Sorry ladies, no protection for you

Why was it so disappointing that the Domestic Violence Bill was shelved due to strong resistance by the opposition?

Mani Khawaja April 14, 2012
Everyone knows that Pakistan does not have the most efficient of governments. Neither would one argue that our politicians are the brightest of the bunch, nor the most honest.

Tales of corruption, incompetence and nepotism are so widespread that the average Pakistani has become immune to them.

The common man on the street has enough problems on his plate, ranging from high inflation to loadshedding, and is already struggling to make ends meet, to really care about what the government is doing.

In all honesty, we don’t really expect that much from our government.

In fact just getting through the allotted five years without being overthrown by a military coup or the opposition is supposed to be quite the achievement.

So then why was it so disappointing when the news came out that the Domestic Violence Bill had been shelved due to strong resistance by opposition parties?

I guess it was too much to ask of our elected representatives to set aside their political differences and find common ground to ensure the safety of women and children across the country and protect them from violence and abuse.

Apparently the right of women to maintain their dignity and to ensure that they have legal protection against any form of abuse at home, which is all too common in our country, is a hedonistic western concept.

In fact, the country should be grateful that we have such visionary leaders that will fight tooth and nail against the imposition of such an obviously un-Islamic notion. The JUI-F and opposition parties should be lauded for protecting our people from the roots of all evil that are the NGOs.

As Mr Fazlur Rehman said,
“NGOs continue to promote the culture which keeps women away from Islam and that is not acceptable to us.”

Protecting our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives from abuse is obviously unacceptable and as our esteemed MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique implied, only some unknown external forces were stakeholders in the passage of the bill.

If women will be able to legally prosecute their abusers, what’s to stop them from demanding a right to education, equal work opportunities and pay?

How will our country survive then?

It really gets to me that an essential piece of legislation has been blocked under the guise of protecting our religion and culture.

This is nothing but an obvious attempt to protect the status quo that gives men unquestionable might over women.

How long will political parties use religious propaganda to justify their own shortcomings and promote a backwards and archaic way of thinking?

I wonder how many of our elected representatives actually even read the contents of the bill or even fully realise the repercussions of the continuous delay of its implementation.

It is shameful that the vulnerable segment of our society, that consists of a majority of women, children and minorities faces tremendous challenges and abuse in all walks of life in a country which is supposed to be founded on Islamic principles.

I sincerely request our politicians, that the next time they decide to rally against something or someone going against the tenants of Islam, they should actually try and gain first-hand insight about what Islam truly is.


Read more by Mani here.
Mani Khawaja A journalist and musician. He tweets @manikhawaja88 (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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