The conditions of women in many countries are no better than those of the women of the Stone and the Dark Ages. Regrettably, our own country, Pakistan, is also no exception to it as women, are living a life of miseries and they are underprivileged and deprived of their fundamental rights.
Beginning with violence and putting it in figures, as per the data by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), 835 cases of domestic violence were registered, 67 women were murdered for bearing a girl, and 597 cases of assault on women were reported, in 2014. The offences against women range from acid throwing, rape and gang rapes to forced prostitution, forced marriages, unfair and unjust inheritance of property etc.
Pakistani women, especially those belonging to rural areas, are stereotyped as mere beasts of burden or household machines. Beside these rural women are supposed to sow, reap, collect crops, and shepherd animals. Women, in urban areas, also suffer the same kind of gender bias in socioeconomic spheres of life even they are harassed at the workplaces. This happens only because of the belief that women are inferior to men, and therefore should not be treated equally.
A society like ours in which the disparity between men and women on the basis of sex is so deeply rooted that it warrants lots of individuals. The only effective tool to enable a woman to lead a healthy and humane life is “Women Empowerment”. In this society, a woman must be endowed with education, for realization and fulfillment of personal ambitions. Policies and programs must be developed to promote education for women and girls as a means for empowering them.
The dream of gender equality can be realized only if women are brought in the national political mainstream, with adequate as well as effectual representation, in all organs of the government. It will be only with the strong say of women in legislation that stringent legislation against domestic violence can be made.
From Islamic viewpoint as well, women are endowed with the maximum liberty, to the point of fully partaking in the civic, administrative and political spheres by observing certain conditions. For making this a reality in our society, we must disseminate knowledge on true ideas of Islamic gender equality among masses. Along with this she may be provided an opportunity to participate in educative and valued seminars etc where she may get awareness about different issues
When gender roles become more flexible, most women enjoy greater power and the threat of violence against them decreases. It is important, therefore, to engage both men and women and boys and girls in interventions that promote gender equality and prevent violence against women.
Written By: Syeda Sidra