Pakistan: Protests against increasing harassment of women in Sindh universities

ANI
Sindh, Pakistan Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 04:14 PM(IST)

Harassment victims, house officer Parveen Rind and Almas Behan complained that administrations of Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences, Nawabshah, and Sindh University as well as police concerned have done nothing so far to arrest their tormentors and provide them protection. Photograph:( Twitter )

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According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Pakistan was ranked 153rd out of 156 countries on gender inequality

A protest was organised in Pakistan on Thursday against increasing incidents of harassment of girl students in universities in Sindh with demonstrators blaming varsity officials and police for protecting the suspects.

Harassment victims, house officer Parveen Rind and Almas Behan complained that administrations of Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences, Nawabshah, and Sindh University as well as police concerned have done nothing so far to arrest their tormentors and provide them protection, reported Dawn.

They appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the Prime Minister and higher authorities concerned to administer justice to them. They were speaking at a rally staged by Journalists, Writers, Civil Society for Truth, Peace and Justice (JWC) in protest against increasing incidents of harassment of girl students in SU and other educational institutions of Sindh.

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Almas Behan said at the rally that instead of providing her justice and security, the SU administration had in fact tried to scare her away, reported Dawn. "No step was taken to provide her justice even after she filed complaints of harassment. Instead, she was intimidated in the name of a probe committee," she said.

She said that no action was taken against the people responsible for her attempted kidnapping. Neither the vice-chancellor nor any other official of the university contacted her afterwards or assured her of addressing her complaint.

She alleged that even though she was the victim, police intimidated her by raiding her house. Parveen Rind, a house officer at the nursing school of the PUMHS, Nawabshah, vowed that she would not remain silent until justice was served in her case.

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She would keep raising her voice against harassment incidents, reported Dawn. Rind had alleged that three officials of the university tried to beat her to death at her hostel room a few days ago when she refused to follow their "unethical" orders.

The university's VC Dr Gulshan Ali Memon had not taken any action over her complaint and in fact, he was supporting the accused officials nominated in her FIR.  Nawabshah administration and police were also protecting the main accused, she said.

Meanwhile, civil society activists expressed deep concern over growing incidents of honour killing, harassment of girl students, violence against women, killings in tribal clashes and land grabbing by influential people, reported Dawn.

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According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Pakistan was ranked 153rd out of 156 countries on gender inequality. The report pointed out that women in Pakistan do not have equal access to justice, ownership of land and non-financial assets or inheritance rights. Since Imran Khan came into power in 2018, Pakistan's Global Gender Gap Index has worsened over time.

In 2017, Pakistan ranked 143rd on the 2017 Global Gender Gap Index. However, in 2018, it slipped to the 148th spot. The country`s ranking dipped further as it secured 151st on the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index.

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