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Gender Discrimination in Pakistan

December 23, 2011  by: Madan G Singh  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 471

Women in Pakistan are discriminated against. The bias is deep rooted and permeates all levels of society


Pakistan has a male female gender ratio of 105:100. This by itself is a disturbing piece of statistic which shows that something is amiss in Pakistan. The state of Pakistan was carved out of the erstwhile British India on the basis of the two nation theory propounded by Jinnah. At that time the founder of Pakistan had in a statement in 1944 mentioned that women had to be equal partners of men in the development of Pakistan.

Unfortunately the great man expired just after independence and his successors could not follow his vision. One of the reasons was the pressure exerted on the government by the Islamic hardliners who thought it fit to enforce Islamic thought in its purity in Pakistan.

The result of this pandering to Islamic thought has resulted in the women in Pakistan being treated as a commodity with little thought of their upliftment. Thus right from childhood the discrimination against the girl child is practiced. Girls are not allowed to play games or go out anywhere unescorted by a male. This inhibits development of the girl child and continues till her death. Thus it is no wonder that Pakistan does not have any women sportspersons of any standing.

In Pakistan women are thought to be silly creature that cannot think for themselves and hence not allowed to exercise any choice in most matters. In addition love marriages are not allowed and the general status is low. The concept of honor dictates Pakistan society and hundreds of women are murdered every year under the garb of honor. What does it mean? In real terms it means that a woman associating or even talking to another man is anathema and a matter of honor, which would invite retribution and death.

Another aspect is the policy of the state that is enforcing the Shariat, Islamic law in all matters. The Shariat has some archaic provisions that say that a women's evidence is half of a mans.Thus to corroborate any evidence two women's evidence is needed.

Over the years the Islamization of society in Pakistan is going on at a fast palce.The overall sufferers are women where the marriage laws remain archaic and divorce remains a mans right. In addition a man could take more than one wife as enjoined in Islamic law. The drift towards Islamic society started after the downfall of Bhutto and was accelerated with general Zia in power. Another law that defies explanation is that in Pakistan the President cannot be a woman. This defies any rationale explanation. Again in Sind some women are marriedto the Koran and remain so for their entire life. This is a ploy to keep a woman from getting her inheritance and is enforced by the family( Brothers) themselves.

Gender equality is something that is not even discussed in Pakistan. Perhaps it will take a long time for women to get their rights in Pakistan. But perhaps the reason is the bias that is ingrained in the religion ethos itself.


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