Missing varsity girl found strangled after assault

ICMD, March 29, 2018 The body of a girl who had gone missing earlier this week was found in a canal on Wednesday. According to a doctor at the hospital where autopsy was conducted, she was subjected to rape and violence before being strangled to death. The victim was a student of English literature at the Government College University, Faisalabad. Ali, the girl`s father, told the media on Thursday that his daughter had left the university after attending her classes, but did not return home. `I and my relatives got worried and launched a search for her, but to no avail. I then approached Gulberg police for registration of a case, but the SHO not only refused to entertain my application but also used objectionable language. `I then sought assistance from City Police Officer Athar Ismail. But the CPO neither bothered to take action against the SHO nor ensured registration of a case,` Ali said, overcome with emotion while recalling his helplessness. The girl`s father quoted eyewitnesses as saying they had seen some people bundling her into a car near the university. Ali said he suspected some university students` involvement in the crime. Her class fellows remembered her as an intelligent, simple and reserved person. They said police could have saved the victim by tracing her mobile phone location and call data, besides using footage of the CCTV camera installed on roads leading to the university. A senior police officer said on Thursday a murder case had been initially registered against unidentified persons by police on the complaint of a police volunteer. Claiming that the culprits would be `nabbed soon`, he said police would investigate why the case was not registered by Gulberg police when the father approached them. The CPO has suspended the Gulberg SHO over the delay in registration of the case. A departmental probe into the incident has also been initiated against him. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has sought a report on the matter. The CPO has formed two teams to trace and arrest the culprits. – Courtesy Dawn

Sexual coercion rampant in Pakistani politics: Reham Khan

ICMD, March 17, 2018 Reham Khan, the former wife of PTI chairman Imran Khan, claimed on Friday that sexual coercion is used blatantly in Pakistani politics, saying prominent positions in parties are given in return for ‘sexual favours’. Many women have to surrender their political careers if they refuse to comply to such requests, the anchor-turned-politician said during an interview with DW. The government, Reham added, should constitute an independent commission against sexual harassment, which is not linked with any political party. When asked how political parties can empower women, Reham said the selection system for new political leaders should be based on merit. She termed the current selection system in the political parties a farce. Asked if her upcoming autobiography was going to shed a negative light on Imran Khan, Reham said the book was about her experiences and journey and that it was an honest account. The PTI chief’s former wife denied that there was any coincidence that her book was going to be released just before the general elections. Instead, she added, the policymakers at home could learn from her experiences. According to her, if the elections are going to be held this year, the book will be useful for those who want an insight into Pakistani politics. When asked if she planned to return to the country, Reham said she couldn’t stay away from her country for long. She also said she would consider joining a political party if she can bring some change into the lives of the people. -- MD

Abortions in India are 20 times higher than estimated

ICMD, Dec 12, 2013 Some 15.6 million abortions take place in India each year, with the majority of women taking pills at home without adequate counseling, a study said on Tuesday, calling for more trained doctors in public hospitals. The New York-based Guttmacher Institute’s research found that abortions are more than 22 times more common than the government’s estimate of less than 700,000 terminations, produced by focusing on state-run hospitals and clinics.Just over 80 percent of abortions took place at home using drugs like mifepristone and misoprostol, 14 percent were performed surgically in clinics and hospitals, and 5 percent were conducted using other, typically unsafe, methods. “Women in India face considerable challenges trying to obtain abortion care, including the limited availability of abortion services in public health facilities,” the Guttmacher Institute’s investigator Susheela Singh, said in a statement. “Our findings suggest that a shortage of trained staff and inadequate supplies and equipment are the primary reasons many public facilities don’t provide abortion care,” she said of the study, published in the Lancet Global Health journal. It is India’s first national study of the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy, researchers said. Half of India’s more than 48 million pregnancies were unintended, and a third resulted in abortions, the study said, using 2015 abortion pill sales and distribution data and surveys of six highly populated states. Researchers said that close to three in four abortions were achieved using drugs from chemists and informal vendors, rather than from health facilities where proper counseling and health checks should be provided. In addition, the public sector – the main source of health care for rural and poor women – accounted for only a quarter of abortions, partly because many state-run hospitals and clinics do not offer abortion services. “Although abortion has been legal under a broad range of criteria in India since 1971, we have never had a reliable estimate of the number occurring until now,” said Chander Shekhar from the Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences, which collaborated on the study. “This new evidence provides policymakers with information that is essential for designing and implementing effective reproductive health care programs,” he added in a statement. -- Courtesy Reuters

'MeToo' movement named Time magazine's Person of the Year

ICMD, Dec 6, 2017 Time magazine said on Wednesday that “The Silence Breakers” who revealed the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault across various industries that triggered a national reckoning in the United States were its Person of the Year. The Silence Breakers refers to millions of whistle-blowers who had rallied around the #MeToo hashtag on social media in the wake of revelations of systematic abuses perpetrated by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other men. The movement began spontaneously in October after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: “If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet.” The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours. It was used to share stories about sexual harassment and assault around the world. The #MeToo movement had been founded by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence. The announcement of Time Person of the Year was made on Wednesday on NBC's "Today” show, where longtime host Matt Lauer was recently fired amid harassment allegations. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged that the year's winner hits “close to home” and mentioned Lauer by name. Other finalists included President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Trump was runner-up of the prestigious ranking, ahead of Jinping. -- Courtesy AFP

Should women take blame’ for sexual harassment?

ICMD, Nov 29, 2017 According to The Telegraph, Dame Angela Lansbury said that women themselves are responsible for the abuse they face as they ‘go out of their way to make themselves attractive’ to men. In the wake of the numerous allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood, the 92-year old offered a strikingly different take. “There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately, it has backfired on us – and this is where we are today,” Lansbury said. Adding on she told Radio Times, “We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped”. Lansbury added that women “shouldn’t have to be” prepared for this. “Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be,” she said. “There’s no excuse for that. And I think it will stop now – it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point.” Dame Angela said she had not suffered any harassment during her time as a young actress in Hollywood. In response to her comments, the Rape Crisis England & Wales issued a statement: “It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or ‘provoked’ by women’s sexuality or ‘attractiveness’.