The Bible and Society

How God’s Word is True

Pakistan: 1 million pregnant women abused annually

Posted by Mats on 22/02/2009

Pakistan’s “societal attitudes and norms” along with its “dehumanising attitude towards women” are cited as some of the primary factors contributing to this pregnancy-time abuse. Considering that 97% of Pakistan is Muslim, and that Islam has a way of permeating society, especially Pakistan where sharia plays a major role, how does this reflect on Islam?

“1 million Pakistani women abused during pregnancy: expert,” from The News, February 13:

LAHORE: Annually an estimated one million pregnant Pakistani women are physically abused at least once during pregnancy by their partners. 

This was said by Prof Unaiza Niaz, the president of the Women Section of World Psychiatric Association and director of the Institute of Psycho-Trauma Pakistan, while delivering a lecture on Gender issues and Women’s Mental Health at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) here on Friday.

Prof Niaz said research indicated strong association between gender-based violence and mental health. Depression, anxiety and stress-related syndromes, dependence on psychotropic medications and substance use and suicide were mental health problems associated with violence in women’s lives, she added.[…]

She further said that in Pakistan, societal attitudes and norms, as well as cultural practices such as Karo Kari and Vani severely affected women’s mental health. Religious and ethnic conflicts, along with the dehumanising attitude towards women, the extended family system, role of in-laws, represented major issues and stressors, Dr Niaz said, adding:

“Gender discrimination at each stage of the female life cycle contributes to health disparity, sex selective abortions, neglect of girl children, reproductive mortality, and poor access to healthcare for girls and women.” She stated that risk of depression in women was higher during the childbearing years. She said women were also vulnerable to depression during the period immediately after childbirth.


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