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Old Monday, September 10, 2007
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Default The State of Women Rights in Pakistan from 2007 Essay Paper

AOA;

This is my second detailed essay in CSSFORUM. More would be soon inshAllah. I would like your comments and suggestions over this attempt. I dedicate this effort to forum administrators who have provided us such a valuable platform for our endeavors. May God provide them eternal Bliss.

Outline:


INTRODUCTION

BODY

(I) What actually are women rights?

(II)How are women rights violated?
  • Discriminatory Laws
  • Heinous Customs
  • Violence and Exploitations
  • Deplorable Level of Health and Education
(III)Is there any positive side of Women Rights in Pakistan?

(IV) What efforts have been made for ensuring Women Rights?
  • Different Commissions on Women Rights and Their Reports
  • Laws on Protection of Women Rights
  • NGOs working for Women Rights
CONCLUSION



without heading:

The State of Women Rights in Pakistan

by secondopinion02

Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the rights of women and do not discriminate in any sphere of life. The basis of Pakistani constitution is Islam; a religion that has secured the rights of women fourteen hundred years ago.

In Pakistan; Mukhtaran Mai, Dr. Shazia and various other women have been raised internationally because of the corrupt character of our moth eaten justice, social and political system. In order to avail political power, dictators like General Zia-ul-Haq tried to placate the fundamentalist Mullahs by launching Hudood Ordinance. The society is silent over social customs like Karo-Kari, Vaani, Swara and several other atrocities of the retrogressive people. Finally, the last hope, the justice system, is itself a victim of political interference.

Let us see why women rights are being denied and exploited in Pakistan, but before that, make it clear what are women's universal rights. In Article 25(1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan it is stated, "All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law." Article 25(2) states, "There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone."

Islam guarantees an adult woman to marry according to her will. Even parents cannot force her to marry against her choice. Moreover, no person including parents, husbands, in-laws have the right to judge and decide the fate of women accused of being guilty of any crime. Courts are there in a civilized society to decide what is right what is wrong.

In addition to constitutional guarantee, 98% percent Muslims of Pakistan are morally binding as believer of Islam to fight evil and injustice, i.e., Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar. In this regard, they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women.

Despite the universal protection of Islam and the rights given by the constitution of Pakistan, women are the being abused by some atrocious elements of our society.

Politics in Pakistan is a game of holding power and doing everything whether right or wrong in order to secure that power. Women have been a victim of such a political game. General Zia-ul-Haq, after clinching power from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, enacted "Hudood Ordinances". Zia gave the impression to Islamize the country; however, the hidden truth was to prolong his tenure by making the religious extremist happy. Still the women are being crushed under the barbarity of Hudood Ordinances.

If a woman is raped, one of the conditions of the law requires that woman must provide for four pious Muslim witnesses for seeing the crime. Let for a moment condone that part of the law. But, the worst cruelty of the law is that in case of failing to provide witnesses, the rape victim will be charged of fornication; the punishment for which is stoning to death.

One of the examples from innumerous cases is that of an incidence of stoning to death to a blind girl in 1980s. Her only mistake was to report that she was raped. But, unable to provide for the four pious Muslim cum male witnesses, she was charged of adultery. Consequently, in this Islamic Republic of Pakistan, an innocent was stoned to death.

Does the above case conform to the right and protection given by the constitution of Pakistan? Does Islam allow injustice of such an inhuman nature? The answer is no, but, such atrocities are being done under the name of Islamic injunctions; however, the concealed fact is that of a political nature. The society was silent when the Hudood Ordinance was enacted, and it is still heedless of the barbarisms from some of its own sections of people.

Karo-Kari is one of those customs related to fornication. A Kari is a woman who is alleged to have extramarital relations with a man called Karo. In a typical Birdari and caste system of our society, especially in rural areas, if a woman marries with her choice outside of her family relation -- a crime of violating the Biradari unwritten rule – then she is alleged to have committed adultery. The whole Biradari becomes willing to kill both of the husband and the wife under the pretext of Karo-Kari.

Even the dead body of the innocent woman is not given her due right of burying. She is interred in an isolated and far-flung place without religious rituals. In contrast, the Karo is given the right to be buried with religious rituals.

