customs and traditions. The influence of local communities, groups and families is a prominent factor making it difficult to question these practices. Conventional attitudes and behaviors of people are a major hindrance towards change. The general reaction of the effected family and the victim, if any unfortunate violence incident occurs, is to forget it. Communities are mostly sympathetic towards the victim and encourage him/her to accept the incident as fate. Usually the victims exclude themselves from normal life, social events and gatherings. Women are affected more as a result of customary practices that result in GBV. The reason quoted for the injustices towards women is prejudice regarding women in society. Brothers, fathers and family relatives are considered as the main perpetuators of

3.14 Conclusions The most prevalent customary practices that result in GBV in the sample districts are early marriages, Watta Satta, honor killings and the denial of property rights. Early marriages are most prevalent in Jacobabad; honor killings are reported more in Quetta while Watta Satta is practiced more in Faisalabad and D.I. Khan. In Quetta the attitude of community members is more conventional and rigid. The district with highest level of awareness is Faisalabad particularly on the honor killing law, followed by Jacobabad. The main reasons for the prevalence of customary practices resulting in GBV are poverty and family disputes. The respondents


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

customary practices related to GBV. The data does not indicate any relationship between Islam and existing customary practices that lead to GBV. Although the public is clear on these views, influential religious leaders and traditional customs are so dominant that many people remain silent. Jirga/Punchait and honorable persons are the most influential stakeholders with regards to GBV practices in the widely practiced parallel legal system. In Quetta and D.I. Khan, Jirgas are the most influential while in Faisalabad and Jacobabad Punchait and honorable/respected members in the community play the most pivotal role in cases of customary practices that result in GBV. In D.I. Khan local councilors, Nazims, MPAs/MNAs are given precedence in taking decisions in GBV cases. The role of the police is very limited in cases of customary practices that lead to GBV; FIRs are not usually filed as they are perceived as bringing dishonor to the family. In Faisalabad and D.I. Khan factors such as personal characteristics and gender stereotyping contribute towards prevalent attitudes and behaviors related to GBV.

More conventional and rigid attitudes towards customary practices that result in GBV are found in Quetta and D.I. Khan. Owing to various stakeholders there is cautious optimism with respect to honor crimes. Wide spread literacy and awareness among the masses is perceived as the catalyst needed to bring change in prevalent customs and traditions. Overall, urban respondents are more optimistic about change in existing customs and traditions. Awareness-raising through media and other sources towards change exists but at a slow pace.

3.15 Recommendations Law enforcement agencies should become an effective partner to social services for the benefit of both institutions and the public. A need to expand referral systems, hotlines, availability of crisis centers, safe houses and shelters, especially in rural areas. Services for perpetrators of GBV (counseling and treatment) should be developed rather than focusing solely on services for the victims. Dire need for a dialogue with religious

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


scholars and Jirgas on a range of issues. Awareness campaigns aimed at prevention practices need to be initiated through capacity building workshops/trainings, advocacy, use of IEC material, media/communications campaigns and dissemination of research and best practices. Training of community paralegals to assist and advise GBV victims on legal recourse. Enhancing economic security for women through comprehensive planning. Programs and livelihood strategies targeting women should be built upon existing skills to meet market needs. Gender trainings to be made mandatory in the training of police officers including inservice training of currently serving officials and staff. Representation of women in the police force should be increased. Police stations should be women-friendly and adopt a rights-based approach to GBV issues with provision of information on support network and procedural guidelines. Gender sensitization against GBV should become part of school and university curricula.

Adolescent reproductive health and life skills education programs should necessarily include training for the prevention of GBV. A policy should be devised against depiction of GBV in the media as an acceptable everyday reality. Workshops need to be held for representatives of media to draw their attention to the extent and impact of the problem. Incentives such as awards should be instituted to encourage media initiative. The inclusion of gender issues in policies and access to sex disaggregated data. Partnerships between local government, women's groups, community, social institutions, judiciary and police should be promoted. Research is needed to identify causes, dynamics, and outcomes of GBV, including the effect of media; this will articulate how different forms of violence vary in outcomes depending on cultural context.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

