Pakistan Media Underreports Cases Of Women’s Violence: Report

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Cases of women’s violence in Pakistan are going under-reported in the media, a report by advocacy group Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) based in the country claims. The numbers, as mentioned in the report, seek to highlight the reality and neglect of pressing issues like women’s safety.

According to Dawnwhich quotes data from SSDO, 6754 women were kidnapped and 1890 raped in the first six months of 2021 in the Punjab province alone. Numbers displayed in local media were reportedly much lower than real figures. For instance, out of 3721 cases of gender-based violence, only 938 made it to media reports.

Multiple violence and harassment cases against women in Pakistan went viral on social media this year, including the TikToker mass assault case and Noor Mukadam‘s murder, making it to international headlines. Read more here.

However, SSDO’s report claims there is a lot going unnoticed.

Is Women’s Violence In Pakistan Getting The Attention It Deserves?

For rapes, domestic violence and child abuse, Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala in Punjab ranked highest, data collated from mainstream print reports and Right to Information (RTI) queries show.

The gap in data presentation “suggests lack of attention… over the alarming situation about state of human rights violations of women and children,” Shahid Jatoi, Director Programs SSDO, was quoted saying.

Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad reflects similar trends of underreporting, according to SSDO. Where 34 rape and 163 women kidnapping cases were registered there, only 27 and 26 cases respectively were highlighted by mainstream media. A rape case in Islamabad that gained prominent coverage, on the other hand, was that involving a male government official.

As per reports, the woman survivor alleged an Establishment Division officer called her to a hostel in Islamabad on the pretext of offering her a job but confined and raped her. The accused was arrested after she lodged a complaint.

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