In a horrific incident reported from Pakistan, a woman was allegedly gangraped by three men aboard a moving train last week. The train was on its way to Karachi from Multan when the ticket checker persuaded the woman to move to an empty compartment of the train.

According to a police report, the 25-year-old mother of two children was travelling in economy class when the ticket checker offered her an upgrade and lured her into the compartment where three men raped her, per a police report.

The train, whose security is being handled by a private firm, also did not have any security personnel onboard, per the local media reports.

The police have managed to arrest three suspects in the case, according to Railways Police chief Faisal Shahkar. The incident has sparked outrage across Pakistan, a country that already has a bad record when it comes to the treatment given to women.

Violence against women in Pakistan is endemic. According to a report by Human Rights Watch on Pakistan, "Violence against women and girls – including rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage – remains a serious problem throughout Pakistan."

Sex crimes such as rape carry social stigma in conservative Pakistan, where victims find it hard to get justice. Over the last few years, several rape cases have sparked widespread protests all across the country but to no avail.

The country has been unable to achieve much despite passing an anti-rape law that gives courts the power to order the chemical castration of rapists in some cases.

A Thomson Reuters Foundation study had even ranked Pakistan as the sixth most dangerous country for women. According to Pakistan's Ministry of Human Rights, more than 14,000 rape cases were reported in Pakistan between 2018 and 2021, writes The Independent.

According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development {OECD}, at least 85 percent of women in Pakistan "have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner at some time in their life."

The country ranks 130th on the UNDP's Gender Inequality Index and third-last, on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index.

Pakistan protesters
A demonstrator holds a placard next to others during a protest against an alleged gang rape of a woman, in Karachi, Pakistan on September 18, 2020 Photo: AFP / Asif HASSAN