Rape in Pakistan Is a Huge Problem

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In the past few decades, rape in Pakistan has become a serious issue. It is such a huge problem that the United States is not doing anything to help. The main reason the US is not helping is that many people do not know how serious this problem is. It is difficult to get statistics on abuse and rape from Pakistan. Since their government is very religion based, they do not always treat it as a crime. Pakistani people tend to be very religious, therefore they go along with the government and do not see rape the way we do (Ashfaq). Many rapes in Pakistan go unpunished, thanks to a set of religious based rules put in place in 1979 called the Hudood ordinances. These laws make it legal to harshly restrict and punish women for small crimes or even sins. One particularly restrictive law legalizes intense punishment to women for Zina (adultery and fornication), Zina-Bil-Jabr (rape), and Qazf (accusing one of rape). This means that if a minor or married woman reports a rape, they could be stoned or whipped to death, imprisoned, forced to pay a fine, or all of these combined (Ashfaq). According to section eight of the ordinances, if one wants to prove a rape, they must have “…at least four Muslim adult male witnesses, about whom the court is satisfied… and who are truthful persons and abstain from major sins, give evidence as eyewitnesses of the act of penetration necessary to the offense…” (Flanders). This law alone makes it extremely difficult for one to prove their rape, and yet there are eight more. There are thousands of rapes in Pakistan every day. Most recent statistics show that between 1997 and 1988 the percentage of women arrested for Zina went up 3000% (Ashfaq). Hundreds of women per year spend time in prison for this same reas... ... middle of paper ... ...aking it to an actual court . “ Arranging a meeting with the SSP or the DM is virtually impossible” (Hassan). If by chance a woman gets to court she will need a very good lawyer, as most rape cases are simply dismissed. She will also probably not be able to defend herself. The female literacy rates in Pakistan can be as low as 2% (Allen). Women are simply not respected in court, and usually do not count as witnesses to rape because in court they are seen as less than men (Ashfaq). Overall, rape in Pakistan is at an all-time high, and women are paying the price. There was, however, a law passed in 2006 called the Women’s Protection Bill. The bill makes it slightly easier for women to prove rape, as it allows women eyewitnesses among other positive laws. The possibility alone of rape becoming less of an issue is enough to give hope to women and everyone concerned.

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