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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Domestic Violence Against Women In Pakistan ; Causes and Effects In 21st Century

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Introduction:

With its different forms, domestic violence has been a sort of ritual worldwide. Throughout history, women have been seen as inferior to men. She was domesticated, objectified, and kept only for man’s sexual pleasure and bringing up babies.

Through systemic sexism, the purpose of her existence was limited to doing tiring domestic chores, giving birth to babies, and rearing them. With her fundamental rights as a human snatched, she was physically battered and mentally traumatized.

Thanks to the feminist struggle in the mid-20th Century, helped women achieve the status of human beings. Starting from suffrage, many fundamental rights were rendered to women, and laws were enforced to curb suffering and Violence against women in Pakistan.

Nonetheless, the disappointing fact is, in most countries even today, in the 21st Century, a woman is confined into four walls of the house with a man of her father’s choice, suffering through varied syndromes, without financial independence, and her expression of Will in decision-making.

Although the world has maneuvered its way into the acme of human rights preservation, domestic Violence has unfortunately been continuing relentlessly to take a heavy toll on the frailty of women.

In the wake of Covid-19, domestic Violence against women in Pakistan and other countries reportedly increased in the face of social isolation and economic stress of working from home. In Europe, within two weeks of lockdown, an exponential number of calls made to domestic violence helplines were reported. Domestic Violence against women in Pakistan and cyber harassment cases in Pakistan has increased rapidly.

Forms Of Violence and their Effects on Women :

Domestic Violence is broadly categorized into three forms: psychological, sexual assault and physical. Psychological Violence encompasses a range of acts such as name-calling, insulting and blackmailing that affect women mentally and emotionally.

From issuing threats to forcibly isolating her, man uses different bad tactics to control and dominate women. Many a man uses disinformation tactics, distorts facts, and withholds information to inflict torture on a woman.

Additionally, the use of children, such as snatching away and physically attacking them, by man is often used as a tool to drive a woman into doing what she doesn’t want to. Economic dependence on men is yet another problem for women. Man wields control over resources, e.g., food, shelter, clothing, transportation and money, implying that woman is forced to remain in an abusive relationship.

Sexual abuse Types signs and Treatments:

Sexual abuse types signs and treatments are as under:

Sexual assault as a form of domestic violence occurs in different circumstances. It implies a woman being sexually assaulted. Many a woman is not asked about her Will in choosing her partner; she is forcibly married off to the man she doesn’t even know. In the normal case scenario, the woman isn’t asked by her partner for her consent to intercourse. She is expected to satisfy her husband in whatsoever situation she is sexual.

According to a newspaper report, over two-thirds of men are immersed in non-consensual sex with their partners. Many a time, because her partner keeps extramarital affairs, woman suffers through the inability to reach her orgasm. In the worst-case scenario, the female partner is driven into forced exposure to pornography for the satisfaction of her man. Other than these issues, forced pregnancy and abortion are prevalent in most developing societies worldwide.

A woman being a childbearing machine can’t be denied either, in the Islamic world especially Pakistan, as the 2020 World Population Report by the US Population Bureau estimates the rapid growth of population with an annual fertility rate of 3.6 children. Child sexual abuse is also a form of sexual abuse.  Children between the age group of 5 to 14 are more vulnerable to child sexual abuse.

Rape Punishment in Islam:

Rape punishment in Islam is severe and one who commits this heinous crime is stoned to the death. Rape punishment in Islam is the best way to punish the culprits. Islam never tolerates such heinous crimes. Every Islamic country must follow the rape punishment which is mentioned in Islam.

Physical Violence is a severe form of domestic Violence that calls for urgent redress. Beating, kicking, hair grabbing and acid-throwing which cause physical damage to the human body, come in this category. Women in our society where there is a lack of awareness about a sense of freedom and self-worth are often subjected to such Violence to extract something of man’s interest.

Read More:The Long Term Effect of Child Abuse

Or on trifles, without giving a second thought to the problem, men get severe and find peace in inflicting physical Violence on their women. According to statistics reported by the United Nations, one in three women has experienced physical or sexual assault at some point in life.

Acid Survivor Foundation Pakistan, a non-governmental organization, reported 73 cases of acid attacks in 2016 in Pakistan, 52% decline from 2014 when 153 issues of the same nature were reported. Such a grave situation, in a country where an effective monitoring system, legislation against the Violence of women, and provision of facilities to the survivors are lacking, depicts where we stand in terms of protecting women and their rights.

Causes of Domestic Violence :

One of the most underlying reasons for domestic Violence is patriarchy. A plethora of studies suggests that the patriarchal mindset of people has led them to inflict mental torture on the woman to restrain her freedom of expression and choice.

Owing to the patriarchal structure of our society and the unequal distribution of power between men and women, many women have to endure discriminatory behavior, abusive language, and violent acts at home.

The wide disparity between man’s and woman’s education is another prominent cause of Domestic Violence. Since inflicting Violence by man reeks of his power over resources, a woman’s inability to earn a handsome amount of money holds her back from speaking against the oppression.

Should the woman be educated, can do a job, and share capital in running families, she would be independent in decision-making, ergo unscathed from man’s violent actions? Parents seldom invest in girls’ education because they think she won’t make the most of her education as she will soon be married off.

According to the Global Gender Gap Index Report 2020, Pakistan ranked 151 out of 153 countries, particularly 143 in educational attainment, by which the worst situation that can later fuel domestic Violence can be understood. Snatching away the right of a female to education has repercussions as she continues facing domestic abuse.

Another reason for domestic Violence is financial and economic instability that runs deep through the impoverished population of Third World countries. Especially in the Islamic world, quagmires of unemployment, inflation and overpopulation are prevalent. Working of a woman outside her house is considered a ‘dishonor but money that a man earns after a day’s work is insufficient to meet the expenditures of a family.

