Violence against women is a serious problem throughout Pakistan, the third most dangerous country for women in the world. Up to 85% of women have experienced some form of domestic violence. Daily, 6 women are murdered or face attempted murder, 8 raped, 11 battered and assaulted, and 32 abducted. However, the conviction rate for violence against women crimes is only 1-2.5%. To combat domestic violence and improve gender equality in Pakistan, the Punjab province in Pakistan passed the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act in 2016, an ambitious, progressive law that, among other reforms, sets up one-stop shops that provide legal, medical, counseling, and other services to victims of domestic violence. It is the most comprehensive legislation of its kind in Pakistan.
Salman Sufi is Director General at the Chief Minister's Strategic Reforms Unit within the Punjab government, and has been instrumental in enacting this law. This year, he has worked with the International Human Rights Clinic at the Law School to make sure the law is successfully implemented in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.
Presented on February 22, 2017, by the Harris School's Global Affairs and Public Policy, Women in Public Policy, International Human Rights Clinic, International Law Society, and Domestic & Sexual Violence Project.