Zainab Ansari was raped and strangled to death

7 year old Zainab Ansari was raped and strangled to death in Kasur district of Punjab

I am devastated to know about Zainab’s case. The severity of the cruelty involved and the repeated nature of such cases emerging across Pakistan shook me to the core. Alone in Qasur at least 12 cases of minor girls just like Zainab being raped and murdered were reported, In 2015 a scandal of filming of 280 children’s sexual abuse emerged and vanished. Most of us today even don’t know what happened in that high profile case. Few months back a young boy was thrown from the rooftop of a mosque after being raped by the Imam. According to Sahil, at least 11 children are sexually abused every day in Pakistan. There just seems no stop to child sexual abuse, but despite the horrible fact that our most vulnerable section of the society are ending up raped and murdered, nothing much has changed in the system.

There are loopholes in the law and law enforcing mechanisms for child protection, lack of political will to protect children, society’s lack of willingness to teach sexuality and life skills based education to children, and inherent misogyny of our society which has never put the blame of sexual harassment ton the perpetrator but instead has provided impunity to the perpetrators of sexual harassment through victim blaming, shaming and silencing.

Zainab's deadbody found in trash

Zainab’s deadbody found in trash

This is a predatory society whose only core value seem to predate on every vulnerable being- be it a hen. I am too upset, I am not sure for how long we all will remember and follow up this case. Will the state strengthen child protection mechanism? will the society put an end to the impunity perpetrators of sexual harassment enjoy by saying “men are men, they will never change” and instead hold them accountable? Will we stop victim blaming?

By Gulalai Ismail

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