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Pakistani Women’s Role in Politics

Posted by sadiahaidarig on February 14, 2013


abcWomen active participation in politics was imperative to involve them in decisions making process for country’s decisions .

Women have lot of potential and they can play dynamic role in diverse fields of life with men.Women role must not be limited to the household responsibilities they should prove themselves in all departments.

It is really in the next up coming election that women politicians  began to think of asserting their demand for equal share and equal recognition in policy making. Participation in civil society movements and mobilizations, demands for the right to vote, legal equality or the right to be elected to parliaments and governments were among the important aspects of women’s role in politics.

Through Quranic verses,he elaborated that Islam has given women right and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious or constitutional systems.

The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house. It consists of 342 members, 272 of whom are directly elected. 60 seats are reserved for women in addition to 13 women who are directly elected. The senate of Pakistan is the upper house of parliament. It has 100 members; 17 of these members are women.zardari-womens-rights-bill

We notice a marked difference in the performance between the women members elected through direct election and those selected by nomination on reserved seats in 2008 election .

As long as women remained excluded from participation in Parliaments, from political processes, and therefore from making or amending legislation, they had to depend on male legislators’ agreement to legislate in favour of women having the right to vote, to sit in parliament and to hold public office. This dependency on others’ goodwill or agreeing to bring change to women’s lives, as experience goes, failed to yield the desired results.

But struggles and movements for women’s rights over many decades have marked women’s political empowerment as a high priority.

To place the question of women’s role in politics and to relate that to the concerns of quantity and quality, it is very important to resolve the relationship between gender and democracy. To experience the full benefit of women’s role in politics, it has to be embedded in political stability, democratic practices, good governance, transparency and accountability as these are the most important determinants of human rights, justice and peace.

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Life of A Woman is Voilence in Pakistan

Posted by sadiahaidarig on February 12, 2013


womens_rights-violence_page_pic1Pakistan’s relationship with its women is rooted in a patriarchal feudal system feeding the country since before it was born. It’s an archaic system that has produced the men who run the country, negotiate domestic and foreign policy and penned sexist laws that made it easier for women to slide through the cracks. A lack of accessible education doesn’t help either. It’s not just one problem. It’s living in a system that hasn’t been built to accommodate the second sex.
Gender based violence has many shapes, forms and its consequences in our society.There are many people (mostly women) had been and still being victimized by violent cultural practices like Wanni,marriage with Quran,honor killings,Watta Satta and sexual harassment etc in Pakistan.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, 22.6% of the population lives below the international poverty line, on less than $1.25.PPP per day.These may have been the conditions in Pakistan since before 2001, but there has been no chance of improvement since then.
The population of Pakistan threatens to cross 190 million by July 2012, and women stand to make up roughly 47% of that number.

pakistan-gender-violence-against-women-4
Violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim and which arises from unequal power relationships between men and women”. For every person who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer from a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health problems.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW):
The term gender-based violence includes any act which results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm. It includes violent acts such as rape, torture, mutilation, sexual slavery, forced impregnation and murder. It also defines threats of these acts as a form of violence.
women vio
According to statistical data from UN, nearly 5000 women are killed in the world every year only in the name of ‘honor’.
Pakistan is not a country who has not seen gender based violence on the land. Thousands of individuals particularly women have been victimized by gender based violence. In the patriarchal society of Pakistan, women who make up 56% of the total population bear the brunt of poor governance, social and economic systems and feudalism.
kill womenThey face many forms of violence like rape, gang rape, forced marriages, acid throwing, stove burning, customary practices of Karo Kari and Wanni, domestic violence, sexual harassment at workplace, honor killings or Kari etc but has remained to be of no importance for judiciary of Pakistan, particularly the lower judiciary where even cases demanding immediate justice for the victim remain pending for months and years and even some people withdraw cases in the mean time because of the threats they receive from the opponent accused party.
This thing, instead of uprooting violence from the society, has given oxygen to elements who keep on assaulting women.
According to an estimate,
during the last ten years, 73913 cases of violence against women had been reported.
In this form of brutal murder, women are mostly the victims. In all the four provinces, honor killings have different names like Kalakali in Punjab, Karokari in Sindh, Siyakaari in Baluchistan and taurtoora in NWFP. According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) in Pakistan, every year, 1000 women are killed only in the name of honor.
For many people specially in rural and backward areas, it is a violence which may not be violence rather an act by ‘men’ to protect the honor of their family which according to their perceptions, give them full liberty to kill their wives if they doubt they have illicit relations with someone else and also kill their daughters and sisters who marry someone after their own heart and going against their family’s consent so that they could teach them and other female members a ‘lesson’.
The National Assembly of Pakistan passed a law for controlling this practice in 2004 however the statistics show such practices are still carried out.

