Women Empowerment in Pakistan Outline 1. Introduction: 2. Women Empowerment and Pakistan 3. Women Empowerment at global level 4. Causes of anti-women practices in Pakistan a. Male dominance and discrimination on the basis of gender b. Pseudo-religious scholars’ misinterpretation of scriptures c. Feudalistic, Political, Economic and Socialistic system of government 5. Effects of Ann-women practices a. Abysmal state of women b. Honor killings, marriages with Quran, denial of inheritance, Watta Satta c. Women as bargaining chips in customs like Vani and Swara d.
Harassment of women at workplaces and Trafficking . Pro-women legislation done so far by different governments 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. ” a. Domestic Violence(Prevention and Protection) Act 2012 b. Prevention of the Anti-women practices Bill, Act 2011 c.
The protection of women at workplace, Act 2010 . Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, 2008 e. Women protection Bill, 2006 7. Ann-women Legislation a. Hudood Ordinance 1979 8. Need of Empowering women in Pakistan a. Economic aspect b. Social aspect c. Religious aspect d. Political aspect e. Legal aspect 9. Conclusion It is beyond any doubt that women play a significant role in development of society. Hlstory Dears tne testlmony to tne greatness 0T women as vlDrant memoers 0T society. Even in the current scenario women have stood shoulder to shoulder with men for the general cause of humanity.
But, it is unfortunate that their efforts have ot been given due recognition in society. In the name of various customs, rituals and practices, women are being deprived of the legitimate rights. Consequently, women are found in the abysmal state. The need of hour is to give women workplaces and business environments that support and welcome them to improve society at a large; a mass movement that Pakistan desperately needs to help push it out of Economic and Social quagmire in which it finds itself today. “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs.
It s crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of house as prisoners. ” (Quad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, 1944) The Pakistani society is one of the different kinds, where on one side it places women as the centre of attention and life; it then on the other hand considers them no more than a secondary citizen. For years the role that a women played as a citizen, a member of family or a home-maker has been highly undermined and today it has turned into a tradition to degrade women’s ability. The U. N Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women defines
Empowerment as: “Empowerment means that people-both women and men can take control of their lives; set their own agendas, gain skills (or have their own skills and knowledge recognized) increase self confidence, solve problems and develop self reliance. It is both a process and outcome” By empowering women it is meant that women should be allowed to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity. With the tagline of “Equality means Business” the U. N has put together seven “Women’s Empowerment Principles” esigned to bring about a gender-equal environment in workplace and business.
They include: ??? Establishing high level corporate leadership for gender equality ??? Treating all women and men fairly at work, respecting and supporting human rights and non-discrimination ??? Ensuring the health, safety and well being of all women and men workers ??? Promoting education, training and professional development for women ??? Implementing enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practice that empower women ??? Promoting equality through community initiatives and dvocacy ??? Measuring and publicly reporting on progress to achieve gender equality With the passage of time and economic development women have attained high level of liberty in the developed countries.
Women in said countries are enjoying almost equal rights in accordance to men. They have acquired such status due to high literacy rate, better infrastructure, enlightenment and sincerity of the ruling class. Unfortunately, man has woefully militated against God’s commandments in Pakistan. He has brought down women’s social status to the level of a third rate citizen. Three ain factors have encouraged man to do so. Firstly, it is the physical strength and a false sense of superiority as against women’s physical weakness that makes her vulnerable to oppression. Man has enforced the law 0T Jungle wnere tne weaker leads IITe at tne mercy 0T stronger. Secondly, it is the so-called religious scholar i. e. he ill-educated pseudo-scholar who interprets the Holy Quran in the light of his own gender prejudices against the women folk. Himself being man he preaches absolute property rights of men over women. Thirdly, it is the feudalistic, political, economic and socialistic system of overnment that has taken charge of national affairs ever since independence. In the political field, this autocratic order has denied advent of democracy in the country. In some parts of the society, she is not allowed to exercise her right to vote. Restoration of right to vote has not much difference because she is not free to vote as per the voice of her conscience.
In the economic sphere teeming millions are leading lives of serfdom. Denied opportunities to improve her economic lot she has been the worst sufferer. Dependent on man for every bit of her needs she virtually leads slave’s life. Feudalistic order has kept major part of nation illiterate but women have been left far behind literacy, knowledge, awareness and education. In some quarters even education is a factor that tends to indulge in sinful activities. It has therefore preferred to keep them illiterate and pious. In social matters man has successfully managed to keep her ignorant of her human rights. He has introduced devilish customs that victimize woman to accord her the status of domestic animals.
