The State of Women Rights in Pakistan
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...
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