In a bid to end violence against women, the Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) Pakistan on Thursday launched a free, nationwide helpline to report domestic abuse cases.
People can report cases by calling 1099 or by downloading the ministry’s rolled out app Helpline 1099.
“Every woman/girl has the right to live her life safely and free of violence,” the ministry stated in a tweet, adding: “Help us end violence against women and girls with our national 1099 helpline app.”
The ministry urged people to raise their voices and report any act of abuse or violence.
The development comes a day after the Government of Pakistan reaffirmed its resolve to empower women and end violence against on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, an event which marks 16 days of activism.
In an official statement posted on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the government stated that steady progress has been made in the country through legislative, policy, and institutional measures aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls, especially to address the issues of violence against women, domestic abuse, harassment, and the protection of social and property rights.
The government further stated that the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women should serve as a solemn reminder to address the “systematic violence against women in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).”
In 2020, Pakistan ranked 151 out of 153 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index report published by the World Economic Forum. According to a 2019 report of the National Institute of Population Studies, 24.5 % of Pakistani girls and women aged 15-49 experience intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
Meanwhile, data by White Ribbon Pakistan, an NGO working for women’s rights, shows that between 2004 and 2006, 4,734 women faced sexual violence, 1,800 reported domestic violence committed against them, while about 5,500 women were kidnapped.