At least 943 Pakistani women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honor, the country’s leading human rights group said Thursday.
The statistics highlight the growing scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.
Despite progress on better protecting women’s rights, activists say the government needs to do more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs.
“At least 943 women were killed in the name of honor, of which 93 were minors,” wrote the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in its annual report.
Seven Christian and two Hindu women were among the victims, it said.
The Commission reported 791 “honor killings” in 2010.
Around 595 of the women killed in 2011 were accused of having “illicit relations” and 219 of marrying without permission.
Some victims were raped or gang raped before being killed, the Commission said. Most of the women were killed by their brothers and husbands.
Only 20 of 943 killed were reported to have been provided medical aid before they died, the Commission wrote.