Friday, October 7, 2016

US Domestic Violence Claims Twice More Lives Than Pakistan Honor Killings

In 2013, 869 women became victims of “honor killings” in Pakistan, according to Canadian Professor Judy Haiven. Compare this to the United States, where 1600 women were killed by their male partners or husbands in the same year, according to US-based Violence Policy Center.  Unlike domestic violence deaths in America, Pakistani honor killings make regular headlines. A recent example is the global media coverage of the killing of Qandeel Baloch who gained fame as a Pakistani social media celebrity.

In a letter to Toronto Star newspaper in June 2014, Professor Haiven wrote:

"Maybe the women wanted to leave the marriage, or had found a new partner, but clearly the men felt betrayed and dishonored by their partners and killed them. The media are quick to target women murders in Muslim-dominated countries, but maybe the media should also look at the facts in the U.S. (and Canada) as well."

Regardless of the intent of the western media and Pakistani westernized elite, it is heartening to see that Pakistan parliament has responded to the scourge of "honor killings" by enacting new legislation to stiffen the penalties for the perpetrators of this crime.

Previously, killers could be pardoned by a victim's family to avoid a jail term under Qisas and Diyat laws.  Now forgiveness will only spare them the death penalty. The perpetrator convicted of honor killing will have serve a mandatory minimum jail term of 25 years.

When I tweeted out the news of the new legislation, there were many who liked it and retweeted it. However, I also received responses from a gentleman who was clearly more interested in attacking Muslims. Here are some tweets and responses from this exchange:

Riaz Haq @haqsmusings:  BBC News - 'Honour killings': #Pakistan closes loophole allowing killers to go free. #QandeelBaloch #honorkillings

Bryan Valvana @BryanValvana: Maybe most people never knew the loophole existed because muslims like @Deanofcomedy and @lsarsour never criticized or said a word about it.

RH: @BryanValvana @Deanofcomedy @lsarsour Killers often go free in #US and #Europe. Neither western nor #Pakistan laws are perfect.

BV: @haqsmusings @Deanofcomedy @lsarsour Right. A loophole letting honor killers go free is "imperfect." Not "sick, barbaric & evil."

RH: @BryanValvana #Pakistan fixed its law. Canadian Prof Judy Haivan says more #honorkillings in #US than in #Pakistan

BV: @haqsmusings That's an opinion, not a fact. That's also totally ridiculous. How do you believe this self serving garbage?

RH: @BryanValvana unlike your bigoted garbage, Canadian Prof backs up her opinion with US government data on domestic violence deaths in America

BV: @haqsmusings People who commit domestic violence go to prison, there's no loophole that allows them to go free. The comparison is insane.

RH: @BryanValvana Not always. Besides, any jail time is often too little, too late for the victims.

BV: @haqsmusings No one is arguing that. Classic straw man. You've successfully derailed the conversation. Transparent tactic.

The above twitter conversation should give my readers a flavor of how even a good act in Pakistan gets attacked as part of the Islamophobes'  intense campaign against all things Pakistan and Muslim.

What is often forgotten is that  until 1977, the California Penal Code stated that wives charging husbands with criminal assault and battery must suffer more injuries than commonly needed for charges of battery.

Also ignored is the fact that Pakistanis themselves take seriously the issue of violence against women. Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has been amply recognized with both Pakistani and international awards for her work to highlight the problem.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Islamophobia Industry

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy Wins Oscar

Beheading in Buffalo: Domestic Violence or Honor Killing?

Honor Killings in India

Qandeel Baloch: Leading a Social Revolution in Pakistan?

Silent Social Revolution in Pakistan

Arif Hasan's Website

The Eclipse of Feudalism in Pakistan

Social and Structural Transformations in Pakistan

Malala Moment: Profiles in Courage-Not!

Urbanization in Pakistan Highest in South Asia

Rising Economic Mobility in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan


Russ said...

You haven't compared like for like....

You've compared honor killings with victims of domestic violence.

- 1600 American women are killed as a result of domestic violence annually out of pop of ~325mil
- 5000 Pakistani women are killed as a result of domestic violence annually out of pop of ~200mil

The "Human Rights Watch," a New York-based international non-governmental organisation that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, had estimated in 2009 that between 70 and 90 percent of women in Pakistan had suffered some form of abuse.

The NGO's study had revealed that about 5,000 Pakistani women were being killed every year from domestic violence, with thousands of others maimed or disabled.

I don't have an axe to grind here - this is not an issue just for Pakistan, but the subcontinent and women in developing countries on the whole. The crime itself is bad enough, but the real difference between the developed world and our nations is what happens to the perpetrators. Far too often, there is no justice for the family of the victims.

