KARACHI: As 2021 comes to a close, Government of Pakistan has reached a milestone by approving the Anti-Rape Act. In a country where rape culture is so prevalent while the crime itself ironically remains a big taboo, the Act comes as a beacon of hope for survivors. In an official tweet, the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that the Anti-Rape Act 2021 enacted by the Government of Pakistan will ensure safety of women and children. The Act will ensure justice for survivors along with complete confidentiality, dignity, self respect and freedom of decision making for women.
A video fully explains what the Anit-Rape Act 2021 entails. The Act is to provide complete security and justice for women and children. Based on the law passed, Government hospitals are creating Anti-Rape Crisis Cells which will have atleast one female representative present at all times. Women and children survivors are to be provided with medical and legal assistance within 72 hours of the crime. The Act also strictly abolishes the two finger test which was earlier used to examine survivors of rape. All proofs from the incident are also to be immediately secured along with forensic examination services. Following the crime, an FIR will also definitely be registered, a step which was initially a painstaking process.
At root level, police will be involved to fully investigate the crime and the involvement of female officers will be made sure of. In order to ensure justice for women and children, special courts are being established to deal with rape cases. Survivors will not only be assigned special prosecutors for the hearings but all cases are also meant to reach a conclucion within four months.
To protect the mental and emotional health of women from further torture, health workers, doctors and social workers will be available to aid them throughout the process.
The decision is definitely a step in the right direction for our country but until it is actually implemented, it might be too early to celebrate.