4 Social and Legal Responses to Rape

A Primary Data Research Study Naghma Imdad
4.1 Introduction Gender based violence is a phenomenon prevalent all over the world. Deeply entrenched in the fabric of cultural, socio-economic and political power relationships, it subjugates women making them economically and emotionally dependent on a male protector. In the context of a male dominated society such as Pakistan, women are treated as a man's personal property and rape has become a means of not just violence against women but also a form of revenge to settle scores amongst men. In Pakistan more than half of rape cases remain unreported, unaccounted and unprosecuted. According to Aurat Foundation's (AF) fourth Annual Statistics of Violence against Women report, an alarming 827 women were subjected to rape or gang rape in 2011 while the reported cases of sexual assault were 110 indicating an increase of 48.65%. 4.2 Purpose of Study The purpose of this study is to benchmark existing knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (KAP) with respect to rape in Pakistan. Through men and women in the sampled communities and key informants such as rape victims, this study aims to collect primary data to assess the KAP regarding rape. Additionally, the study also investigates societal and legal responses to rape. Furthermore, the study also identifies the leading trends in the sampled population that promote or reinforce rape and sexual violence against women. And lastly, it makes recommendations based on the findings of the study for future Gender Equity Program (GEP) initiatives. The various forms of sexual violence covered in the study include sexual harassment, sexual abuse, attempted rape and rape. The primary focus is on rape of women including both adults

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


and minors. This includes rape by one person in public or private, gang rape in private and public, rape within marriage, rape in a romantic relationship, rape by familiar/known persons, rape by strangers, single incidence of rape and multiple rapes. 4.3 Sampling Design and Size The study has covered five districts in Pakistan. Namely, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad and Multan. The districts were handpicked by AF as those that report the highest cases of gender based violence (GBV), sexual violence and rape. For instance, Faisalabad has the highest number of rape cases in the country and Multan tops among all the districts of Southern Punjab for GBV. For the household (HH) survey, a sample of 350 HHs were selected from all five provinces which amounts to 70 HHs from each district. Overall, 700 persons were interviewed (350 males and 350 females). The HHs were selected randomly within each sub-settlement. 4.4 Key Stakeholders Qualitative in-depth interviews were held with police, lawyers, Chief Justices, prosecutors, officials in-charge of shelter homes, local government officials including legal-medical officers, representatives of Musalehti Committees, local Maulvis, local journalists, local councillors/Member of National Assembly

(MNA) and relevant Non-Government Organizations (NGO). Seven cases studies of survivors of rape and gang rape were conducted along with four cases studies of rapists. 4.5 Survey Findings Specific to the Profile of Respondents Approximately half of the respondents are between 25 to 40 years and another over one-fourth belong to the 40-60 years category. A large majority of the respondents are married to each other (68%) and residing in 'nuclear' family structures. Four-fifths of them are Muslims and 19% Christian. In terms of accessibility to sources of information, close to half of the respondents have access to newspapers with only 40% of them females in comparison to 60% males. Surprisingly, an overwhelming majority (79%) have access to television. However, it should be noted that in Multan only 29% have access to this medium of information. Considering that the survey areas are restricted to large cities, it is surprising that opportunities for literacy and education remain inaccessible to many. Overall, 30% of


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

the surveyed population is illiterate. The findings in relation to education show a huge gender gap as 59% females against 41% males are illiterate. 4.6 KAPs related to Rape The most common definition rendered to sexual violence against women has been "forcing and intimidating someone into sexual relations" (28% responses; 55% males and 45% females). One of the most important findings of this study is the failure on the part of respondents to differentiate between zina and zina-al-jabr. Close to one-third of respondents defined rape as "having sexual intercourse with someone, with consent but without being married to the person" as rape. Half of the respondents in Karachi and one-fourth in Faisalabad and Multan each defined rape in these terms. The existing gender parity of this definition of rape shows that this belief is so widespread that it has also been internalized by women. Another important finding of the study has been that although only 11% of respondents recognize marital rape, more males have recognized it as compared to females (52%

males and 48% females). Approximately 40% of the surveyed population estimate that rape is either 'common' or 'very common' in Pakistan (61% females compared to 39% males). The research conducted suggests that 'deserted places' in and around settlements are perceived by respondents to be most susceptible to sexual violence (50%). The next most susceptible place according to respondents is 'cultivated fields' (27%). It is significant to mention that one-fourth of respondents also admitted to their own home being a place where sexual violence is known to happen.

