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Prevalence and Nature of Violence against Women in Pakistan: A Six-month Content Analysis of a Pakistani newspaper

Dr. Nadia Agha & Zamir Ahmed

Abstract
Violence Against Women (VAW) occurs globally and affects women socially and
psychologically. Pakistan has a rigid patriarchal culture where women have constrained
lives. The global gender gap report (2016) places Pakistan second from last in terms of
gender inequality. In such a situation, women in the Pakistani society are expected to
experience frequent attempts of violence against them. However, the reporting of such
acts remains negligible because of social norms that require women to conform to the
patriarchal ideology. This study analyses and discusses findings about reported cases of
VAW in Pakistan, in general, and in Sindh, in particular. Through a six-month’s content
analysis of a Sindhi newspaper i.e. the Daily Kawish, we have recorded the nature and
frequency of reported acts of VAW. The results show that the cases of such acts are
alarmingly high and in Sindh alone, 156 cases of VAW occurred in six months. Within the
70 reported cases, honour killings top the list of VAW cases followed by physical violence,
rape, kidnapping and suicide. However, these are results of just the reported cases, the
number of such acts are expected to be even higher in areas where gender based violence
is supported to punish women.
Keywords: Violence; women; Pakistan; reporting; honour killing