Girl Burnt Alive

Instances of gender-based violence are not new to Pakistan, and it is disheartening to witness the decline in our treatment of women. Recently, a young girl from Toba Tek Singh suffered a horrific fate as she was set on fire by her own family for daring to leave home with a man she wished to marry. Although all suspects have been apprehended and a case has been registered against them, this alarming incident highlights the grave situation we face.
Year after year, Pakistan ranks among the worst societies for women, as indicated by both domestic and international statistics. Despite having numerous laws in place, the implementation and enforcement mechanisms to protect women are sorely lacking. The incompetence and inadequacy of our local law enforcement and judicial systems bear much of the responsibility for perpetuating this cycle of abuse, which is deeply rooted in the patriarchal structure, system, and hierarchy.
In this particular case, it is crucial that those responsible are brought to justice. However, we must also take decisive action to address the broader issue at hand. Intensive awareness campaigns, the establishment of protection centers, and thorough investigations in similar cases are imperative steps to combat such heinous crimes. Failure to make an example out of this case and initiate a compelling call to action will only perpetuate the lack of deterrence against such atrocities.
At the end of the day, women in our country do not feel safe. This distressing reality is echoed every time a tragic incident like this occurs. What is even more agonising to contemplate is that if such horrifying incidents are the ones that come to light, the actual situation on the ground is likely far more unimaginable.
To bring about meaningful change, we must prioritise the safety and well-being of women, creating an environment where they can thrive without fear of violence or discrimination. This demands a collective effort from every stratum of society, a commitment to justice, and a resolute determination to break free from the shackles of patriarchal oppression.

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