Christian women are the primary targets of forced conversion
The Institute of Development Studies calls attention to the fact that Christian and Hindu girls are the primary targets of forced conversion and forced marriage in Pakistan.
In the framework of its CREID programme, the Institute of Development Studies talks about an alarming phenomenon; Christian and Hindu girls are primary targets of rape, abduction and forced marriage in Pakistan.
According to IDS, this year, at least four Hindu girls have been abducted, and a report says that between 2013 and 2019, one hundred and sixty-two Christian and Hindu girls have been converted to Islam in Pakistan. We also reported many of these cases (you can read about the most recent forced conversion here).
IDS’s article says: “Perpetrators largely get away with it because the women and girls come from poor families who may not have the means or ability to challenge them in court.”
Many families try to raise awareness of their beloved ones who are intimidated by violence. In many cases, the courts admit the forceded conversions as “consensual marriage”, even if they are aware that the girls got married against their will. The most these courts do is send these girls to ‘safe shelters’, which are not safe at all.
In a new CREID Briefing Note (PDF), researchers Maryam Kanwer and Jaffer Abbas Mirza urge for the adoption of the following measures to curb and end forced conversions:
- The first and the most basic one is to accept and acknowledge that forced conversions are happening in Pakistan and that the perpetrators are conducting them with impunity.
- Secondly, all provinces must pass legislation against forced conversion
- Lastly, the so-called safe shelters must actually be safe. They must be spaces free from fear and the involvement of the accused in forced conversion and marriage cases.
Source: Institute of Development Studies