Although a woman with her man compromises on many issues like shopping, hygienic food, fruit, etc., when she sees her children hungry, she can’t bear that and starts fighting with her partner. Pangs of hunger and lack of job opportunities create a sense of frustration and discomfort in her, leading to clashes that often end up in divorces.

In Pakistan, domestic violence is predominantly the bane of inequality between income and expenditure. Domestic Violence in Pakistan has increased so much that it is now considered a normal activity. If Violence is culturally supported, it will fuel more Violence and become a norm and reinforced in society. Suppose we peep into the past to know how the woman was domesticated and snatched off her rights.

In that case, we find that she was considered only a childbearing machine during the agrarian period, an important asset used for bringing up babies, readying them to work in the fields. When there came no resistance from her, she was enclosed into four walls of the house.

First, her freedom of action was curbed; her activities and roles reduced to bringing up babies and domestic engagements; then restrictions in lashings came upon women. Since then, albeit with the help of feminist struggle, a lot of improvement has been noticed in the condition of women. Similar restrictions in most areas, however, continue taking heavy toll on the women without social censure and backlash.

Witnessing or suffering Violence also gives rise to domestic Violence. In big nuclear families and densely-populated areas, male children are often involved in quarrels and bad activities. Being frustrated with them, their parents use harsh behavior, such as beating, to control them.

This causes a fateful effect on their behavior in their married life. According to Nancy Chodorow, an imminent feminist and author of the ‘Reproduction of Mothering’, boys and girls learn their gender roles from infancy, as boys imitate their fathers having social power and dominance, and girls imitate their mothers being submissive and vulnerable to attacks.

In similar vein, parents’ strategy to control their children’s behavior through coercive measures results in their using oppressive behavior; witnessing and suffering family violence turns out to be the bane of using Violence. Through this vicious cycle, domestic Violence becomes rampant.

Strategies to Eliminate Domestic Violence :

Amidst a steep rise in domestic Violence, most females are unable to get legal representation as it has become expensive and difficult; therefore, the perpetrators of domestic violence are no more fearful of going through the trial and being legally tried for the crime. In order to eliminate domestic abuse, every victim should have easy access to legal counsel to redress injustice in case of divorce from an unhealthy relationship.

Legal counsels should be available for the victims on state expense. Domestic violence help lines, shelter homes and protection officers for legal and medical and social aid are supposed to be available at the victims’ earliest convenience, as they are in the premium in most of the developing countries like Pakistan.

In this way, survivors of Violence at the hands of their male partners can be encouraged to raise voice against and fight injustice done to them, and this crime can be reduced to low.

As in educational institutions, there is wide discrepancy regarding the gender roles; girls are taught and chosen for the roles that show their vulnerability and the roles boys are taught aim at their strength and dominance. Preference to boys over girls can result in dominating behaviour of boys, which then turns out to be the reason of domestic Violence.

If sense of gender equality is bred into students, it will create a sense of equality everywhere, men would give respect to women, and women in cases of Violence would be able to give a befitting response to men. The promotion of gender equality can give way to improvement in deteriorating conditions of women, as is evident from urban areas.

Along with this, the factor that exacerbates the situation is the prevailing ignorance in society. Man isn’t well switched on to woman rights, thus inflicting damage on her life seems to him a normal activity. Similarly, a woman is not aware of her rights being snatched off by society. Had the man been educated, he could have awareness concerning the rights of women.

That plenty of male partners don’t have the realization of their woman’s sufferings and how merely an abusive, daunting remark can hurt her as she leaves her father’s luxurious home where she has everything available on-demand, creates a problem in the society. If a man is socialized about the ways he should behave with her woman, it can bring improvement in a woman’s mental health and result in the decline of domestic abuse cases.

For this, the onus lies on the incumbent government of that particular state, to introduce educational programs for men particularly, as they are perpetrators, in order that importance of women as human beings can be induced in their minds and that woman is not only married for seeing to babies and doing tiring chores, confined into four walls of the home with monotony and boredom.

One of the most prominent strategies to end domestic abuse is to formulate laws that put a ban on early marriages and premature pregnancies and that prevent men from wreaking Violence against women.

Early marriages of girls imply that they are susceptible to Violence and they became the victim of child sexual abuse, and forcible, premature pregnancy is the leading cause of death of women. Although such laws exist, implementation in a true sense is missing; there is an urgent need for reforms. Once a woman, after dealing with constraints, becomes able to lodge a complaint against, her man, she is unable to bring behind bars due to legal d social constraints.

In e first instance, she is not taken seriously, her problem is considered only a domestic issue blown off. Later she is confronted with pursuing her case, for which she requires money to hire a legal counsel and time as our social justice system is in shambles.

Moreover, she is disparaged in society for going against her man’s Will. Such a situation necessitates the laws to criminalize domestic Violence and show seriousness to the issue setting heavy penalties in terms of imprisonment and fine for abusers.

Conclusion:

violence has long been prevalent in the world; every part of it is full of cases of Violence done to women by her intimate partner. It is an ill practice to reduce a woman to a mere object who they think doesn’t need a word of sympathy and has no feelings.

Although awareness has reached in most urban areas, a woman has realized that she is born equal to man in almost all respects and that she is not only made to measure always up to man’s expectations, in exchange for financial support of man yet in rural areas, the woman continues worrying about whether doing a particular act would make her male partner content.

At this critical situation, the woman needs awareness of every kind of thing by which she can be exploited by her intimate partner. Once a woman knows that she is being exploited, she should be helped in every way possible to help her escape mental trauma.

In this way, a man’s obsession to control and dominate a woman’s behavior and activities can be belittled and a woman can have a sense of freedom which implies a sign of being a human.

 

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