The statistics below don't make for pleasant reading for Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or Iran -

Riaz Haq said...

Russ: " - 5000 Pakistani women are killed as a result of domestic violence annually out of pop of ~200mil...The "Human Rights Watch," a New York-based international non-governmental organisation that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, had estimated in 2009 that between 70 and 90 percent of women in Pakistan had suffered some form of abuse"

There seems to be huge disparity between the figures you're quoting and those from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that keeps track of domestic violence:

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report said prosecution rates for domestic violence and sexual offences were low, with women frequently too afraid to report the crimes or being intimidated into withdrawing complaints.

It recorded more than 900 rapes and sexual assaults in 2015, 279 instances of domestic violence, 143 of burning, 833 kidnappings and 777 suicides and attempted suicides.

Saeed said...

ریاض الحق
تصویر کے دوسرے رخ پر روشنی ڈالنے کا شکریہ
اگر سنجیدگی سے دیکھا جائے تو پاکستان میں عزت کے نام پر عورت کا قتل،مختلف وجوہات کی بناء پر غصہ میں آکر
جان لے لینے کے علاوہ کچھ اور نہیں، جو دنیا کے دیگر ممالک میں پاکستان کے مقابلہ میں کہیں زیادہ تعداد میں سرزد ہوتا
نظر آتا ہے، اور یہ صرف خواتین کے ساتھ مخصوص نہیں ،بلکہ مرد، مردوں کو اس سے کئی گنا زیادہ تعداد میں قتل کرتے
نظرآتے ہیں
پاکستان جیسے بظاہر پسماندہ ملک کے دوردراز گوشوں سے ،شرمین چنائے جیسے ٹولز استعمال کرکے خال خال سرزد ہونےوالے
اس قسم کےمعاشرتی جرائم کو پاکستانی سوسائٹی کا بنیادی وطیرہ بنا کر پروپیگنڈا کرنا دراصل اس کوشش کا ایک حصہ ہے،
جسکے تحت عورت کو بظاہر آزادی اور برابری دے کر اسے پہلے گھر سے نکالا جاتا ہے اور پھر اسے معاشرے کے اس نیچ ترین
مقام پر لایا جاتا ہے جہاں جب اسے بطور سستی لیبر استعمال کیا جائے ،اسکے بدن اور ذہن کا استحصال کیا جائے تو اسے
کوئی شیلٹرنہ ہو اور مردوں کے مقابلہ میں اسکی محنت نہایت کم داموں خریدی جا سکے۔۔۔۔

فار ایسٹ،افریقہ، لاطینی امریکہ،یورپ، اور جہاں جہاں بھی انکا بس چلا،انہوں نے عورت کو آزادی کے نام پراسی طرح
پہلے گھرسے باہر نکالا،اور پھر انکی معاشرتی اقدار کو برباد کرکے انہیں جنس بازار بنادیا،۔۔۔عزت وآبرو، خاندان اور گھرانے
کا تصور نابود کردیا، اور ان قوموں کے مستقبل کا تو ذکر ہی کیا، انکاحال تاریکیوں میں ڈبودیا۔۔انہیں روبوٹ بنادیا
جو صرف انکے مقاصد پورے کرنے کے لئے زندہ ہیں،۔۔پسماندہ درجہ پر تھائی لینڈ،فلپائن، اور اونچے درجہ پر امریکہ
،یورپ،اور جاپان آپکے سامنے ہے

Riaz Haq said...

(WOMENSENEWS)–The dramatic finale of the FX series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” aired this week after topping television ratings for over a month. The Oscar-winning documentary about an honor killing, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” recently aired on HBO to critical acclaim.

One was set in Brentwood, a suburb of Los Angeles. The other was set in Punjab, Pakistan. One is called a domestic violence homicide. The other is called an honor crime.

A round-up of statistics from the Violence Policy Center, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice and the Center for American Progress found that more than 18,000 U.S. women were killed in this country by intimate partners between 2003 and 2014. In the U.S., more than 22 percent of women will experience an extreme act of violence at the hands of an intimate partner in her lifetime, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why do we not call these acts of violence in this country honor crimes?

Human Rights Watch defines honor crimes as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family” and defines those family members as “husband, father, son, brother or cousin.” There are 5,000 honor crimes each year in the world, according to the site, mostly in the Middle East and South Asia. In Pakistan alone, there are 1,000 honor killings every year.