The practice of Vani, Swara, honor killing, marriage of daughters with the Holy Quran, ommitment of gang rape under orders of Jirga etc are some of the examples of man’s inhuman treatment of woman. Target of all these social evils has always been woman. hudood law: Apart from this empowering and enlightening pro-women legislation, there has also been anti-women legislation in Pakistan in the form of Hudood Ordinance 1979. It was a step to downgrade the status of women in the name of Islam. The Hudood Law was intended to implement Sharia Law, by enforcing punishments mentioned in Holy Quran and Sunnah for Zina, Qazaf offence against property and drinking.
As for Zina, woman alleging rape is required to provide four adult male eye witnesses. The Ordinance has been criticized as leading to hundred incidents where a woman subjected to rape, or even gang rape, was eventually accused of Zina and imprisoned becoming a victim of extremely unjust propaganda. This Ordinance gave woman the symbol of dirt, filth and mainspring under the sun has been heaped upon the poor hapless women. This was the abysmal depth where woman lay almost half dead some decades ago. But the amendment in Bill in 2006 had removed the major road block that stood in the way of women’s empowerment. Her rights received ecognition and her status was restored as an honorable member of society.
Effects: Anti-women practices have adversely affected the status of women in Pakistan. The inequality and depression of women have negative impacts on society. The implications of anti-women practices on society are as follows: Abysmal state of women: Hrstly, women are Touna In an aoysmal state In Pakistan . wnen Tatner Is not a Tatner and brother is not a brother, man has taken undue advantage of vulnerability of the weaker sex. That is the mark of his cowardice. When it comes to address women’s problems, father is not a father but only a “MAN”. He would hand over his child girl in marriage to an eighty year old man Just to get out of a difficult situation in which circumstances have placed him by chance.
Karo-kari and watta satta: Secondly, the brutal customs of honor killing (called as Karo-Kari in Sindh), Watta Satta marriages, marriage with Holy Quran and denial of inheritance are prevailing in society. A real brother is not a brother but only a “MAN” who would kill his sister mercilessly Just because in his view, she has disgraced him and his family. To deny inheritance, the father in collusion with sons, would marry his daughter to the Holy Quran. To get rid of an unwanted daughter or to get a daughter in law of his choice, he would give her away in forcible marriage exchange. This practice is called as Watta Satta which often ends in miseries and eventual breakup marriage; on both sides.
Husband is not a husband but only a “MAN” who utters the word of divorce thrice in one breath and sends the woman home. Man makes her work like an animal and beats her up whenever he feels the urge to do so. Domestic violence in the form of physical thrashing and mental torture with which woman is treated is considered to be the birth right of man. Man who is ordained to protect women by the Almighty God as per teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah, leaves her exposed to every kind of threat, fear, misery, misfortune, indignity, uncertainty, unhappiness that one can imagine in this life. Swara and want: Thirdly, women have been used as bargaining chips to resolve disputes in disgraceful customs of Swara and Vani.
Swara is a custom usually practiced in tribal areas, in which woman is used as a commodity to resolve feud between two clans. Similarly, in Southern Punjab Vani is a custom practiced in order to settle blood feuds. Vani could be avoided if the clan of the girl agrees to pay money called as “Deet”. Otherwise, the young bride may spend her life paying for the crimes of her male relatives. Harassment at work place and women trafficking: Fourthly, women face harassment in society, especially at their workplaces. The bosses particularly harass them. Trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon. It is the smuggling of women for the purpose of prostitution.
Many women are abducted or blackmailed from Pakistan to other parts of the world and intra country also. To correct the despicable scenario, the law men sitting in the Assemblies have off and n enacted various laws to wipe the rampant social vices and customary practices that distort the fair image of women. CONCLUSION: In tne nutsnell It can De sala t In nls InTlnlte wlsaom created women to play her role in the advancement of human affairs in her own way, and man was ordained to provide her protection so that she may perform her assigned duties with honor and respect. But man has subjected women to all kinds of exploitations i. e. social, economic and political. She became the worst victim of gender discrimination.
The result is that half of the population that women constituted is put aside as good for othing. The religious prejudices further made her life miserable. To be in her true self contributing to the advancement of the society in her assigned manner, she needs to be empowered in every walk of life. It is a globally accepted fact that when women have full agency and participation in business, economies are strengthened, societies become more stable and Just, internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability and human rights are achieved, the quality of life improves not Just for women, but for men, families and communities, the entire businesses’ operations and goals are pushed forward to success.