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Pakistan: Gang Rape Of Nurse Causes Outrage

Categories: South Asia, Pakistan, Health, Human Rights, Women & Gender

The gang rape of a trainee nurse [1] at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre [2] (JPMC), has caused outrage amongst Pakistanis. The fact, that the gang rape occurred in a government institution, has been strongly criticized and speaks volumes about the vulnerability of nurses and female staffs working in hospitals across the country. This video in YouTube by etribune [3] shows a heart-breaking report on the incident.


Click image to watch the video in YouTube

Jamal Ashiqain commented in a blog post titled Wake-up! Rise To Stop VAW: [5]

On the first day of the incident the news channels were so hyped-up that ignoring the basic ethics of journalism they ran the video footage on the loop every second of the minute showing the victims face, and clearly identifying her, so much that her face and name would actually be engraved in the minds of every other person watching the news channel at the time across the country.

Elaborating the issue further, Jamal quotes statistics from popular NGOs’ demanding policy makers to device proper laws in order to curb violence against women. Another blogger [6] Nayyab questions the increase of incidence of rape cases:

The only reason is that there is no “law” a so called law which can punish these culprits and such heinous incidents could be controlled. But now it is not possible in Pakistan, the country is in grip of corrupt politicians who are liars and came to power on the basis of their fake degrees.

Furthermore, Nayyab questions the silence of religious clerics on the increase of such incidents. Accusing them of neglecting important issues such as these and rallying for political issues instead. On my own blog, Mystified Justice [7], I spoke about the loopholes in the sexual harassment laws and the need for better implementation of the Work Place Harassment Bill:

For the over 350 nurses working in ward 24 of JPMC, harassment is not a new phenomenon but it was this victim’s gang-rape which compelled them to protest and go on strike in solidarity. It is deplorable that such an incident has taken place in a state-run hospital(..)It’s devastating to learn that the victim had been complaining about being harassed by Memon long before the assault took place and she wasn’t the only one. But their pleas fell on deaf ears. Although, the Work Place Harassment Bill [8]has been passed, her case is a classic example of how harassment in workplaces is hardly taken as a serious matter. Most of the times, such incidents are swept under the rug, which gives a freehand to the assailant and makes the victims vulnerable to such instances in the future. Institutions and companies prefer concealing facts to safeguard their reputation rather than taking a strong stance. Mere laws will not help solve the problem at hand, the only solution is for the organisations and institutions to ensure maximum protection for their employees. No laws or legislative can guarantee protection until those working within these places decide to take such matters seriously.