Rape Culture in Pakistan between Myth and Reality

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Rape Culture in Pakistan between Myth and Reality
Rape Culture in Pakistan between Myth and Reality

Another Rape case another uproar in the media. But the fact of the matter is that this is not the first case and unfortunately would not be the last. A few years back, we witnessed a similar uproar after little angle “Zainab” was killed after rape. What we are witnessing in the media and on an authoritarian level is just the conventional formality of weeping, which is now our national habit to carry out after every tragedy. This is new trend of #PublicHangingOfRapists is another example of that, although it is good for awareness and reflects the public sentiments. But this approach is fixed with little or no workable solutions. The government will form a committee and once again this issue will be thrown under the carpet. Bringing the culprits to justice not in this case but in all cases must the priority of the state but is this even possible or is the system enough capable to deliver justice this is the question. Moreover, is this the solution? if not then what is? So, let us start with the causes so that we as a society can adopt a proactive approach instead of the traditional reactive approach. When talking about the solution we have two schools of thought (segments) in our society that emphasize two different sorts of solutions.

Western Liberal Approach
The first segment emphasizes a Western Liberal model which is based on “Freedom” and “Social Justice”. The advocates of this approach suggest that “Sex Education” “Opening of Legal brothels” along with providing social, economic justice is the ultimate solution. This segment is strongly against capital punishment. But let us analyze did it really worked or not? Let us take a few examples where states implemented this model. The countries include France, New Zealand, Denmark USA, Sweden, and India. Despite all the efforts by these states be it in terms of “sex education”, socio-economic justice or be it legalization of prostitution, these countries failed to produce results in this particular case and unfortunately are top-ranked in the list of countries with the highest rape crime /cases. “According to George Mason University, Worldwide Sexual Assault Statistics, 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. About 19.3% of women and 2% of men have been raped at least once in their lives.”. The rape rate in US is 27.3, Sweden (63.5), France (16.20) New Zealand (25.80). The point here is not to malign any society but to generate a debate about solutions regarding this crime. In France, the reports of rape increased by nearly 17 percent from 2017 to 2018. If this approach is the best solution why it is failing?

Traditional Islamic Approach
Now let us discuss the second approach which is the traditional approach which focuses on Strong punishment, “education” and social justice. The advocates of this approach in Pakistan (mostly Orthodox Muslims) emphasize on moral policing, consider the Modern Liberal approach as flawed as it deals with all the aspects especially social but neglects the sexual exploitation of women be it in terms of the Porn industry or be it the objectification of women in the mass media. From item songs to all sorts of ads we witness media objectifying women as commodities just to attract the audience. Moreover, countries having death penalties have the lowest rape rates i-e Saudi Arabia, Japan. So, it is evident which is the better approach but when it comes to Pakistan other issues need to be addressed as well which are also part of the problem. Like a defective justice system, cultural stereotypes, attitude of society towards rape, structural flaws. These all must be fixed otherwise even if the law of capital punishment is passed just like life imprisonment was passed it won’t change anything. Due to a number of flaws in the criminal justice system like corruption, lack of witness protection, privacy, improper investigation, and lack of forensic science units the conviction rate remains low even in such cases. This whole idea of getting away with crime is another factor that directly or indirectly encourages such crimes. The practice of carrying out punishment or delivering justice never ends any crime but it is a tool to curtain/stop the expansion or the increase in crimes. Apart from that, we as a society need to change our attitude when it comes to rape starting from this “Victim Blaming” to the overall cultural stereotypes. Now it is up to the intelligentsia to lead this fight against this emerging rape culture with a sound approach.

Note: Article was originally published by Global Village Space

URL: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/tackling-rape-our-national-habit-is-to-weep-after-every-tragedy/

Author: Talha Ahmad (Editor in Chief PSF)

About Author: Talha Ahmad is a Freelance Journalist. He is an independent Geo-Political Analyst, commentator, and keen observer of International relations. Talha Ahmad opinions have been featured in different News-websites like Daily times, Pakistan Today, Global Village Space, Morning Mail. He can be reached on twitter @talhahamad967.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.

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