Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ACROSS AFRICA

South Sudan's refugee crisis has reached catastrophic proportions, the UN warns

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Last Night in Sweden'? Trump's comment causes confusion

Read more

THE DEBATE

Mosul Offensive: New phase in battle for Iraq's second city (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Mosul Offensive: New phase in battle for Iraq's second city (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Kiwi indie heroes The Naked and Famous reflect on life after 'Young Blood'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

France's election: 'The Russians are doing what they can to bring down Macron'

Read more

FOCUS

North Dakota: Sioux tribe stands firm against pipeline project

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Georgian foreign minister discusses ties with EU, NATO

Read more

FOCUS

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-11-25

Violence against women in Pakistan

November 25th marks the 10th anniversary of the UN's Day to eliminate violence against women. In Pakistan, some 70% of women claim to have experienced physical or sexual violence from men. Today’s Focus takes a closer look at this worrying trend.

Marking the UN’s day to highlight the plight of abused women around the world and to spearhead the fight against it, today’s Focus examines Pakistan. Not only have 70% of women experienced physical or sexual violence from men, but one woman dies every 30 minutes in Pakistan giving birth or from pregnancy complications. As part of our special programme, Christopher Allbitton examines the truth behind this shocking statistic.

Marvi's Story

It should have been the happiest day of her life. Four months ago, Marvi gave birth to a baby boy in her village in Sindh province in southern Pakistan. But for this young woman of barely 20-years old, it was the beginning of a nightmare: she says, "Several times I thought it would have been better if I had died in childbirth”.

Like 80% of Pakistani women, Marvi gave birth at home without any medical assistance. There were complications during the delivery and she was subjected to an improvised caesarean that ultimately resulted in her becoming incontinent. Due to this affliction, she was considered impure and Marvi was chased away by her husband and his family. This is unfortunately a common scenario in a country where women are of little value or importance to those from a poor or traditional background.

Marvi finally managed to get surgery in a public hospital in Hyderabad, the second largest city in Sindh. The surgery was a success and she can now get back to living her life, but many women are not so lucky: in Pakistan, 30,000 women die annually during pregnancy, or as a result of childbirth.

"In our country, women are treated like animals," explains Dr. Shershah Syed. A Pakistani doctor who trained in Ireland, Dr Syed now heads up the gynecology department at Orangi public hospital in a deprived neighborhood of Karachi. Dr Syed has been fighting for years to change attitudes towards the role of women in Pakistani society, and to obtain more resources so he can treat his patients with dignity.

 

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-02-20 Americas

North Dakota: Sioux tribe stands firm against pipeline project

In the US state of North Dakota, members of the Sioux tribe of Standing Rock have been defying oil companies and authorities for several months. They want them to scrap a plan...

Read more

2017-02-17 Americas

A closer look at former Colombian president Uribe's murky past

Colombia recently reached a historic peace deal with FARC rebels, but that's not to everyone's liking. In parliament, the peace process has a strong adversary in Alvaro Uribe,...

Read more

2017-02-16 Americas

Islamophobia on the rise in Quebec

On January 29, six Muslims were shot dead at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada by a far-right extremist. But the shocking attack did not come as a complete surprise to the local...

Read more

2017-02-15 Poland

Polish military hit by exodus of top generals

US President Donald Trump complains that NATO members don't pay their way, but Poland is one of only five nations that does meet its commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on...

Read more

2017-02-14 Europe

German region struggles to fill jobs amid labour shortage

As the jobless rate in Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Wüttemberg falls below 4 percent, the dearth of qualified workers means businesses are struggling to fill vacant...

Read more