Moreover, husbands, in-laws, and their relatives also victimize the woman with allegation of fornication. In fact, the reason is their personal grievances and enmity for not bringing enough dowry or not following the orders of in-laws. She could be killed any time by her husband or any of his relatives under the pretext of Karo-Kari custom.

Not only the adult woman but also baby girls of even months old are not spared from the clutches of retrogressive customs. Swara and Vaani are such kind of heinous crimes that are deeply upheld by the stone-age minded people.

In both of the customs, the minor girls are given as compensation for the wrongdoings perpetrated by one of the members of the culprit family on the aggrieved one. The village's cult of goons called "Punchayat" leaded by elders of village, fundamentalist Mullahs, including any of our graduate MPA participate in such Punchayats.

Many girls given under Vaani or Swara to the aggrieved family refused to marry there after attaining adult age. CJ of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have taken suo motu action in this regard. Furthermore, girls as young as ten years of age are married with 60 years old man under such customs.

The data collected by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reveals, "A woman is raped after every two hours and gang-raped after every eight hour. For honor killing, commission's report says that in 2006, 565 women have been killed under Karo-Kari. Police do not take seriously the crime of honor killings; as in 2005, there were 475 such cases, and police was able to catch only 128 accused.

According to a report presented by the Interior Ministry, there have been 4100 honor killings since 2001. The report also criticizes that under 'Qisas and Diyat" law, the killer could easily be forgiven after paying compensation for the blood of the dead.

The village Punchayat is so lowest in its scruples that sometimes it orders to rape the women of the culprit family as revenge. Mukhtaran Mai is one of such victim who had been gang-raped because her brother was guilty of some wrong for which she was punished to be gang-raped. The law enforcement agencies denied her "right to register an FIR" because the criminals were influentials.

Sometimes women are stripped and forced to walk naked in the village for any crime of their family members. If she denies marrying with a family relative or raising her voice against her in-laws then she is subjected to mutilation of her body by acid-throwing. For whatever reasons, her husbands could brutally beat her any time under any pretext. Most of the time, she was beaten and even killed for not having a male baby child.

Women are also exploited for the only reason of being a woman. With a high workload from dawn to dusk, she was paid far less than what males get doing less work. Moreover, in our male dominant society, molestation and sometimes attack on her piety during job are frequent incidents. If she reports such crimes then as a punishment, she is rusticated from her job. Therefore, most of the crimes against her remain unreported.

The traders of human flesh exploit her misery. Taking advantage of her penury, they force some of the women on prostitution. Trafficking of women is also a lucrative business for human traffickers. Such women after going abroad work as domestic slaves under extremely inhuman conditions or they are kept in brothels for the shameful business.

Report by an NGO, the Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) says that in 2006, there were 7,564 cases of violence against women; 1,993 cases of torture; 1,271 women were kidnapped; 822 women committed suicide; 259 were gang raped; 119 were trafficked; 144 booked under the Hudood Ordinances; and 792 were killed in the name of honor. The above data are based on reported cases; and because of unreported abuses, the actual crime rate is far more than what is reported.

Furthermore, most of the women have no choice of theirs in deciding the number of babies to have. Family planning is seen in a typical conservative society as against Islam. In case of any medical emergency, when no female doctor available for her help, the orthodox relatives allow her to die rather than to be provided aid by a male doctor. Thousands of woman die per annum for not having female doctors in medical facilities.

Being a female, cult of the fundamentalists mostly in tribal and rural areas does not allow her to get education. They say it is a western intrigue to make their women liberal. With the advent of Talibanization, the girls' schools are openly threatened to close their centers else, their educational premises would be blasted. Such news in North Western part of Pakistan has become common today and several girls schools have been devastated by such crimes.

With all such atrocities on majority of women, there is some ray of hope for having a section of women fully utilizing constitutional and religious rights. Such women are participating in the development and progress of Pakistan; while fully observing the Islamic behavior and conduct, they are working along with men in almost all the spheres of life. They are in military, economy, health, politics, police, foreign services, law, parliament and in fact every place where it was impossible to think of their presence few decades ago.

Recently, PAF (Pakistan Air Force) inducted in its services female pilots as commissioned officers. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a female, Shamshad Akhtar, has been appointed as Governor State Bank of Pakistan. In foreign services, Tasneem Akhtar is carrying out her duties diligently as foreign office spokesperson. Besides, her Excellence, Dr. Maliha Lodhi, is working as an ambassador of Pakistan in UK.

