Hifza Batool, a relative of Tashfeen Malik, talks to The Associated Press at her home in the town of Karor Lal Esam, about 450 kilometers southwest of Islamabad, Pakistan, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP/Asim Tanveer)
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A smartphone application enabling women to report incidents of harassment to police in Pakistan's Punjab province went live this week as authorities step up efforts to promote women's safety in one of the worst provinces for crimes against them."Though the app primarily covers street harassment, it also has a feature for woman who is inside the house and is suffering physical violence to call for help," said Fauzia Viqar, chair of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, a body promoting women's rights, which was involved in the launch of the app on Thursday.She said users can also use the app to mark unsafe locations and access a toll-free helpline which provides information on laws to protect women's rights among other services.A study by the Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani women's rights group, in 2013 found that Punjab province alone accounted for 5,800 crimes against women -- 74 percent of crimes against women in the whole of Pakistan.Last year, the province of Punjab, Pakistan's largest, passed a law giving legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence.
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