I read Fauzia Yazdani’s article ‘Rape is a pandemic in Pakistan, with the state, judiciary, media and police all unable to offer protection’ published in the Pakistani portal thefridaytimes.com.
I would like to respond.
At the outset I would like to say that I condemn rape as a brutal violation of a human being’s body, which deserves severe punishment. So I am not in any manner justifying it.
However, having said that, I wish to present for consideration another aspect of the issue.
My submission is that unemployment is perhaps the main cause of rapes in a society, and so if we wish to drastically reduce the number of rapes, we must drastically reduce unemployment in that society.
Now I do not mean to say that employed people never commit rape, nor do I say that unemployment is the only cause of rape. But let me explain.
It is natural for most young men to have a strong sexual urge. That is because there is a powerful principle in nature that while individuals will die, the species must continue, and for the human specie to continue children must be born, and for that sex is necessary.
In conservative countries like India and Pakistan, normally one can have sex only after marriage ( though values are changing in a small section of society ). Now no girl will marry an unemployed man ( unless he is very rich ). Consequently, when there is massive unemployment, as there is in India, Pakistan, and many other countries, there will be a large number of young men who are unable to have sex lawfully ( i.e. through marriage ), despite having a strong urge. So many of them will have it unlawfully, that is, by rape.
I hasten to repeat, I am not justifying this, and say that rape should be severely punished. All I am saying is that rapes will happen, despite all laws and religious or moral codes, since not everyone can suppress the sexual urge. And they will be more common in countries like India and Pakistan, which have massive unemployment as well as a conservative value that one can have sex only after marriage, rather than in Western countries like USA or Europe which have less unemployment, and pre-marital sex is not frowned upon.
Some people say that in countries like India and Pakistan the number of rapes is less than in Western countries.
But the fact is that perhaps 97% rapes in India, Pakistan, etc are not even reported to the police and are hushed up, for fear of getting a social stigma, reducing the chances of getting married ( for an unmarried girl ), and poor conviction rate. Also, accurate data are not available from these countries.
I do not deny that there are other causes of rape than unemployment. But I submit that in countries like India and Pakistan which have massive unemployment, it is the main cause.
So to drastically reduce rape we must create a just social and political order which guarantees employment to all.