Asma Jahangir, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commissions of Pakistan, is famous for her brave efforts for relieving the victims of Human Rights abuses in Pakistan At lower level, women are running their own business as entrepreneurs; working in petrol pumps, restaurants, and coaches; participating in politics. In fact, there is a long list of women who are active and no less than their male contemporaries are.

There are 234 women legislators sitting in our assemblies; 18 in Senate; 73 in National Assembly; and 143 in Provincial assemblies. This is one of the first times in Pakistan's history that women are given greater role to play in legislation. Several women are working in cabinet as ministers in various government divisions. In Local Government system, thousands of women are elected as councilors, mayors, deputy mayors. Nasreen Jalil, is Deputy mayor of CDGK (City District Government Karachi).

Still, the number of women enjoying some of their rights is below optimum. For the majority, it is a distant dream to decide for their own choice of life partner; and it is a luxury for most of the women to avail medical facilities for delivering a baby. However, efforts are being made both from the government and non-government sides to make better the plight of the persecuted women.

After Independence, the first Commission on the Emancipation of Women was formed in 1955; the commission presented its report in 1961, but the government diluted several of its recommendations. However, in the same year, president Ayub Khan promulgated "Family Law Ordinance" that gave not much but little relief to the women.

In 1975, Pakistan Women Rights Committee was formed which presented its report in 1976 without having any effect upon the power holders. Similarly, in 1981, Pakistan Commission on the Status of Women was founded that submitted its findings in 1985. However, the report was thrown into the dustbin due to Zia's passion for implementing his own version of Islamization.

After nine years, the "Commission of Inquiry for Women" was formed in 1994. The commission presented its report in August 1997, but it has gone to the same fate as the previous commissions' reports.

The National Commission on Status of Women formed (NCSW) came into being in September 2000. The purpose was to advise the government for eradicating laws discriminatory to women. The commission provided its detailed report in 2003. The report presented a thorough and critical review of 1979 Hudood Ordinances and concluded that these laws are being used to abuse women; thus, it asked for their annulment.

The power of the NCSW is restricted to only for recommendations. Moreover, it has been devoid of chairperson for several months. The effectiveness of the commission cannot be enhanced unless it gets independent in its working. India has a commission of similar nature but it is quite powerful in questioning and calling any senior government official. Therefore, it should be made equal on such footing as that of Indian commission.

In 1996, Pakistan internationally ratified Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The law requires the government to take strict measures against any abuse that hinders women rights for freedom, equality, and justice. The law is good in its part for binding the country in protecting rights of the women.

November 2006 is important in relieving women some of the atrocities of Hudood Ordinances. Parliament passed "Protection of Women Rights Bill (Criminal Laws Amendments)"; the bill is an attempt to secure the women from misuse of Zina and Qazf laws under Hudood Ordiances enacted by Zia in 1979.

Religious fundamentalists as usual opposed the passage of the bill and leader of opposition Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman said that the bill is "to turn Pakistan into a free-sex zone". They criticized the Bill to be against Qur'an and Sunnah.

So much noise by religious bigots over rights of women is a norm in our society. The only purpose of such billows is to gain political marks. In fact, the Bill do not require a woman to be punished - as the case under Hudood Ordiance 1979 - if she fails to provide for 4 pious males like our religious fundamentalists. Moreover, the bill requires the intervention of the session court in case the families pardon the culprits of rape or killing by settling the dispute outside the court under Qazf. Moreover, the bill made the offences under Hudood Ordinances to be taken under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that gives the right to have bail which 1979 Hudood Ordinance negated.

The government presented another bill on women rights "Prevention of anti-Women Practices Bill 2006 (Criminal Law Amendment) in December 2006. The bill contains the proposal of nine-member Ulema panel to relieve women from some of the malpractices. Under Section 310A, the bill prohibits handover of women for settling a dispute between groups, either under marriage or as Vaani, Swara. Any violation of the Bill carries three-year prison term and fine.

The second bill on women rights also protects the women from depriving of the inheritance in property, violation of which carries seven-year imprisonment under Section 498A; force marriage is regarded as punishable with three-year imprisonment and fine under Section 498B; Section 498C prohibits marriage with the Quran, those involving such practice are punishable with three-year imprisonment.

