Lahore: Pakistani women are boycotting government colleges over the issue of honour killings, a trend that began earlier this year.
The move comes amid increasing concerns about women’s safety amid mounting violence against women, including killings and sexual assaults.
A Pakistani government spokesperson said the government would not tolerate any “inhumane acts”.
Women’s rights groups say a lack of police protection, a lack, in some cases, of adequate education for women, and lack of information on how to report sexual violence have left them with little recourse.
The government says it is “working hard” to improve women’s lives.
In an attempt to prevent the issue from becoming entrenched, the Pakistani government has set up a committee of experts on gender equality, women and women’s empowerment.
“We have set up this committee to try and make it a permanent committee and we will have to monitor its progress,” the spokesperson said.
One of the committee members, a doctor, said women would be able to report violence against them by “any means”.
“If it happens, we have to be ready,” he said.
“We can’t sit and watch as men do what they want.
We have to report it.”
The spokesperson did not provide further details.
Lahore has a large Muslim population.
The issue is widely seen as a reflection of wider social tensions, particularly around the issue as a whole, with a rising number of women reporting sexual abuse.
It comes amid a surge in violence against Pakistan’s Muslim community, particularly against women.
The rise in incidents has been attributed to a perceived lack of support from the authorities.
Earlier this month, the government said it was seeking to raise the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18, with many parents opting for a younger marriage.
This has led to a spike in sexual assaults and forced marriages, as well as other forms of abuse, especially in the south-east.