But there is a common nefarious defense by perpetrators that links these cases of violence against women in the U.S and those acts called honor crimes in the Middle East and South Asia.

In both arenas, the woman who transgresses the boundaries of what men will accept has to be punished. And the men doing the punishing are from her domestic world.

In both domestic violence and honor crimes, male relatives and/or intimate partners rape, beat, psychologically abuse and kill.

Critique of Western Discourse

The 2013 book “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?,” by Columbia University anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod, shows how Western discourse on honor crimes tends to present them as problems of distant Middle Eastern, South Asian or Islamic “cultures.”

Indeed, in the U.S., anti-Islam activists such as Pamela Geller frequently stereotype Muslim men as so obsessed with female obedience that they kill women on any suspicion that the women have dishonored them.

But such acts are prevalent here too, perpetrated by men of all religions. A Massachusetts man was sentenced to life for stabbing his wife because he found a text message on her phone that he thought was a sign of an affair. A Texas man was indicted on charges of beating his pregnant girlfriend because he thought the baby wasn’t his. An Illinois man was convicted of strangling and knifing his girlfriend because he thought she was cheating on him.

In her new book, “Adultery: Infidelity and the Law,” Deborah Rhode, a professor at Stanford University in California, confirms that “suspicion of adultery is a frequent cause of domestic violence and the primary motivating factor in a majority of cases of homicide of wives killed by husbands.”

Certainly there are differences within and between societies and regions of the world, in terms of both the frequency of the crime and the social support and legal recourse available to women.

Anonymous said...

One was set in Brentwood, a suburb of Los Angeles. The other was set in Punjab, Pakistan. One is called a domestic violence homicide. The other is called an honor crime.

OJ case was not honor killing. Honor killing specifically refers to the killing of women by their BLOOD relatives because they were considered to bring "dishonour" on the family.

Stop trying to mix everything up.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " OJ case was not honor killing. Honor killing specifically refers to the killing of women by their BLOOD relatives because they were considered to bring "dishonour" on the family. "


Human Rights Watch defines honor crimes as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family” and defines those family members as “husband, father, son, brother or cousin.” There are 5,000 honor crimes each year in the world, according to the site, mostly in the Middle East and South Asia. In Pakistan alone, there are 1,000 honor killings every year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump recorded having extremely lewd, degrading conversation about women in 2005.

Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera.

The tape includes audio of Bush and Trump talking inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.

In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and f--- her. She was married,” Trump says.

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as s---, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

Shabih Z. said...

Perceptions about the world are created by dominant media, governments and NGOs, which in the contemporary world are Western. And they have created a global picture in which most of the evils pertain to the non-Western, esp. Muslim world. Terrorism, intolerance, despotism, honor killings, political unrest and stability, all prevail there; the Western world is doing the great job of helping them become civlised! This is the modern version of the colonial period's 'white man's burden' and 'manifest destiny.' ---- Once I attended a talk by the American author Stephen P. Cohen in Karachi. It was the Musharraf period, perhaps 2003-4. In the question-answer session, somebody in the audience asked him why the US was always lecturing Pakistan on democracy and its virtues, whereas it was quite chummy (and comfortable) with Saudi Arabia, which totally lacks democracy and freedom. He said the only reason he can think of is perhaps that 'they have oil.' The audience burst into laughter. Cohen said this rather sarcastically, (he was a great critic of US policies) but the point was that weakness is the main reason for a people's becoming a victim of propaganda. As they say in Urdu, "bad achcha, badnam bura!"

Abu_Talha said...

Well said !!!

Riaz Haq said...

Muktaran Mai, gang-rape victim, now walks the #fashion runway at #fpw2016 in #Karachi #Pakistan

In 2002, Mai was sentenced by a local council of tribal elders to be gang raped and publicly humiliated as punishment for her brother’s perceived insult to a rival family. The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they choose to identify themselves.

Rather than commit suicide, as many Pakistani women in her position have done, Mai went public and fought all the way to the country’s Supreme Court to have her attackers jailed.

Fourteen men - the alleged rapists and the tribal council members - were put on trial, and six were handed the death sentence. But all of them were eventually released on appeal.

Nevertheless, Mai went on to become an international advocate for women’s rights and founded a charity that sponsors a women’s shelter and a girl’s school in her rural hometown of Meerwala.

On Tuesday night, surrounded by Pakistan’s top models and wealthy designers, Mai appeared slightly shy and nervous when faced with the blitz of cameras. Mai, now 44, wore a light green embroidered bridal shirt and silver, silk pajama pants, designed by Rozina Munib, with a scarf covering her hair.