Women Action Forum was formed in Karachi in September 1981 in order to voice against brutalities of Hudood Ordinances. Behind its formation, there was a case in which a fifteen year old woman was sentenced to flogging because of marrying of her choice. Since then the forum took out many demonstrations and public awareness campaigns for eliminating the abuse of women rights in Pakistan. The forum has expanded its activities in major cities of Pakistan.

Aurat Foundation formed in 1986 is working enthusiastically for the rights of women. The head office is located in Islamabad. The organization has its own information and publication department that apprise the people the true realities women facing in Pakistan.


Given these facts, the Women in Pakistan do not possess their due rights guaranteed by the Constitution and Laws. The state is unable to protect the women from inhuman social customs prevalent in our society. The general population is mum over wicked practices being carried out on women; there is a great need of their voice against anti-women practices rather than forming laws over laws. The only need is to wake people of Pakistan for the Protection of Women Rights.



with headings:


The State of Women Rights in Pakistan

by secondopinion02

INTRODUCTION

Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the rights of women and do not discriminate in any sphere of life. The basis of Pakistani constitution is Islam; a religion that has secured the rights of women fourteen hundred years ago.

In Pakistan; Mukhtaran Mai, Dr. Shazia and various other women have been raised internationally because of the corrupt character of our moth eaten justice, social and political system. In order to avail political power, dictators like General Zia-ul-Haq tried to placate the fundamentalist Mullahs by launching Hudood Ordinance. The society is silent over social customs like Karo-Kari, Vaani, Swara and several other atrocities of the retrogressive people. Finally, the last hope, the justice system, is itself a victim of political interference.

(I) What are women rights?

Let us see why women rights are being denied and exploited in Pakistan, but before that, make it clear what are women's universal rights. In Article 25(1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan it is stated, "All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law." Article 25(2) states, "There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone."

Islam guarantees an adult woman to marry according to her will. Even parents cannot force her to marry against her choice. Moreover, no person including parents, husbands, in-laws have the right to judge and decide the fate of women accused of being guilty of any crime. Courts are there in a civilized society to decide what is right what is wrong.

In addition to constitutional guarantee, 98% percent Muslims of Pakistan are morally binding as believer of Islam to fight evil and injustice, i.e., Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar. In this regard, they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women.

(II) How are women rights violated?

Despite the universal protection of Islam and the rights given by the constitution of Pakistan, women are the being abused by some atrocious elements of our society.

a. Discriminatory Laws

Politics in Pakistan is a game of holding power and doing everything whether right or wrong in order to secure that power. Women have been a victim of such a political game. General Zia-ul-Haq, after clinching power from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, enacted "Hudood Ordinances". Zia gave the impression to Islamize the country; however, the hidden truth was to prolong his tenure by making the religious extremist happy. Still the women are being crushed under the barbarity of Hudood Ordinances.

If a woman is raped, one of the conditions of the law requires that woman must provide for four pious Muslim witnesses for seeing the crime. Let for a moment condone that part of the law. But, the worst cruelty of the law is that in case of failing to provide witnesses, the rape victim will be charged of fornication; the punishment for which is stoning to death.

One of the examples from innumerous cases is that of an incidence of stoning to death to a blind girl in 1980s. Her only mistake was to report that she was raped. But, unable to provide for the four pious Muslim cum male witnesses, she was charged of adultery. Consequently, in this Islamic Republic of Pakistan, an innocent was stoned to death.

Does the above case conform to the right and protection given by the constitution of Pakistan? Does Islam allow injustice of such an inhuman nature? The answer is no, but, such atrocities are being done under the name of Islamic injunctions; however, the concealed fact is that of a political nature. The society was silent when the Hudood Ordinance was enacted, and it is still heedless of the barbarisms from some of its own sections of people.

b. Heinous Customs

Karo-Kari is one of those customs related to fornication. A Kari is a woman who is alleged to have extramarital relations with a man called Karo. In a typical Birdari and caste system of our society, especially in rural areas, if a woman marries with her choice outside of her family relation -- a crime of violating the Biradari unwritten rule – then she is alleged to have committed adultery. The whole Biradari becomes willing to kill both of the husband and the wife under the pretext of Karo-Kari.

Even the dead body of the innocent woman is not given her due right of burying. She is interred in an isolated and far-flung place without religious rituals. In contrast, the Karo is given the right to be buried with religious rituals.

