A Pakistan-based advocacy group has revealed that the media groups in the country are reporting much fewer cases of violence against women in eastern Punjab province.
During the first six months of this year, 6,754 women were kidnapped and 1,890 raped, while 3,721 cases of violence against women were registered in Punjab province, Dawn reported citing the Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) report.
The report points to 752 cases of child abuse were registered in the eastern province while 34 women rape cases were registered in Islamabad. However, only 27 cases were highlighted in the media.
According to the report, Lahore was the hotspot district in Punjab and has highest number of cases of rape, violence against women, kidnapping, domestic violence and child abuse. The data in the SSDO report is based on information provided by English and Urdu print media and through access to official registered cases.
Shahid Jatoi, Director of the SSDO, said that the lack of proper space in media over the subject was a more alarming trend.
"The less reporting in media compared to the official data suggests lack of attention over such issues by media over the alarming situation about the state of human rights violations of women and children in Punjab and ICT," Jatoi added, as quoted by Dawn.
Earlier this year, the annual report on the human rights situation in the country raised alarm over the plight of women in Pakistan.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report painted a concerning picture of the women's rights situation in the country. It highlighted an array of issues impacting the marginalised communities in Pakistan.
According to the report, the gender disparity is witnessed even in subcategories of crimes, including, for instance, persecution of religious minorities, with issues such as forced conversions being witnessed. Other human rights abuses to target women include child marriage and honour killings, which even though impact men as well, are largely centered on controlling and subjugating women according to experts.