Acid throwing is another brutal form of violence that we can see in Pakistan .In this, perpetrators of these attacks throw acid on the victim usually on their faces which not only disfigures their face, burn tissues of their body but also expose their bones and even dissolve them. The consequences of these attacks include blindness and permanent scarring of the face and the body. Mostly the women are victim of these attacks.Bashiran-Bibi-acid-attack-victimAccording to an estimate, up to 400 women fall victim to acid attacks perpetrated by their husbands or in-laws each year in Pakistan.
Reports have shown some reasons behind such brutal incidents. Usually, acid throwing attacks have been used as a form of revenge for refusal of sexual advances, proposals of marriage and demands for dowry. Property disputes are also one of the causes of such incidents.
Even though not all acid throwing cases are reported, an even lesser number of acid burn victims are provided any justice. Belonging to poor or marginalized fringes of the society, most acid survivors can hardly afford the cost of their own healing and are thus fated to continue suffering, lest the handful of relevant organizations succeed in reaching out to them. The victim is faced with physical challenges, which require long term surgical treatment, as well as psychological challenges, which require in-depth intervention from psychologists and counselors at each stage of physical recovery.Woman with black eye
Depression and anxiety are common amongst all patients with large burn injuries; however for victims with acid injuries, the physical scarring can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment, resulting in the survivor living a life in hiding due to fear of prejudice and stigma from their peers and the community.
Recently,
Iftakhar chaudary Chief justice of Pakistan directed the government to do legislation on the rising incidents of acid throwing to control this situation. Various reports suggest that under this legislation, the culprit could be sentenced from life imprisonment to death along with heavy fine.
Nasira Bibi of Khairpur District received acid injuries. Her husband and his brother cut off her nose and threw acid on her face over domestic quarrel.
According to a survey,
nearly 150 incidents of acid throwing attack take place every year in Pakistan.
In May 2008, two women in Lahore received severe burn injuries when they were attacked with acid. Samar Noman and Naghmana Bibi were standing outside a school, where Samar was picking up her child, when Amir rode by an accompliance on a motorbike and threw acid on them. Amir’s proposal to marry Samar had been rejected by her parents ,according by HRCP Annual Report.
According to another report, Sajjad Ahmed, Khuda Baksh and Ahmed alias Doda threw acid on Rabia and her mother Pathani. Both sustained serious burns while Rabia lost her two eyes as well.crying_woman_290543
In Pakistan,Watta Satta and Vanni is a practice more common in rural areas than in Urban areas of Pakistan. In a survey carried out in 2004, in 178 villages of Punjab and Sindh, almost 92% marriages took place as a result of this practice. In some of the cases, the pair for marriage was of uncle and neice and the girl was of very young age.
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any young girls/women are forced into wed-lock against their consent. In urban areas of Pakistan, marriages take place with girls’ consent but it is in the backward areas where the problem lies.Despite the aforementioned Act, the tradition is still practiced in some areas through Vanni and Watta Satta.
Watta satta is a tribal custom in Pakistan of exchanging brides between two families. At the time of marriage, both families trade brides. That is, both families must have a daughter and a son and be willing to betroth them to a daughter and son of the other family. For example, in order for one to marry off his son, he must also have a daughter to marry off in return to the same family.
Majority of people regard Watta Satta as custom but it becomes violence against women when they are married off at the age although they should be imparted education. The constitution of Pakistan explains this by saying that no boy under 18 or a girl under 16 should be married.

The Vanni could be avoided if the clan of the girl agrees to pay money, called Deet. Otherwise the young bride may spend her life paying for the crime of her male relatives.A practice have shown the children given in marriage to old aged persons.
According to report by Human Rights and Legal Committee by Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan, 945 cases of Vanni were reported during the year 1999-2009. According to various news resources in 2008, 56 cases of Vanni were reported. However, no significant figures for 2009 have been made in the press releases.child marry
According to local media, 6 cases of Vanni were reported in Punjab during period January to May.