Moreover, husbands, in-laws, and their relatives also victimize the woman with allegation of fornication. In fact, the reason is their personal grievances and enmity for not bringing enough dowry or not following the orders of in-laws. She could be killed any time by her husband or any of his relatives under the pretext of Karo-Kari custom.

Not only the adult woman but also baby girls of even months old are not spared from the clutches of retrogressive customs. Swara and Vaani are such kind of heinous crimes that are deeply upheld by the stone-age minded people.

In both of the customs, the minor girls are given as compensation for the wrongdoings perpetrated by one of the members of the culprit family on the aggrieved one. The village's cult of goons called "Punchayat" leaded by elders of village, fundamentalist Mullahs, including any of our graduate MPA participate in such Punchayats.

Many girls given under Vaani or Swara to the aggrieved family refused to marry there after attaining adult age. CJ of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have taken suo motu action in this regard. Furthermore, girls as young as ten years of age are married with 60 years old man under such customs.

The data collected by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reveals, "A woman is raped after every two hours and gang-raped after every eight hour. For honor killing, commission's report says that in 2006, 565 women have been killed under Karo-Kari. Police do not take seriously the crime of honor killings; as in 2005, there were 475 such cases, and police was able to catch only 128 accused.

According to a report presented by the Interior Ministry, there have been 4100 honor killings since 2001. The report also criticizes that under 'Qisas and Diyat" law, the killer could easily be forgiven after paying compensation for the blood of the dead.

c. Violence and Exploitations

The village Punchayat is so lowest in its scruples that sometimes it orders to rape the women of the culprit family as revenge. Mukhtaran Mai is one of such victim who had been gang-raped because her brother was guilty of some wrong for which she was punished to be gang-raped. The law enforcement agencies denied her "right to register an FIR" because the criminals were influentials.

Sometimes women are stripped and forced to walk naked in the village for any crime of their family members. If she denies marrying with a family relative or raising her voice against her in-laws then she is subjected to mutilation of her body by acid-throwing. For whatever reasons, her husbands could brutally beat her any time under any pretext. Most of the time, she was beaten and even killed for not having a male baby child.

Women are also exploited for the only reason of being a woman. With a high workload from dawn to dusk, she was paid far less than what males get doing less work. Moreover, in our male dominant society, molestation and sometimes attack on her piety during job are frequent incidents. If she reports such crimes then as a punishment, she is rusticated from her job. Therefore, most of the crimes against her remain unreported.

The traders of human flesh exploit her misery. Taking advantage of her penury, they force some of the women on prostitution. Trafficking of women is also a lucrative business for human traffickers. Such women after going abroad work as domestic slaves under extremely inhuman conditions or they are kept in brothels for the shameful business.

Report by an NGO, the Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) says that in 2006, there were 7,564 cases of violence against women; 1,993 cases of torture; 1,271 women were kidnapped; 822 women committed suicide; 259 were gang raped; 119 were trafficked; 144 booked under the Hudood Ordinances; and 792 were killed in the name of honor. The above data are based on reported cases; and because of unreported abuses, the actual crime rate is far more than what is reported.

d. Deplorable Level of Health and Education

Furthermore, most of the women have no choice of theirs in deciding the number of babies to have. Family planning is seen in a typical conservative society as against Islam. In case of any medical emergency, when no female doctor available for her help, the orthodox relatives allow her to die rather than to be provided aid by a male doctor. Thousands of woman die per annum for not having female doctors in medical facilities.

Being a female, cult of the fundamentalists mostly in tribal and rural areas does not allow her to get education. They say it is a western intrigue to make their women liberal. With the advent of Talibanization, the girls' schools are openly threatened to close their centers else, their educational premises would be blasted. Such news in North Western part of Pakistan has become common today and several girls schools have been devastated by such crimes

(III) Is there any positive side of Women rights in Pakistan?

With all such atrocities on majority of women, there is some ray of hope for having a section of women fully utilizing constitutional and religious rights. Such women are participating in the development and progress of Pakistan; while fully observing the Islamic behavior and conduct, they are working along with men in almost all the spheres of life. They are in military, economy, health, politics, police, foreign services, law, parliament and in fact every place where it was impossible to think of their presence few decades ago.

