Pakistan is ranked 151 out of 153 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index Report 2020. Last year, according to official statistics at least 11 rape cases were reported each day, with over 22,000 cases filed in the last six years. Out of these, tens of hundreds of cases are gang-raped cases. According to another report, eight children are abused every day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with a four percent increase in 2020 compared to 2019.
A leading newspaper citing the FIA record reveals that more than 6,000 complaints are submitted to the federal investigation agency cybercrime wing in Lahore during the current year. So far, of all the reports, only 0.3% of the accused have been convicted in the last year. This shows the outright failure of the incumbent government regarding gender-based violence, the safety of women, and child abuse. These cases have continuously increased in Khan’s government. However, instead of taking strong measures for the curtailment of sexual crimes, Prime Minister Imran Khan has frequently passed irresponsible comments on the dresses of women.

Notwithstanding, according to an investigation, conducted by a leading media channel, only 41% of cases are reported to the police. These are the statistics that have been registered while there are innumerable incidents that are not reported in the villages. Despite the prevailing ‘Purdah’ and the like safety measures taken by the women, they have still fallen to the prey of harassers. Even the children aging five have undergone the savagery of men. It depicts the flawed law and order system as well as social standards of the society, which uphold honor above humanity.

The silence on the part of society regarding such incidents not only hampers the concerned authorities to exterminate the evil but also encourages the rapists for committing further assaults. A large faction of society even favors the rapists, directly or indirectly, by blaming the victims. A living example is the recent Ayesha Akram incident when four hundred young boys harassed her with impunity. Following the incident, social media flooded with people blaming Ayesha for provocative dresses and TikTok videos. These people staged another excuse that the girl put her humiliation before hundreds of men for gaining fame. No girl can put her honor and life at stake to gain fame. However, this was not the first case, and neither can be the last one of the kindred if the public kept blaming victims.

Women now feel more insecure as the men who are living with them protect the rapists by throwing all the blame upon the women. Even the head of the government doesn’t feel any sympathy towards women rather Mr. Imran Khan feels ‘purdah’ something that can protect the life and sanctity of women. Premier’s suggestion, however, doesn’t work for children – as children can’t be covered in Burkas. Recently, Prime Minister referring to the 14 August incident said, “a big reason for the destruction we’re seeing is that our children are not being brought up properly”. While addressing Punjab Education Convention he criticized the English educational system and mobile phones for the rise of such heinous crimes.

However, as a matter of fact, in the last decades, the rate of rape cases was not as high as it is now and the English education system is not a reason that has produced a rape-sicken society as previous generations, including the PM himself, have grown in the same educational system. Nevertheless, instead of taking strong measures against the rising harassments and sexual assaults, Mr. Khan went on – lauding SNC and – political point-scoring while employing a new cause as the main reason for the destruction the country is faced with. It clearly indicates the lack of sincerity and seriousness on the part of Imran Khan and his government regarding the continuous onslaught of women’s rights and liberty.

A woman who is raped physically by an individual or a gang, in our society, is raped again and over again mentally and morally by the whole nation. Though be they religious and political leaders or a layman. The victim-blaming narrative has exclusively protected the culprits and encouraged the potential harassers to further their vileness as the blame, somehow, will be laid upon the victim.

Religious figures instead of speaking against the malady, have now and then blamed women for their dresses, declaring them as provocative, whereas they forget that In the Arab Emirates, which is a Muslim country, women dance late at night in the streets, and wear half cloths in Turkey, Malaysia, and other Muslim countries but still the ratio of sexual crimes is far lower than that of us. Such backing the culprits by religious and political figures – though indirectly – may lead to a time when the women will not be safe inside their homes.

The incumbent government should take some actions on the grassroots level by urging the clergies to condemn the sexual harassers in strong words without blaming the dresses and motives of the women. Secondly, the religious leaders should also shed light on the religious duties of men and that man is in no case exempted if found guilty of harassing a woman. In any case, he has to control himself as well as his fellow beings from committing sexual crimes as per the injunctions of Islam. Thirdly, on the societal level, the values regarding the honor of women need to be rationalized as rape doesn’t degrade a woman but the man. The government should also understand that it is not only the legislature and executive that can control such crimes but many other things must be employed in eliminating the evil from the society.