In 2006, Vanni and Watta Satta was regarded as crime in a bill passed by National Assembly which has provided the legal protection to women but the figures show more need to be done to ensure the protection in ground reality.

A five year girl was married in Mardan as Swara/ wanni and the local police was unable to register a case against the accused.
Rape is an other from of women violence that we see in Islamic State of Pakistan. Often, young girls and women are victims of gender-based rape in our society. Talking about rape cases against women, often, jirgas and panchayits had been found giving verdicts where people of victim’s party were ordered to rape the female members of accused.

Lubano, a resident of district Ubaro, was raped by two men, Abdul Sattar and Mohammed Anwer Hussain, on January 27, 2007. Later on, she was taken to a courtyard where nine other people abused her and physically humiliated her.
pakistan_2241438bAlso, in many other cases it has been found that women are raped in revenge for seeking divorce, refusing marriage proposals, marrying of their own choice, defying cultural norms and for many other efforts at independent decision making. Sexual Harassment is an advanced stage of rape.

physically humiliated her According to reports from news papers, during the period 2007-2009, 7,546 cases of rape were reported giving an average of 314 rape cases per month. Only in the year 2009, 2497 rape cases were reported out of which 1959 in Punjab, 221 in Sindh, 118 in NWFP, 27 in Baluchistan, 56 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 106 in ICT, 10 in Northern Areas.
In some cases,it is found that fake aalims and pirs were accused of rape that fooled people of getting away with evil spirits.
In some of rape cases, a gang or group of people is involved as perpetrator and a single individual is the victim. Also the victim is murdered in some rape cases specially under 15 years young girls also raped in rural areas.A young girl (20) was deprived of her one leg during an operation in Mayo Hospital to save her life after she got brutally wounded while thwarting a rape attempt.

Some reports suggest that men and even women were kidnapped to teach them a lesson and to force them to lead life according to Islam.

According to Bureau of statistics, Government of Pakistan, 84,265 cases of kidnapping for Ransom were reported during 1998-2007. According to Aurat Foundation, 1762 cases of abduction of women were reported across the country in 2008 and from the figures of 2009; reports from media and NGOs suggest that only in Punjab, 5624 women were kidnapped.

Domestic torture and abuse is a widespread issue in Pakistan and victims include women belonging to all sections of society. They are beaten, mutilated and even burnt by their relatives often on quite petty issues. Often the women in houses are less aware of their rights and that is why they do not think that this is infact, violence against them or even if they can understand that they do not have so much strength in their voices to raise them against the male chauvinist approach.

According to Aurat Founation, 300 cases of torture were reported in 2008 while in early six months 2009, 320 cases were reported in 2009 .

a woman from Gujranwala was attacked by her in laws for marrying after her own choice. Shabana’s nose was cut by her mother in law and four brothers in law while her husband was not at home.

Women have also bore the brunt of custodial violence. There are cases that were being raped under custody by police officials. But the sad fact is that 95% of custodial violence reports against women go unreported.women face

In Pakistan, sexual harassment is on rise. All women who face harassment suffer adverse effects, and according to some estimates, almost 80 to 90 percent of women face some sort of harassment in public places, educational sectors and in the workplace. Among the most common forms of harassment in Pakistan are the discomforting gazes that follow a woman wherever she goes, as soon as she sets foot outside her home.

About 8.2 million women are reportedly employed as unregistered domestic help, without the cover of even the flimsiest of labour laws.But harassment at the workplace in Pakistan take on special significance considering the amount of time an adult spends at the workplace and the spillover effects on career growth, worker productivity. Media reports suggest that there has come up many issues regarding sexual harassment in various working sectors but the authority could not take serious action against the person accused because of lack of policies on sexual harassment. h kill

The National Assembly of Pakistan approved a bill against sexual harassment on August 4, 2009 which was proved by senate as well but
lack of proper legislation and implementation it is useless.

In Pakistan, different NGOs are working to prevent and uproot the forms of violence from the Pakistani Society. They not only protect the victims, address their issues, help them raise their voices for justice and also bring awareness among the masses of Pakistani society against violence. Some of NGOs that are working include Madadgaar, UNHRCP, Aurat Foundation, ASAR, Shirkat Gaah and Acids Survivor Foundation Pakistan.
Since majority of the cases of domestic violence take place against women and to protect them male chauvinist society.


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