News / Asia

Violence, Discrimination Against Women Rises in Pakistan

Women hold lighted candles during a rally condemning the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, in Karachi, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.Women hold lighted candles during a rally condemning the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, in Karachi, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
x
Women hold lighted candles during a rally condemning the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, in Karachi, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
Women hold lighted candles during a rally condemning the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, in Karachi, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
Sharon Behn
A local women's rights group in Pakistan says the number of incidents of violence against women in Pakistan has increased at least seven percent over the past year. The impact of violent gender discrimination is being deeply felt in a number of ways in Pakistan.
 
Thousands of women are kidnapped, murdered and raped in Pakistan every year, says Pakistan’s Aurat Foundation, a group that monitors media reports for acts of violence against women.
 
According to Aurat’s latest report, Pakistan’s infrastructure problems and ineffective justice system, together with age-old cultural practices, means that violence against women is not being addressed.

Domestic violence left unchecked

In recent years the government has instituted regulations protecting women’s rights. But there are no laws criminalizing domestic violence, says Aurat director Naeem Mirza, and laws against honor killings and other forms of gender violence are not being not addressed forcefully enough.
 
“Despite some efforts by a few voices from civil society organizations and parliamentarians there is no, as I said earlier, no serious attempt by the authorities, by the government to stop it,” said Mirza.
 
Gender Studies professor and human rights advocate Farzana Bari says violence is just one facet of gender discrimination in Pakistan. She says discrimination exists in all sectors, from education to business.
 
For example, programs like micro-loans aimed at helping women in Pakistan appear to be missing their target. A recent World Bank statement notes that between 50 to 70 percent of microfinance loans to women in Pakistan may actually be used by their male relatives.

Devastating impact on future generations

According to the Global Gender Gap report released this week by the Global Economic Forum, Pakistan now ranks 134th out of 135 countries on women’s economic participation.
 
The consequences, Professor Farzana Bari said, are negative.
 
“Women are growing up as very disempowered, dependent human beings. So they are forced to be dependent on men for financial support, for economic support. Unless the state itself becomes more engendered, and I suppose it can only do that when there is more gender perspectives integrated in government structures and processes, only then we can move to gender equality,” said Bari.
 
Anis Haroon, chairwoman of the government-backed National Commission on the Status of Women, did not address the new report specifically but did say that violence and discrimination against women in Pakistan have increased over the last three decades. She attributes the trend in part to the increasing Islamization of the nation and the rise of violence as a whole.
 
Haroon said that in the last three years, six laws have been passed to protect women against attacks such as acid-throwing. But she acknowledges it is a struggle to defend women’s rights.
 
“We have been able to maintain some of our spaces, and are trying our best, and we are pushing all the time to increase our space, but it is a tough fight, and I am not saying one should give up hope, but it is no doubt very tough,” she said.
 
But Mirza said a new generation of youth, such as the teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, are already defying structural and cultural restrictions. Many in Pakistan were outraged when Yousafzai was shot and wounded by the Taliban for her views.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 26, 2012 7:02 AM
Women are their own undoing. While some of them are busy trying to see how to liberate the women from such inhuman treatments as obtain especially in the muslim and rural areas, most of the women on their own become a clog in the wheel of progress. For example, there were some women newscasters in Nigeria that dressed either in the accepted wrapper and blouses traditional Nigerian women wears or the civil western attires when they read the news. These suddenly changed into hikabs and package-wrapping of their entire bodies except the face that makes them look like masquerades or Egyptian mummies - this just to show themselves in support of islam.

They forget that with it they sell their rights and liberty. Even when given the opportunity to vote, women choose such legislation that further dehumanize them. What music do women love most? Those that express rough, harsh and the worst violence against women. Women want freedom and liberation, yet it is the same women that want womenfolk to remain decades and centuries behind in social emancipation. But men cannot force freedom on them when they don't want it even if they deserve it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid