The World Health Organization defines violence as:
“The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation”.
WHO has declared violence against women both a public health problem and a violation of human rights.
Violence against women is of many types and has many faces. Also called Gender-based violence, public health experts around the world have called it the “Hidden Epidemic”. (ref)
Violence against women is an age-old practice but it was only in the last decade of the 20th century that it got recognition as a serious human rights issue.
Violence is broadly classified into two categories: Social violence that occurs in public places and usually between strangers and Domestic violence that occurs in households and usually between relatives.
It is violence in private life that comprises domestic violence against women. It is a global issue that cuts across all geographic, social, cultural and ethnic boundaries. Although it is the most shameful of all human rights violations, yet it is acceptable in communities around the world regarded as part of their social and cultural norms.
This paper aims to discuss domestic violence against women living in South Asia with specific focus on Pakistan. It attempts to discuss the types of domestic violence against women in Pakistan, the factors underlying such violence with an analysis of the health and human rights issues involved.
South Asia has an impressive record of women reaching the highest political positions.India, Srilanka , Bangladesh and Pakistan all have had women reaching the top political office.
But the condition of the ordinary woman in the region has remained poor.
From forced marriages in Afghanistan and "honour killings" in Pakistan to female foeticide in India and trafficking in Nepal, South Asian women face a barrage of dangers. Every three minutes an act of violence is perpetrated against a female in South Asia, according to U.N. Women.( ANALYSIS-South Asia's growing modernity masks women's plight 15 Jun 2011 00:00 Source: Alertnet // Nita Bhalla)
( ANALYSIS-South Asia's growing modernity masks women's plight 15 Jun 2011 00:00 Source: Alertnet // Nita Bhalla)
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the sixth most populated country in the world, is in South Asia bordered by India, Afghanistan, Iran, China and the Arabian Sea. Pakistan is home to one of the earliest known human civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization, dating back at least 5000 years. Its people and traditions reflect many varied cultures ( UNDP 2011). HDI report.
The life expectancy at birth for the population is 66 years, infant mortality is 62 per 1000 live births and the maternal mortality is 260 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Domestic violence is referred to as intimate partner...