4.7 Protection and Vulnerability in Context to Rape When respondents were questioned regarding how to avoid rape from happening, their responses were geared towards curbing women's freedom rather than taking measures to secure their living spaces from perpetrators. As an illustration, 38% suggested that "women should never go out of their homes alone" while 35% said "women should never go out of their homes." Another 35% answered that "women should keep away from strangers" and 21% said "they should wear Burqa, when

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


going out." When asked who the most vulnerable victims of rape in their settlements were the overall results were: 24% minor girls, 22% young un-married girls, 12% minor boys, 12% married women, 7% everyone and 3% female servants. One-fourth of all respondents reported "forced sexual intercourse" as the most frequent type of sexual violence within marital relations (55% males and 45% females).The next most important type of sexual violence in marital relation identified was "undesirable/painful sex" reported by 18.5%. Additionally, "forced prostitution" as a type of sexual violence within marriage has also been reported by 14% of respondents.

One-fifth of all respondents named Maulvis of Madrassas as known rapists. Other groups identified were school teachers (16%), class fellows (16.5%) and family friends (12%).

4.9 Profile of Survivors/Victims of Rape According to 75% of respondents, the victims of rape in their settlements are mostly "unmarried" young girls. The main occupation of victims is students (34%), domestic workers (10%) and factory workers (8%).

4.10 Profile of Rapists Close to half of the respondents confirm that the rapists are between 31-50 years while another 27% confirm that rapists' ages vary from 18-30 years. As far as their occupations are concerned, 18% were described as businessmen, 15% as laborers, 9% as maulvis and office colleagues and employers by 8%. Another important finding of this study has been to reveal that contrary to popular belief, the poor are not more likely to rape. According to the survey findings, a better economic position provides the confidence

4.8 Knowledge about Susceptible Aggressors in own Community 57% with slightly more females than males identified 'strangers' as known rapists. However, if all the people and groups that come under the 'familiar' category are combined, their proportion is greater than that of strangers. For instance, 34% cited neighbors, 18% identified 'close/immediate family members' as possible rapists in their settlements. Additionally, 'colleagues in offices and factories' were identified by 18%.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

required to plot, execute and then deal with the financial consequences of rape if one gets caught. 4.11 Knowledge about Laws and Judicial Procedures An overwhelming majority of the respondents, three-fourths, with complete gender parity said that rape is a crime according to the laws of the country. When asked whether having sex with a girl of sixteen years with or without consent was a crime according to Pakistani laws, 51% said it was rape but an alarming 41% did not know the legal position on this matter. Only 4% chose not to answer the question.

(54%), fear of the victim being charged with zina (22%) and the threat of more violence against the victim (14%). 4.13 Police Reporting Survey findings reveal that 64% of respondents felt that the police should be informed of a rape incident. In fact, an overwhelming 86% of respondents in Faisalabad said that it should be done. Alarmingly police officials in Quetta who were interviewed said that it was considered as a "matter of great dishonour for a Thana to register a rape case" in their district. It is pertinent to mention here that 58% of respondents said that they did not know the responsibilities of a police officer (55% males and 45% females).

4.12 Disclosure of Rape When inquired if a victim should disclose their rape after the incident, an overwhelming majority of the respondents said it should be (77%) with only 16% disagreeing. In Quetta, about one-third did not think the incident needed to be disclosed immediately after its occurrence and surprisingly there were more females than males who held this point of view. The three main reasons for not disclosing a rape were that it would be 'dishonoring'

4.14 Medico-Legal Examination There is a high level of awareness regarding the crucial role of a medical examination after a rape. In Faisalabad 94% of respondents said a medical examination was necessary after a rape whereas in Quetta 84% thought the same. However, in Karachi 45% did not find it necessary with even fewer in Peshawar (43%). 4.15 Attitudes in Context to Rape

Attitudes, perceptions and values vary

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


considerably over districts making it hard to summarize the findings of the study. Overall, many 'rape myths' have been shattered while others have been reaffirmed. For instance, the myth that "rapes usually happen because men cannot control their sexual urges" has been reaffirmed by 69% of respondents. In the same sense, despite the responses from 'real life' rape cases from their settlements that give a clear picture of rapist profiles, most respondents continue to believe that, "usually, only young, unmarried boys commit rapes" (48%) and that "it is only strangers who commit rapes" (53%). In context to the legal procedures and protection systems, the responses of the respondents conform with the reality and knowledge on these matters. When asked whether "Pakistani laws provide full justice to survivors of rape" 47% disagreed and when asked whether "laws in Pakistan protect the rapist" 48% agreed. 4.16 Community's Response to Rape When asked whether the rapes in their settlements were zina or zina-bil-jabr most respondents identified them as rape with only 15% reporting that "everyone said it was zina with consent." As far as perpetuating factors for the rape were concerned, most responses were that the "rapist was of bad character" implying that the rape was not the fault or on

provocation of the victim. A few respondents did maintain that the "woman was of bad character" or the "victim was a school/college girl" implying that seeking an education was synonymous to inviting sexual violence such as rape. It is worth noting here that, one-fourth of respondents also admitted that rape victims suffer "social boycott" whereas close to onefifth stated that victims are often tortured both "mentally and physically." As far as reporting rape cases is concerned, 29% said that cases were not reported as the victim's family came under "pressure" to keep silent. 29% of respondents said rape cases were often not reported to police to salvage "honor" and another 16% stated that often a "mutual compromise" was reached between the victim's family and the rapist.