Recently, PAF (Pakistan Air Force) inducted in its services female pilots as commissioned officers. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a female, Shamshad Akhtar, has been appointed as Governor State Bank of Pakistan. In foreign services, Tasneem Akhtar is carrying out her duties diligently as foreign office spokesperson. Besides, her Excellence, Dr. Maliha Lodhi, is working as an ambassador of Pakistan in UK.

Asma Jahangir, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commissions of Pakistan, is famous for her brave efforts for relieving the victims of Human Rights abuses in Pakistan At lower level, women are running their own business as entrepreneurs; working in petrol pumps, restaurants, and coaches; participating in politics. In fact, there is a long list of women who are active and no less than their male contemporaries are.

There are 234 women legislators sitting in our assemblies; 18 in Senate; 73 in National Assembly; and 143 in Provincial assemblies. This is one of the first times in Pakistan's history that women are given greater role to play in legislation. Several women are working in cabinet as ministers in various government divisions. In Local Government system, thousands of women are elected as councilors, mayors, deputy mayors. Nasreen Jalil, is Deputy mayor of CDGK (City District Government Karachi).


(IV) What efforts have been made for ensuring women rights?

Still, the number of women enjoying some of their rights is below optimum. For the majority, it is a distant dream to decide for their own choice of life partner; and it is a luxury for most of the women to avail medical facilities for delivering a baby. However, efforts are being made both from the government and non-government sides to make better the plight of the persecuted women.

a. Different commissions on women and their reports
After Independence, the first Commission on the Emancipation of Women was formed in 1955; the commission presented its report in 1961, but the government diluted several of its recommendations. However, in the same year, president Ayub Khan promulgated "Family Law Ordinance" that gave not much but little relief to the women.

In 1975, Pakistan Women Rights Committee was formed which presented its report in 1976 without having any effect upon the power holders. Similarly, in 1981, Pakistan Commission on the Status of Women was founded that submitted its findings in 1985. However, the report was thrown into the dustbin due to Zia's passion for implementing his own version of Islamization.

After nine years, the "Commission of Inquiry for Women" was formed in 1994. The commission presented its report in August 1997, but it has gone to the same fate as the previous commissions' reports.

The National Commission on Status of Women formed (NCSW) came into being in September 2000. The purpose was to advise the government for eradicating laws discriminatory to women. The commission provided its detailed report in 2003. The report presented a thorough and critical review of 1979 Hudood Ordinances and concluded that these laws are being used to abuse women; thus, it asked for their annulment.

The power of the NCSW is restricted to only for recommendations. Moreover, it has been devoid of chairperson for several months. The effectiveness of the commission cannot be enhanced unless it gets independent in its working. India has a commission of similar nature but it is quite powerful in questioning and calling any senior government official. Therefore, it should be made equal on such footing as that of Indian commission.

b. Laws on protection of women rights

In 1996, Pakistan internationally ratified Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The law requires the government to take strict measures against any abuse that hinders women rights for freedom, equality, and justice. The law is good in its part for binding the country in protecting rights of the women.

November 2006 is important in relieving women some of the atrocities of Hudood Ordinances. Parliament passed "Protection of Women Rights Bill (Criminal Laws Amendments)"; the bill is an attempt to secure the women from misuse of Zina and Qazf laws under Hudood Ordiances enacted by Zia in 1979.

Religious fundamentalists as usual opposed the passage of the bill and leader of opposition Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman said that the bill is "to turn Pakistan into a free-sex zone". They criticized the Bill to be against Qur'an and Sunnah.

So much noise by religious bigots over rights of women is a norm in our society. The only purpose of such billows is to gain political marks. In fact, the Bill do not require a woman to be punished - as the case under Hudood Ordiance 1979 - if she fails to provide for 4 pious males like our religious fundamentalists. Moreover, the bill requires the intervention of the session court in case the families pardon the culprits of rape or killing by settling the dispute outside the court under Qazf. Moreover, the bill made the offences under Hudood Ordinances to be taken under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that gives the right to have bail which 1979 Hudood Ordinance negated.

The government presented another bill on women rights "Prevention of anti-Women Practices Bill 2006 (Criminal Law Amendment) in December 2006. The bill contains the proposal of nine-member Ulema panel to relieve women from some of the malpractices. Under Section 310A, the bill prohibits handover of women for settling a dispute between groups, either under marriage or as Vaani, Swara. Any violation of the Bill carries three-year prison term and fine.

