Revenge Rape In Multan Shows The Patriarchy At Top In Pakistan

Protest Against Rape Photo

In Multan a 17 years girl was ordered to be raped by panchayat because his brother had raped another girl. Thus revenge rape was ordered by the kangaroo court. The incident took place and innocent girl was raped according to the order issued by panchayat. According to CNN “the Village elders in Pakistan ordered the rape of a 17-year-old girl after her brother was accused of raping another girl. The mother of the first victim, who is aged 12, told police her daughter was cutting grass in a field when she was raped by a man. The 12-year-old reported the rape to her mother, who then complained to village elders.After deliberating, the elders declared one of the sisters of the first attacker would be raped in retaliation for the crime, according to the police report.”(The second victim)’s two elder sisters were initially called, but the elders decided that (17-year-old) Victim B would be the one to take the punishment,” the police report said.”Her mothers and sisters all protested this but the elders brought out their guns and threatened to kill them.”

The village panchayat was comprised of 40 members and after the lodging of the complaint 20 panchayat members have been arrested. Rests are yet to be nabbed. According the reports 38 rape cases have been reported in the region in last four months to Violence Against Women Center in Multan.

This real happening shows how much detoriated the Pakistan society. The patriarchy in Pakistan is a living reality where the women are considered as their possession and males have overpowering influence on their destiny. Honour killings and rapes and unjust behavior with them are practiced widely. The rural and tribal areas are the major centre of such victimization.

Women like several of their South Asian countries do not have liberty to live as they wish for. Males are the deciding factor in their decision making process.
This rape case highlights that tit for tat norms exist and male domination is a rule as they decided that girl be raped. The rule of law is lacking in these societies and police help is also weak.

The feudalism in Pakistan has not evaporated as it should have been; the reason lies in the weak education system and male dominated decision making system where other half finds no place. Violence of all forms against women is used and the social values permit it. The socio-cultural system has not been modernized with respect to the women as the data suggest. Amnesty International in its report Pakistan 2016/17 noted that The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan recorded almost 3,000 cases of violence against women and girls, including murder, rape and gang rape, sodomy, domestic violence and kidnappings. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, around 512 women and girls, and 156 men and boys, were killed in 2016 by relatives on so-called “honour” grounds. As many cases went unreported, or were falsely described as suicides or natural deaths, the actual number was almost certainly much higher. Qandeel Baloch, a social media celebrity, was drugged and killed by her brother in July. He confessed to murdering her for “dishonouring the Baloch name”.(

Punjab government passed the ‘The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act’ but such acts remain only in words as long the feudal thinking exists and the institutions work together. Even the justice at the level of the courts for the women is almost unavailable. As most of the women either do not lodge the complaints or the courts do not take the comprehensive and equal view as happened in rape case of Mukhtaran Mai in 2002 where the raped accused were released except one whose punishment was commuted by Lahore High Court and apex court held the verdict of the High Court in 2011 which was much criticized by the human rights activists.

The common people if lose faith in the justice system then they have no remedy as the political elites are often come from the feudal backgrounds and the civil society is not much developed in the country. The socio-cultural factors create an ambiance of male domination with no sight of protection and justice at the level of women.

Though this horrible incident has been noticed as suo moto by the Chief Justice of Pakistan but what will be end result is very difficult to predict and what measures the government will take to protect the dignity of the women is to be seen. The only thing which all women demand in every social system that they should have dignity and protection and full possibility of development. In Pakistan like societies these desires have remained unfulfilled since it got independence. Now the time has come and the need is pressing that mindset and the patriarchal social structure in Pakistan should be changed by government by liberal education system where dignity, equality, respect and liberty like values be incorporated in the social system in genuine manner.

Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava is Vice Chairman, CSSP, Kanpur; e [email protected]


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