4.17 Impact on Survivor's Life Overall, 30% of respondents, mostly female, said that they "did not know" about the rape victim's response to the violent incident. One fourth of respondents reported that "she stabilized without falling to pieces" while other responses were far from encouraging.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

15% reported that "her education was stopped" and one-tenth of all respondents in Peshawar and Faisalabad stated that the victim lost her job.

danger to their young, unmarried girls are young unmarried boys when research reveals that most rapists are older middle-aged men who are often married themselves. 4.19 Recommendations An effort should be made to clear the confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the two words zina and zina-bil-jabr. The coining of a new word specifically for rape would help in this much needed clarification. More awareness needs to be created regarding rape, its victims, its perpetrators, places where it happens, the actions to take following a rape, police reporting and legal procedures. The media via television can prove to be an effective tool for educating the masses on this very important issue. Mobile phones can also be utilized for awareness-raising campaigns. A shift in public education focusing more on the "how" rather than the "why" regarding rape needs to take place so as to minimize moral judgments and encourage a more phenomenological approach. There is a need to (re) inform the masses that rapes are not a result of women's freedom of movement. Rapes can and do occur within the four walls of the home. Thus, curtailing women's movement is not the solution to preventing rape.

4.18 Conclusions The KAP study proves that there can be a discourse on a taboo topic such as rape as long as people are provided a platform and safe environment to discuss it. The wide response received from respondents has been possible as rape has been viewed in the broader context of sexual violence with the study investigating sexual violence against both genders. The findings of the study reveal that incest and rape by one's close relatives, family friends and neighbors exist at a much larger scale than previously thought. The prevailing confusion between zina and zina-bil-jabr i.e fornication and rape is one of the most alarming revelations of the study. The surveyed population's insistence that rapists are usually strangers and such incidents happen in deserted and unfamiliar places successfully protect two main actors, the victim and the rapist simultaneously. Society continues to fabricate and promote "rape myths" implying that the greatest

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) must demand new women friendly legislation. Reform is also required in the police and judicial departments so that citizens are rendered justice preferably in a prescribed time-frame. There is a dire need to investigate the murder of rape victims at the hands of their family members not only in Balochistan but across Pakistan. A detailed study on rape and sexual violence needs to be conducted in shelter homes, jails, prisons, mental hospitals and other state run or privately operated shelters that offer refuge to women. It is also recommended that a study of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and rape in Pakistan be conducted which in conjunction with other studies will render a more comprehensive picture of rape in Pakistan.


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

Internal Trafficking of Women 5 and Girls in Pakistan

A Research Study Maliha Hussein and Shazreh Hussain

5.1 Introduction This report presents the findings of a study commissioned by the Gender Equity Program (GEP) to examine the various aspects of internal trafficking of women and girls in Pakistan. The main purpose of the study is to help assess the enormity and pattern of internal trafficking in Pakistan. Additionally, the study also attempts to gauge the factors that are responsible for internal trafficking; identify the most vulnerable segments of the population and develop procedures that would prove to be most effective in curtailing this practice. This study has also reviewed a range of cultural practices and traditions such as Vani, Watta Satta and Swara with the view of including them under the broad definition of trafficking being used in this report as they involve compelled service, coercion and an element of force. This study was undertaken between April and July, 2012 by a two member

team with contributions from legal resources and field researchers in Southern Punjab. 5.2 Defining Trafficking The UN General Assembly defines human trafficking as "The illicit and clandestine movement of persons across national borders with the end goal of forcing women, girls and children into sexually oppressive and exploitative situations for profit for recruiters, traffickers and crime syndicate, as well as other illegal activities related to trafficking such as forced domestic labour, false marriages, clandestine employment and false adoption." The eight major forms of trafficking as stated in the United Nations (UN) Protocol against trafficking 2000 are forced labour, sex trafficking, bonded labour, debt bondage among migrant labourers, involuntary servitude, forced child labour, child soldiers and child sex trafficking.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


