Gender violence in Pakistan: women fighting back

US Embassy Islamabad
May 26, 2022

Hundreds if not thousands of women are murdered, kidnapped and assaulted each year in Pakistan. A 2018 survey estimated 1 in 3 women experienced domestic violence, but conviction rates are extremely low.  It is being described by some in Pakistan as a ‘gender violence epidemic.’  Now Pakistani women are demanding action to address the vast scale of violence.  

Only 3% of Pakistan’s police officers are women.  They have recently opened the first Gender Protection Unit in the country, in Islamabad.  Women are encouraged to come to the Unit to report incidents of violence.  They are guaranteed anonymity and if they wish, that they will be dealt with by a woman police officer, and they will be kept safe from retribution.  In the first three months of opening, the Head of the Unit said they had dealt with 550 cases of violence, and half of these had taken place in a domestic context.

Channel 4’s reporter, Fatima Manji, went to Islamabad to meet these female police officers on a mission to transform policing for women.  Her podcast can be heard at: Gender violence in Pakistan: women fighting back – Channel 4 News


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