Friday, November 25, 2011

The State Of Violence Against Women In Pakistan...December2011.

An Interactive article by Dr Meher Zaidi
The violence perpetrated against the nurses in Punjab who were peacefully demonstrating for their demands by urban middle class traders of the Mall Road, Lahore and the police who teargassed them speaks volumes of the mindset which encourages violence against women in Pakistan.Instead of negotiating a change in venue and letting the demonstration reach a peaceful end, the traders showed their attitude by violence. This is rampant in the Punjab where beating women, burning, killing, maiming and other forms of physical violence is considered a normal part of family life and where all members of society encourage this despiscable behaviour This attitude is encouraged by all sections of society whether rural, middle class , feudal or urban.It is considered male to beat the wife and female progeny.Religious people also do not discourage violence against women although the Prophet of Islam strongly encouraged gentleness and kindness to women.

Strategies and Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence against Women in Pakistan

The issue of domestic violence shows the clear picture of the state of  violence against women in Pakistan Despite of the passage of the bill entitled Domestic Violence protection Act 2009 in national assembly it was not duly ratified by the senate  . The undauntable Yasmin Rehman had tabled this bill.After the passing of the 18th amendment, this act is now ready to be devolved to the provinces. 
Humera Alwani pushing for women's rights in Sindh.
Humera Alwani, a courageous women parliamentarian of the Sindh assembly who is very proactive in women's rights issues is trying to get it passed in the Sindh assembly  but till to date she has not been successful. The state of domestic violence in Sindh is very grim indeed. Here Karo-kari a form of death by murder after accusations against women and men is almost an epidemic form.
Pakistan has a population of above 180 million , out of which more than 51% are women.To exist as a modern state and be prosperous Pakistan urgently needs to address these issues and bring women's rights as mainstream political issues. The development and economic progress of Pakistan depends on the egalitarian treatment of all its people.It is high time that all the bills are passed and devolved to bring progress to its poor people which are men and women both.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Women In Pakistan; The Pro-Women Bill and its implementation Issues.

The Pro-Women Bill &Implementation Issues In Pakistan.
Interactive Article  by Dr Meher Zaidi.

Pakistan has a population of almost 51% women and its youth bulge in women is also very large. The practices of early marriages including Child Marraige is very common. CHILD'S RIGHTS DESK PAKISTAN.

Practices such as Vani hinder the education and development of girls in Pakistan to actually become fully productive, contributing citizens of this over populous country.In Pakistan  a custom known as Swara hangs like a cursed sword over millions of  females who are unable to access any rights or justice.
A country beleaguered by issues of poverty and corruption, the future blackout of millions of women seems almost a Biblical Sin. The Islamist parties like the Jamaat e Islami do not understand either the socio-political or the future economic impact of opposing gender friendly laws in Muslim societies like Pakistan. They are way back in understanding the modern ethno-religious impact of gender discrimination in the future existence of the societies and its effect on the environment and politics of the planet. They are doing a dis-service to Islam by not addressing these repulsive and destructive customs and a hindrance to progress of more than half of  Pakistan's population. The issues of education and employment for women are almost like a small outside issue in Pakistani politics.
Imran Khan should bring these issues into mainstream politics.
 The Pakistan Tehrike Insaaf of Imran Khan fame is also not addressing these issues in a clear and cogent way either. This seems to reflect the long set feudal and primitive patriarchal mindset in Pakistan.This must change  . It is a major challenge that the Tehrike Insaaf needs to address. It needs to bring these issues in mainstream politics.It seems that presently it will be difficult for this party to do this as it needs to increase its vote bank for which it is tapping into the same feudal, patriarchal mindset people but if he creates a women friendly cell in his think tank with a very proactive woman heading it or person like IA Rehman, he may be doing the YOUTH in Pakistan a great favour.According to Harvard business review way back in 1997 it was realised that women factor in US businesses will be very important. With the Pakistani workforce of more than 50% women, why is this a small issue? Also female child worker in Pakistan contributes to a large part of our formal and informal economy.
The only ray of light is shown by the present parliament which passed the bill named Anti-Women Parctices (Criminal Law Amendment) unanimously which safeguards the rights of women against practices such as marraige to the Quran etc.
The issues of female education and economic progress and contribution to the national economy are directly linked to this bill implementation. If passed by the Senate (and not allowed to be lapsed as in the case of Domestic Violence bill) this will do a great service to the nation and also the Muslim society in Pakistan.
There is a dire need for the young politicians and aspirants to assemblies to understand and address these issues as mainstream political issues.A great deal of education of media, masses, young politicians needs to be undertaken. Gone are the times if female gender activist bashing and dehumanising and criticism of the gender friendly NGOs . Gone is the time for treating these issues as a "Western" or "Foreign interference" in our innocent population. This is now an issue of progress, future prosperity, and EXISTENCE as a respectable country on this planet.Patriarchial and suppressive practices must end and let Pakistan enter its BRIGHT, YOUNG FUTURE.
Dr Meher Zaidi with her Masjid patients.