5.3 Methodology Secondary literature, interviews with key agencies working towards preventing trafficking and rehabilitating victims such as local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), media representatives reporting on trafficking, law enforcement agencies such as the police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and courts that try and bring the perpetrators to justice and the victims were consulted during this study to gain valuable insight regarding the existing knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) in context to internal trafficking. Additionally, the case study method was deployed to gain insight into the world of internal trafficking of girls and women. The study team was permitted to interview victims of internal trafficking via Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). And lastly, a market in Rajanpur in Southern Punjab that reportedly sells girls and women was also visited where a local field researcher spoke with women and key stakeholders in that area. 5.4 Key Constraints A clandestine activity linked to organized crime, political collusion and social cleavages, internal trafficking remains under reported as victims are reluctant to go to the authorities due to intimidation and fear of reprisals. Some of the key constraints associated with why it is so difficult to ascertain the amount of people that

have fallen prey to internal trafficking are: Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan render low priority to combating internal trafficking. Comprehension of trafficking amongst police officials is limited, their recognition of its existence is low and their capacity to monitor the crime and collect data in a systematic manner is weak. Unable to handle sensitive data with a degree of discretion, the police, often fail to make a distinction between the perpetrator and the victim which further confuses the manner in which reports are made, FIRs registered and data collected.

During the course of this research, it was noted that most of the cases dealt with by the FIA were connected to human smuggling and illegal immigration and a majority of this data focused on these issues rather than trafficking itself. 5.5 Literature Review There is a vast array of literature on human trafficking in Pakistan. Most of these reports have been undertaken in the past decade and are primarily based on studies and surveys commissioned by donors. There are no studies focusing specifically on internal trafficking, although some studies have focused on various aspects indirectly related to internal trafficking in Pakistan such as bonded labour and the culturally


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

sanctioned practices of Watta Satta, Vani, Swara and payment of bride price. While evidence of internal trafficking exists, it is difficult to assess the gender dimension of internal trafficking and quantify the number of girls and women affected by this practice. Additionally, it is also difficult to extract the number of girls from existing figures. As of 2001, the United States Department of State Office publishes an annual report on Trafficking in People (TIP). It offers an overview of the underlying forces associated with internal and external trafficking and how they impact men and women. Primarily dealing with external trafficking, the report outlines a series of recommendations which it classifies based on the different stages of trafficking such as prosecution of perpetrators, protection of victims and prevention. A study financed by the European Union and undertaken in collaboration with Action Aid provides a thorough analysis of illegal migration, human smuggling, and trafficking in Pakistan. It draws on interviews from 173 trafficking victims interviewed in the four project areas of Karachi, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan and Peshawar with additional interviews in Swabi.

report concludes that trafficking is mostly of women and children and is both cross border and internal. A research study on the Trends and Causes of Women Trafficking in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) was conducted as part of a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) funded project by an NGO named Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) in January 2010. This particular report shares invaluable information on trafficking in Chitral, an area notorious for this practice in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An NGO by the name of Sahil produces a publication entitled Cruel Numbers which renders data on the trends and patterns of sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Some of the cases referred to in the data focus on aspects of trafficking such as the practice of marrying off young girls for monetary gain by poor parents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Although these cases studies do not specifically deal with the issue of trafficking, they do however, highlight the fine line between certain cultural practices and internal trafficking. Society for Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) undertook a study in 2006 entitled "Fading Light: Study on Child Trafficking." The report draws attention to the lack of recognition regarding the

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have also examined internal trafficking in Pakistan. The IOM

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


complexities involving domestic child kidnapping, smuggling and trafficking in the country's existing laws. It also reveals that domestic child trafficking occurs from rural to urban areas for economic reasons. Furthermore, the study found that in the case of Pakistan, children are trafficked more for forced labour than sexual exploitation. 5.6 Review of Existing Legislation This section of the report seeks to give a critical analysis of existing legislation for trafficking in Pakistan. It also examines the various offences that fall under the umbrella of internal trafficking such as bonded labour, forced marriage child marriage, sexual exploitation and child trafficking. It is important to note that forced domestic labour is often accompanied with violence and rape. However, there is no all-encompassing law designed to tackle the different facets associated with internal trafficking. Thus, when internal trafficking takes place in Pakistan, it is first incumbent upon the police to identify the specific law applicable so that the offender can be prosecuted under it. As an illustration, there are many sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which explicitly prohibit actions that often accompany internal trafficking. Some of these sections deal with procuring a minor girl (Section 366), importing a girl under twenty-one from a foreign country (section 366), and selling a girl for prostitution (section 371). The PPC also covers cases of

