SOME 2,236 cases of women being kidnapped were reported in Pakistan during 2010, while the figure came down to 2,089 the following year according to an Aurat Foundation report. In order to safeguard women’s rights, two pieces of legislation were passed … but no serious reduction has been witnessed in crimes against them. …
Discrimination against women is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan, said to be an Islamic state. ... The government claims that the literacy rate has gone up considerably, but what sort of education is it that it promotes conservative attitudes?
When Pakistan came into being girls could be seen riding bicycles in the city but now that is unimaginable. ... There has been no decrease in karo kari despite the promulgation of a law against it. Recently, a woman was stoned to death in Dera Ghazi Khan. … Everyone speaks about the status and rights women enjoy in an Islamic state but no one can say where they are.
These days, no woman can move freely or venture out alone. Girls studying in colleges are dropped and picked up either by their fathers or brothers. A girl on her own finds herself falling prey to eve-teasing or even humiliation.
Like other legislations, the laws addressing violence against women continue to exist merely in the law books. The treatment meted out to women in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is unprecedented. Merely granting equal rights to women under constitution will not address the issue. Instead, the government needs to take practical measures on this account.—(Aug 2)
Selected and translated by Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui.