The women of Pakistan

Women are still victims of violence in different forms.

Shazia Mehboob October 19, 2013

‘Hawwa Ki Beti’ (a woman) is usually considered a symbol of love, affection and respect, among family and friends. She can be a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, and she deserves respect because she tries her best to excel in all these roles. Women have proven that they have the guts and skills to surpass all hardships if they are determined to accomplish a certain task, howsoever difficult it may be. She doesn’t just stand as a strong pillar in her house, but she is equally skillful in every possible field, side by side with men, as politicians, scientists, engineers, pilots, lawyers, bureaucrats, teachers, journalists and social workers.

Women are still victims of violence in different forms, like honour killing, rape, kidnapping, physical torture, acid attacks and harassment on the streets. They are also victims of criminal customs such as karo kari, satti, vani, watta satta, etc. Laws preventing violence against women and several human rights, including the basic right to free education, have not been fully implemented in this country, ultimately causing women to be forced into a corner.

According to a 2012 report by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative, a total of 719 women were murdered, 1,099 kidnapped, 280 killed due to honour related issues, 65 faced physical harassment, 40 thrown acid at, 483 raped, 246 became victims of domestic violence and 852 others faced violence in miscellaneous forms.

Although women’s issues are being raised at different platforms, within our country and abroad, the areas where women live lives filled with suffocation and torment are getting little attention from those who call the shots. To bring them at par with men in other areas of society and to provide them with a level playing field, these neglected areas need to be included and access to decent systems of education need to be provided all around.

This society’s thinking needs a paradigm shift when it comes to how they see women and their rights. Let’s encourage this deprived gender, put our best efforts forward for the world to see and show the men in this country, and the international community, just how capable the women of Pakistan are.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2013.


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