kidnapping, abducting or inducing women to compel for marriage, etc. (section 365). Some of the laws examined in this section are as follows: The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006 seeks to amend some of the provisions in the Hudood Ordinances. For instance, it removes the crime of rape from the Hudood Ordinances and inserts it in the PPC. Prior to this, rape victims were required to produce four male witnesses to the crime. Victims who were unable to meet this stringent evidentiary requirement automatically incriminated themselves for charges of fornication or adultery. The Protection of Women Act prohibits charging women with fornication for offences where they cannot prove their "absence of consent." The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2011, seeks to eliminate anti-women customary practices. It is considered by some as a weak piece of legislation since it reduces the current punishment for some offences. For instance, the punishment for marrying off girls and women to settle disputes has been lowered to up to three years imprisonment in the proposed bill. Child marriages remain a problematic area to legislate in Pakistan. The main reason for this pertains to the age of maturity which under Islamic law is puberty, while in other


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

legislation it is between the ages of 16 to 18. The Child Restraint Act of 1929 penalizes those involved in different aspects of child marriages, including parents and husband etc. However, it fails to declare the marriages null, thereby allowing them to continue with a minimal, out-dated punishment. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill treats the beating of wife, children and/or domestic helpers as a crime against the state as opposed to a domestic affair. If found guilty, perpetrators can receive a minimum punishment of six months and a fine of at least 100,000 rupees. The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992, and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules, 1995 prohibit and prescribe the punishment for bonded labour. The Act explicitly defines peshgi (or advance), bonded debt, bonded labour and nominal wages. It considers any work done against peshgi as bonded labour prescribing a punishment of two to five years and a fine of 50,000 rupees for convicted violators. The Employment of Children Act (ECA), 1991, defines a child as any person below the age of fourteen. It prohibits the employment of children in specific sectors. The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2002 (PACHTO) renders a detailed definition of human

trafficking. It has been criticized for solely focusing on trafficking in and out of Pakistan and not addressing issues of internal trafficking. It is important to note that the FIA does not consider internal trafficking as part of its mandate. 5.7 Review of Press, Police and Court Cases It is pertinent to note that press reports usually highlight cases of external trafficking. Culturally sanctioned practices of trafficking such as cases of bonded labour, forced labour, domestic servitude, bride price and swara are not reported unless they become high profile cases taken up by human rights organizations. The print media mostly focuses on external trafficking reports that are usually sourced from press releases prepared by CSOs, coverage of special events organized by CSOs funded by donor organizations, interviews or statements issued by Government representatives, reports that are unearthed as a result of special investigations undertaken by the police, reports of court cases from a list of cases on human trafficking or high profile cases that gain global media attention. A simple web search on human trafficking in Pakistan renders 1.1 million results while a search on the trafficking of women and girls gives 49,600 results; a strong indicator of the lopsided reporting between external and internal trafficking although the latter remains a bigger problem.

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


In regards to internal trafficking, the main function of the federal and provincial government is to register the FIRs in response to a report of an event or criminal incident brought to their attention. It is the duty of the police to register the FIR without any delay. Non-registration of an FIR is an offense and can be grounds for disciplinary action. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reports that a complainant may have to resort to bribery to ensure the FIR is registered while the accused may attempt to offer bribery to stop an FIR from being registered. Some of the leading causes of why FIRs are not registered are: Corruption on the part of the complainant or the police officer. Police officers neglecting to register an FIR to give the impression of a low crime rate in their region. A flawed procedure under which police twist facts to classify a complaint under a cognizable or non-cognizable offense depending on where their sympathies lie.

made to ascertain whether the females being 'managed' by the pimp were victims of trafficking. The absence of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide police investigations. Additionally, the lack of training on such issues and procedures detrimentally affects police investigations.

5.8 Profiles of Trafficking This report focuses on twelve case studies that serve to deconstruct the myths that surround trafficking. Interviews with victims of human trafficking render insightful facts about trafficking: Traffickers are not always strangers but can also be parents, step-parents, brothers, close male and female relatives, neighbors and friends. The strategies they use are not limited to force and coercion but can also entail a potent mix of social customs, religion, love, poverty, bribery and alliances with influential and powerful people. The ages of girls and women trafficked can range from two to fifty years. The trend of trafficking in Pakistan is not only about girls and women being trafficked from poverty-stricken areas to urban centers. Girls have been known to be

Inadequate training for police which negatively affects their performance in terms of registering and non-registering cases of internal trafficking. As an illustration, the booking of traffickers and prostitutes under the same section of the PPC with no effort


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

trafficked from Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad to South Punjab and Baluchistan. Victims of trafficking are often lured on the pretext of better employment or marriage while others are kidnapped from right outside their homes. Even though victims of internal trafficking may be recovered and reunited with their families; they are usually stigmatized by society upon their return.