The second bill on women rights also protects the women from depriving of the inheritance in property, violation of which carries seven-year imprisonment under Section 498A; force marriage is regarded as punishable with three-year imprisonment and fine under Section 498B; Section 498C prohibits marriage with the Quran, those involving such practice are punishable with three-year imprisonment.

c. NGOs working for Women Rights

Women Action Forum was formed in Karachi in September 1981 in order to voice against brutalities of Hudood Ordinances. Behind its formation, there was a case in which a fifteen year old woman was sentenced to flogging because of marrying of her choice. Since then the forum took out many demonstrations and public awareness campaigns for eliminating the abuse of women rights in Pakistan. The forum has expanded its activities in major cities of Pakistan.

Aurat Foundation formed in 1986 is working enthusiastically for the rights of women. The head office is located in Islamabad. The organization has its own information and publication department that apprise the people the true realities women facing in Pakistan.

CONCLUSION

Given these facts, the Women in Pakistan do not possess their due rights guaranteed by the Constitution and Laws. The state is unable to protect the women from inhuman social customs prevalent in our society. The general population is mum over wicked practices being carried out on women; there is a great need of their voice against anti-women practices rather than forming laws over laws. The only need is to wake people of Pakistan for the Protection of Women Rights.


==========================

===============================================
==========================
References:

1. www.dawn.com (information collected from different news, articles, opinion editorials)

2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Action_Forum

3. http://www.propoor.org/search/detail...o&npo_id=15577

4.
www.amnesty.org/

5.
www.hrcp-web.org

6. http://www.ncsw.gov.pk/


__________________
Lo! man is in a state of loss. (Al-Asr:103:2) And every small and great thing is recorded. (Al-Qamar:54:53) And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it hath earned, and they will not be wronged. (Al-Baqara:2:281)
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No doubt a commendable effort. As far as I understand, the conent should primarily reflect the topic under discussion. From your writing, that only a small part of that. Don't you think the primary focus should have been on the current state of women rights in pakistan, rather than what they are or should be.
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Old Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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Default @pardada

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No doubt a commendable effort.
Many many thanks for your compliments

Quote:
As far as I understand, the conent should primarily reflect the topic under discussion. From your writing, that only a small part of that.
I would be in debt of your kindness if you let me know from your understanding, i.e., which part of my essay do not reflect the "topic under discussion."

As far as I know, essay should be comprehensive, i.e., to cover all the aspects of women rights in Pakistan. To present only the negative aspects and ignoring other side of the mirror is not a good way to write an essay. If you look at the topic "THE STATE OF WOMEN RIGHTS IN PAKISTAN"; it doesn't say that one should only focus on the negative aspects. I have only presented the "STATE" both positive and negative.

Throughout my discussion, I have maintained that majority of women in Pakistan are deprived of their rights; presented the clear picture of the brutal customs, violence, etc; also showed that there are laws and commission but they are ineffective; also showed that there are very small number of women enjoying their rights, but they are unable to rectify the lot of the majority of underprivileged women.

Quote:
Don't you think the primary focus should have been on the current state of women rights in pakistan, rather than what they are or should be.
I think you haven't read the Essay. I request you to please read it once very fast from top to bottom and if you find anything which is outdated or not faced by women today then let me know; then I would discuss it with you.

I am glad to have your comments upon my Essay; moreover, if you think any part of the essay is irrelevant, unnecessary or does not point to the current state of women then please point me that portion. I would like to discuss and clarify the reason to write that part.

Thanks
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Old Wednesday, September 12, 2007
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@secondopinion02
nice attempt indeed but
"Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar"
consult it again and see what it lacks....


