PAKISTANI WOMEN SUFFER MANY INDIGNITIES

						PAKISTANI WOMEN SUFFER MANY INDIGNITIES

 Times of India Aug,5,1992
 The Times of India News Service
 NEW DELHI, Aug 4:

	Women of Indian subcontinent suffer disrespect and indignity, Ms Asma
Jhangir, secretary-general of the Human Rights Association of Pakistan said
here yesterday.

	Delevering a lecture on the "Role and position of women of Pakistan," she
said the women there have suffered by not being active in politics. But,
expressing hope, she said they have major contribution in stopping the
complete Islamisation of Pakistan, and with the world changing, they would not
lay behind, she added. The lecture was organised by India-Pakistan friendship
society.

	Ms Jahangir said women the world over faced the difficulty of having to
prove the offence of rape. But in Pakistan, if the police thought the woman
had agreed to the sexual act, she became a co-accused , and so very few rape
cases are reported.

	Giving an instance, she said a blind girl, Safiya Bibi, was raped by her
employer and his son. She concieved. After the child was born, the doctor at
the hospital urged her father to file a case. But little did he realise that
she would be sent to prison for three years and subjected to 75 lashes as
punishment while the accused went free.

	The most tragic case is of a 13 year old orphan, Jhamina. She was raped by
her uncle and his son. A distant relation filed a case. The court held her
guilty and gave her 100 lashes in public. The case went in the apeal to the
federal shariat court. The judges said: " For the sake of mercy,"the sentence
was reduced to 20 lashes and three years imprisonment. After completing her
sentence, she went back to her village. But said Ms Jahangir, she has not
spoken a word since then to anybody, she pretends to be deaf

	There have been instances of policemen raping women and then arresting them
for running a brothel. In another case, a 60-year-old woman was raped by a
policeman. He was not convicted . But the woman had to fight two years to
defend her honour.



	The law is open to exploitation. But as it exists in the name of religion,
it cannot be changed, she said.

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