Many incidents of internal trafficking are never reported and hence never caught. Even when cases are reported, those that concern illegal immigrants are registered under different crimes instead of being consolidated under trafficking. Certain cultural practices that are closely linked to internal trafficking are so widespread and accepted that they are not viewed as trafficking and hence never reported. Most of the research conducted on trafficking in Pakistan is anecdotal. While several studies have been conducted on the national and district level, the number of girls and women trafficked for domestic labour, forced marriages or sexual exploitation is very difficult to ascertain from these reports.

5.9 Dynamics of Internal Trafficking Pakistan is classified as a Tier 2 country in the Trafficking in People Report (TIP) published by the United States Department of State in 2011. Tier 2 countries are not fully compliant with Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), but are in the process of introducing measures to meet its requirements. Primarily concerned with external trafficking, this report states that Pakistan is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Having taken some positive measures to curb trafficking, Pakistan has now been removed from the Tier 2 watch list of the US State Department. There is no official data about the magnitude of trafficking into, out of or within Pakistan. Some of the reasons for why data related to trafficking is not consolidated are:

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) there are at least 12.3 million adults and children in forced labour, bonded labour and commercial sexual servitude at any given time. At least 1.39 million of these people are victims of sexual exploitation, both transnationally and within countries. Furthermore, 56% of all forced labour victims are girls and women. Given the close links between poverty, vulnerability, displacement and trafficking, it is likely that trafficking will be on the rise in

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


Pakistan. In recent years, natural disasters, conflict and rising insecurity have displaced scores from their households. More than half a million Pakistanis remain displaced due to floods in Sindh in 2010 and approximately one million remain internally displaced by armed conflict. A national survey on internally displaced people (IDP) found that this particular group is most at risk of trafficking owing to their dire economic circumstances. It is hard to ascertain the location of internal trafficking. However, it is clear that it exists in some form or another in all districts across Pakistan. Pakistan's largest human trafficking problem is believed to be bonded labour, in Sindh and Punjab, mainly for agriculture and brick making but also in mining, carpet-making, the glass bangle and fishing industries. In addition to this, boys and girls are also bought, sold, rented and kidnapped to work in begging rings, domestic servitude and prostitution. Some are sold into forced marriages and moved across Pakistani borders after being sold into prostitution. It is important to note here that poverty often forces parents to become complicit in the crime of trafficking. It is not uncommon for parents to accept payment and compensation in lieu of their children. 5.10 Profile of Victims Studies suggest that in Pakistan, females belonging to the Bengali, Afghan Pashtun, and Hazara ethnic groups are trafficked the most.

The Bengali ethnic group represents 33 percent of female trafficking victims. According to the IOM-Raasta (2005) study some key characteristics of victims of trafficking are: Young girls from poverty-stricken families are the most vulnerable group. Victims of war torn areas. Female victims of domestic violence. Indebted families and young boys from large, poor and landless families.

5.11 Factors that Contribute to Trafficking Human trafficking thrives on circumstances of poverty, desperation, discrimination, corruption, deceit, trickery, violence, political conflict and criminality. A victim of human trafficking may be male or female belonging to any age, race, ethnicity and nationality. There are a number of factors that sustain this practice: Perpetrators are confident that they will not be caught and hence never be prosecuted and punished. Gender inequality and gender based violence influence the patterns of vulnerability, recruitment and control over trafficked victims. Poor families seeking employment


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

opportunities for themselves or their children often fall prey to internal trafficking due to lack of awareness regarding procedures to verify the authenticity of employment agencies and recruitment methods. Poor families often sell their daughters in marriage to benefit from the dower money, bride price and also to decrease their household expenditure. It is estimated that 40 percent of girls are married before the age of 18 and an additional 13 percent by age 15.

acquire cash free loans. The Government currently runs 44 women's shelters which include 26 government funded Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women's Centers and numerous provincial government "Dar-ul-Amans (DuAs)."

The various donors that have funded programs to encourage gender equality in Pakistan include: The Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) Programme for the Advancement of Gender Equality (PAGE) which is a seven year program focused on enabling CSOs and government to strengthen, accelerate and influence gender related policies in Pakistan. The Department for International Development (DFID) has rendered support via the Gender Justice and Protection project which aims at tackling violence against women through a change in mindset. The European Commission has also funded a project entitled Promotion of Rights, Capacity Building Measures and Initiatives to Curb Illegal and Temporary Migration Including Human Smuggling and Trafficking (C-PRISM). The aim of the program is to increase awareness regarding issues of Illegal Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking and also to support national and international efforts to reduce and prevent

5.12 Response to Trafficking by the Government, Donors, International Organizations and Civil Society The various actions taken by the government of Pakistan to curtail trafficking include: The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has designed a plan to monitor and track external trafficking cases and provide means of identification and other services to victims. The Federal Government now provides legal aid to bonded labourers in all provinces. The Punjab Government launched a project in 2008 to eliminate bonded labour. Through this initiative the Punjab Government has assisted 3,237 bonded labourers obtain identity cards and 1,906 bonded labourers

Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan


their occurrences. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is implementing a project to strengthen the government's capacity to counter the trafficking of women. Funded by DFID, the project focuses on developing a database of trafficking victims and establishing trends related to trafficking, capacity building of law enforcement officials by developing curriculum for their training, review and strengthening of existing anti-trafficking laws, awareness raising and sensitization of parliamentarians, judges, lawyers & journalists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the assistance of an NGO and the recovery of Bengali and Nepalese women languishing in jail who are actually victims rather than perpetrators of trafficking. Currently, approximately 2,000 women are imprisoned throughout Pakistan on such wrongful charges. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, Ansar Burney Trust, Sahil, Rozan, Aurat Foundation, Shirkat Gah and Madadgar are just some CSOs working on various aspects of human trafficking in Pakistan. Dastak a shelter for women in Lahore was established by Asma, Gulrukh, Hina, Shahla (AGHS) Legal Aid Cell in 1990. It is the only shelter in the country that provides protection without using custodial restraint and compromising on women's right to liberty. Other organizations like Rozan have set up a network to develop SOPs for centers and shelters in order to standardize care and support

for female victims of violence. 5.13 Recommendations on Action Plan The factors that assist internal trafficking to thrive in Pakistan include criminal intent, financial gain, poverty, illiteracy, patriarchal views and injustices imbedded in deeply held beliefs and customs in context to women. Additionally, lack of reporting and a failure to enforce existing laws that may lead to the prosecution of traffickers further encourage this menace to continue unchecked. The findings of this report show that internal trafficking is not confined to a specific geographical location but rather exists in all corners of Pakistan without any indication of a clear pattern. While some forms of trafficking are prevalent in certain provinces in Pakistan, such as, bonded labour in Sindh and forced marriages in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is clear that human trafficking is most likely to occur in areas where there is a concentration of illegal migrants and/or internally and externally displaced individuals owing to natural disasters or political and social conflicts. An effective strategy to curtail trafficking must have a two thronged approach (i) focus on a range of institutions that can play a key role in curbing human trafficking across the country, (ii) assist a specific target group focus on districts that show high levels of a certain type of trafficking. Based on the research conducted on the trend


Researching Aspects of Gender Based Violence in Pakistan

of internal trafficking in Pakistan, following are some recommendations that may prove to be effective tools to curb this practice: Capacity building of the print and electronic media to increase awareness, encourage policy reform and enforce existing laws related to trafficking. Foster a change in mindset in the police via capacity building so that there is a better comprehension of issues related to trafficking. Building links between the police and journalists to highlight the issue of trafficking without undermining the position of the victim. The inclusion of internal trafficking cases into PACHTO 2002. Strengthening the capacity of CSOs and providing financial assistance to International NGOs to target specific interventions related to internal trafficking. Supporting various shelters such as the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women's Centres (SBBWCs) so that they can serve as a model to support future victims.

Increasing law enforcement activities. Imposing adequate criminal punishment for labour and sex traffickers. Investigating and prosecuting government officials suspected of being complicit in cases of trafficking. Convicting public officials at all levels who participate in or facilitate human trafficking including bonded labour. Strengthening counter-trafficking legislation. Raising awareness and increasing enforcement of the provisions of the Bonded Labour System Abolition Act (BLSA) among law enforcement officers. Improving methods for identifying victims of trafficking, especially among vulnerable persons. Ensuring that the federally run SBBWCs continue to be managed as spaces where victims can receive assistance. Undertaking local-language awareness campaigns.

Following are the measures the Government must undertake to curtail trafficking:

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