"they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women"
GOING ON WOMEN???? doesnt it seem different


i think it will be suitable to throw some light on judiciary particulary in the case of Swara and Vaani and also discussing role of iftakhar chaudhary (mentioning role of independent judiciary in 2007)

u must be appreciated for this nice piece of work
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Old Wednesday, September 12, 2007
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There has been a tremendous change in the situation of women's rights. The whole approach has changed from protection to rights. Earlier, it was that women needed protection. Even the Women's Commission report talked in terms of a division of labour between men and women. The woman was, naturally, given a secondary place in return for a monetary stipend to be protected. There was a different mindset altogether. In the 1980s, a more rights-based approach was taken to the status of women, but it has not gone deep enough. When we talk about how the situation has changed-it has changed in terms of women being more aware of their rights; women taking more opportunities where they have presented themselves; and women asserting themselves in different fields, such as in politics and economics. But as far as the basic unit of the family is concerned, which is where discrimination begins and bogs the woman down her whole life, very little has changed, even on paper.There have been minor breakthroughs though. And these have been primarily because more women are entering the legal profession, and, more importantly, more women have been willing and able to take the risk of litigation. A woman lawyer can interpret laws from a gender perspective, but you still need a real client who wants to go all out, take the legal risk, and not succumb to pressure and compromise along the way. Many of these breakthroughs have come through case law, where women clients have had to suffer. At times, not even supported by their own families, these women have had to go through prolonged periods of uncertainties, and they have been brandished as brash women who are bucking social norms. It has been a difficult process for these women, and they need to be celebrated.
One example of how these changes have taken place was a legal case very early on with regards to a woman who was contesting an election. However, it died down and the question did not reach the height of legal precedent. That is, until female students in medical colleges challenged the law. Other than being supported by their families, what made it easier for these students was that it was not during the military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq. Had it been, the case would not have seen the kind of positive response it did from the court. So eventually we did get relief from the Supreme Court and it did uphold Article 25 of the Constitution- "There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone"--which was already on paper was then realised. Following this, there were similar cases challenging discrimination, for example the one that changed the common practise where women were forced to change their domicile according to the domicile of the man she married.
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Old Thursday, September 13, 2007
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Default @Waseem Gurmani

Quote:
nice attempt indeed but
"Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar"
consult it again and see what it lacks....


"these are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women"
GOING ON WOMEN???? doesnt it seem different


i think it will be suitable to throw some light on judiciary particulary in the case of Swara and Vaani and also discussing role of iftakhar chaudhary (mentioning role of independent judiciary in 2007)

u must be appreciated for this nice piece of work
Dear Gurmani,

Come to your argument:
Quote:
"they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women"
GOING ON WOMEN???? doesnt it seem different
By saying "they are binding upon"; it means the principles of "Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar" are binding upon every Muslim.

By saying "at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of .....": it means the lowest possibility to following those principles are to "raise one's voice or speak them as crimes"

By saying "gross injustices going on women" I did not mean that our Judiciary is doing injustices on women. It means that cutoms like Vaani, Swara, Karo-Kari and many others followed by people are "gross injustices going on women". How come it be different? don't you read daily in the newspaper that a woman was killed under karo-kari; or a girl pledged as Vaani or Swara?


As far as mentioning the role of CJ and Judiciary positively; read the following part of the essay:

"....Many girls given under Vaani or Swara to the aggrieved family refused to marry there after attaining adult age. CJ of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have taken suo motu action in this regard. Furthermore, girls as young as ten years of age are married with 60 years old man under such customs......"

I haven't discussed the role of CJ in detail; however you are right these can be elaborated.
Please, rectify the sentence as given below; this sentence had left my proofreading review:

"they these are binding upon us at least to voice their our concern as Muslims who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women"

Thanks for your valuable comments


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Old Thursday, September 13, 2007
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@secondopinion02
bro i think you hav'nt got the point which i wanted to elaborate
1.Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar is wrong..now see its correction
Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-anil-munkar



2.you didnt get even my second point..i was'nt pointing to the whole sentence but only the part going on women
"they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerate evils of gross injustices going on women".
so i think its better to replace going on with the women are treated with
i am not sure about the rule but what seems me irrelevant,i have pointed out
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Old Friday, September 14, 2007
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Thanks brother

1. i didn't get the word in Webster "Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-anil-munkar" that's why it got wrong

2. Ok you can use "women are treated with"..... BTW...."going on" is also correct to say...

t.c
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Old Saturday, September 15, 2007
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.........that was good effort i really appriciate your views.i think that the participation of woman in day to day life is essential for the progress of a nation//// and the violation of woman must be eleminated.
--------- but still we must not forget the teaching of islam and also to keep the freedom of woman within islamic boundry--------
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Old Monday, September 17, 2007
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i ve appeared in 2007 css exames there is no typical expression which a checker requried especially in english essay there is no authentic quation
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