Munib said she approached Mai to display her designs to send a public message that, “If you have a mishap, it’s not the end of life.”

Mai smiled as she walked the runway along with several other models in the concluding event of the three-day Fashion Pakistan Week event. Afterward she moved around freely through the crowds, chatting with well-wishers and allowing a steady stream of admirers to take selfies with her.

The annual fashion showcase was started in 2009 in defiance to religious fundamentalists in Pakistan who sought to enforce strict dress codes and behavioral restrictions on Pakistani women.

“I want to be the voice of those women who face circumstances similar to what I did,” Mai said. “My message for my sisters is that we aren’t weak. We have a heart and a brain, we also think.”

“I ask my sisters to not lose hope in the face of injustice, as we will get justice one day for sure.”

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #Indian #Hindu man kills wife over dinner delay. #women #India #domesticviolence

Police in India say they have arrested a 60-year-old man who fatally shot his wife for serving his dinner late.
Ashok Kumar came home drunk on Saturday night and got into an argument with his wife, Rupesh Singh, a senior police officer in Ghaziabad city near the capital Delhi, told the BBC.
Sunaina, 55, was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to her head, but by then she had died, reports said.
Mr Kumar has confessed to his crime and now regrets his actions, Mr Singh said.
"The man [Mr Kumar] used to drink every day. On Saturday, he came home drunk and started having an argument with his wife. She was upset with his drinking habit and wanted to talk about it, but he wanted dinner immediately," Mr Singh said.
"He got frustrated with the delay and shot her," he added.
India 'fails' victims of abuse
Indian brides get bats to prevent abuse
Domestic violence has been the most reported violent crime against women in the country every year for more than a decade now.
In 2015, an incident of domestic violence was reported every four minutes under the legal definition of dowry deaths, harassment over dowry related crimes, cruelty by husband or his relatives and domestic violence.
The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi says such violence is not unique to India - it occurs around the world - but what sets it apart in India from many other countries is the culture of silence and approval that often surrounds it.
According to a family survey carried out by the government, more than 54% of men and 51% of women said it was ok for a man to beat his wife if she disrespected her in-laws, neglected her home or children, or even over something as trivial as putting less - or more - salt in the food.

Riaz Haq said...

An Excerpt of Oprah Winfrey's Speech at the Golden Globes

The actor and entrepreneur spoke about the #MeToo movement while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes.

it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia and engineering and medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.

Riaz Haq said...

More access to education could close the gender inequality gap

PAUL SOLMAN: So now you’ve studied gender roles, you teach that at the Indian Institute of Technology, you are married to the guy, so maybe you are reluctant to disagree with him. But to what extent do you agree? Does your work support it?

RAVINDER KAUR: To some extent it does. I think the change that is happening today is very rapid. But I would still say that there is a way to go before we close the gender gap. Different countries are at different points in this and India, you might always hear, lives in several centuries. So if you were to come to New Delhi you will see that many more women are educated and can give the men a run for their money. But if you were to go to Rajasthan or if you were to go to Behar you would find that the women are still wailed and child marriage is quite rampant. But I think where I would agree with the thesis is that education is extremely transformative. And the more you make available opportunities for education to everybody, it’s going to be a win-win generally.

Riaz Haq said...

Pulitzer prize-winner Nicholas Kristof accused of '#racist #imperialist logic'. It’s easy to imagine #Trump agreeing with some of his ideas about the inherent vice of certain people from certain countries. #xenophobia #misogyny #Islamophobia @alternet

In Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power (December, NYU Press), Ann Russo, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University, offers an intersectional analysis that includes chapters on “Disrupting Whiteness,” “Shifting Paradigms to End Violence,” and “Disentangling US Feminism from US Imperialism.”

In the last section, “Resisting the ‘Savior’ Complex,” Russo recalls how Kristof—in his 2009 book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, written with his wife Sheryl WuDunn—”portray[s] the men from the global south as either inherently brutal and violent, or lazy and irresponsible (both constructions synchronistic with the portrayal of men of color and immigrant men from the global south in the dominant culture of the United States).”


“In many poor countries, the problem is not so much individual thugs and rapists but an entire culture of sexual predation,” Kristof asserts. Kristof and WuDunn describe Ethiopia as “where kidnapping and raping girls is a time-honored tradition” and Congo as the “world capital of rape.”

“No doubt the widespread rape and sexual violence against women in the Congo is horrific,” Russo counters, “but [Kristof and WuDunn] explain it as a cultural problem, rather than a social and political [one].” With this myopic focus, they “obscure the role of the United States in fueling this endemic violence and the ongoing instability of the country and thus avoid any consideration of US accountability. For example, [when they discuss the Congo], Kristof and WuDunn do not tell us that our deep dependence on these mineral resources is, in part, what fuels the ongoing conflicts and violence in the region.”

In his win-a-trip contest announcement, Kristof writes that applicants who “don’t look like” him are “welcome.” That may be so. But a pro forma “welcome” can’t erase the impact of the broad strokes with which he has painted whole swaths of people.

This was a problem in 2009. Now, with Trump in the White House, it’s more important than ever to get rid of the myth of the good white liberal savior for once and for all, and stand in opposition to what Russo describes as Kristof’s “ethnocentrist, racist and imperialist logic.”

Riaz Haq said...

How #domesticviolence leads to murder in #America. Washington Post reporters found that 2,000 of 7,000 #women were killed by intimate partners.

Using data on homicides in 50 major U.S. cities compiled by The Washington Post, reporters examined the killings of more than 7,000 women to determine if the alleged killer was a current or former intimate partner of the victim. In about 4,500 of those homicides, reporters were able to determine the suspect’s relationship to the victim using news clips or other public records. In more than 2,000 of those cases, the alleged killer was a current or former intimate of the victim. (For the study, The Post excluded the deaths of anyone else who was killed at the time of the intimate-partner homicide, such as children or bystanders). Reporters further studied nearly 300 intimate-partner killings in five cities where public records were readily available, looking for signs of previous violence committed by the accused killers, including restraining orders, convictions for violent crimes and other run-ins with law enforcement over domestic matters. Such signs existed in more than one-third of the killings. Experts say that number probably underestimates the extent of prior violence because much of it goes unreported to authorities.

Killings of intimate partners often are especially brutal, involving close encounters such as stabbings, strangulation and beatings, The Post’s analysis found.

Nearly a quarter of the 2,051 women killed by intimate partners were stabbed, compared with fewer than 10 percent of all other homicides. Eighteen percent of women who were killed by partners were attacked with a blunt object or no weapon, compared with 8 percent of other homicide victims. While a gun was used in 80 percent of all other deaths, just over half of all women killed as a result of domestic violence were attacked with a gun.

Violent choking is almost entirely confined to fatal domestic attacks on women — while fewer than 1 percent of all homicides result from strangulation, 6 percent of women killed by intimate partners die in this manner, The Post found. It’s also a warning sign. Those who attempt to strangle an intimate partner are far more likely to later commit extreme acts of violence, police and researchers say, and many in law enforcement believe it to be a strong indicator that an abusive relationship could turn fatal.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to create 1,000 courts to tackle #violence against #women. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent watchdog, reported at least 845 incidents of sexual violence against women in its 2018 report. #genderequity

Pakistan is to set up more than 1,000 courts dedicated to tackling violence against women, the country’s top judge has announced, seeking to tackle a problem activists say the criminal justice system has long neglected.

Chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the special courts would allow victims to speak out without fear of retaliation in the conservative Muslim country, where domestic violence is often seen as taboo.

Pakistan sees thousands of cases of violence against women every year, from rape and acid attacks to sexual assault, kidnappings and so-called honour killings.

“We are going to have 1,016 gender-based violence courts across Pakistan, at least one such court apiece in every district,” Khosa said in an address to fellow judges broadcast on national television. “The atmosphere of these courts will be different from other courts so that complainants can speak their heart without any fear,” he said.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent watchdog, reported at least 845 incidents of sexual violence against women in its 2018 report.

There were no comparative figures and the commission had previously said violence against women went largely unreported, particularly in rural areas, where poverty and stigma prevented victims from speaking out.

The country was ranked the sixth most dangerous for women in a Thomson Reuters Foundation a survey of global experts last year.

The new courts will operate in existing courthouses, but will hold domestic violence hearings separately from other cases to enable victims to testify in confidence.

A pilot court of this kind was opened in 2017 in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province.

Local high court chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah said at the time that women were the most vulnerable members of society and that one in every three had been a victim of physical or psychological violence.

Human rights campaigners said the Lahore court had been a success and welcomed the move to expand the programme.

Romana Bashir, who heads the Peace and Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation working on women’s rights, said it was “a wonderful safeguarding measure”.

“Certainly women will be encouraged and feel strengthened to speak up against gender based violence. Consequently, women will be able to get justice,” she said.

Fauzia Viqar, a women’s rights campaigner who advised the Punjab government until last month, said studies had shown the performance of such dedicated courts to be “many times better than other courts”.