No reason to celebrate

No reason to celebrate

Although March 8, 2012 marks International Women’s Day, the constant deterioration of women’s rights and safety of women in Pakistan negate the ideology of marking the celebrations planned for the day.

Despite the formulation of the women protection bill, which supposedly protects women from honour killings, underage marriages and acid attacks, incidents of such abhorrent nature are evidently ubiquitous.

On this Women’s Day perhaps we should shed light on the woman paraded naked in Muzaffargarh this week; on the teenage girl gang-raped on Monday, the minor girl raped and killed on Tuesday and the acid attack victim from Sahiwal. We should realize that we still have a lot of work to do when we know that Pakistani women are dying every three minutes during child birth due to lack of awareness and facilities and Hindu girls are being kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam.

In a country where from the prime minister to the first Oscar winner have been women, it’s rather bizarre to note down the parallels existing, mostly due to socio-economic backgrounds.

Are bills, laws and legislation sufficient to safeguard the sanctity of women in Pakistan? Does the onus of making this bill a success lie only on law enforcing agencies and judiciary? Do we as a nation believe in empowering women by granting them their civil and judicial rights?

By neglecting small but significant cases of domestic violence that continue to happen around us, are we being an accomplice in the ‘cycle of abuse’?


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30 Responses to “No reason to celebrate”

  1. Faryal says:

    Sara you are absolutely right! And Mr Attique why are all the rules only for women? Why are they not implemented on men as well. Why shouldnt there be an “eye” kept on boys as well, infact i would say that if boys were watched over there would not be as many problems than there are right now. And it is not possible for boys and girls to not engage if they are studying in a co educational system. Please try to think in a liberal way and give thought to your rigidness.

  2. faraz says:

    women are definitely respectable.its men responsibility to give respect to the women.but women should have certain boundaries which ordered by islam.our religion never tell us not to give education to women.any women can get education wherever they want and she also work in any practical field or profession but it does not mean that his husband is a wealthy person and he is giving all facilities to their family but the women only go for job just because of her ego or something else ever her children have not grown properly. the first responsibility of a women ,she should custody their children and care about their husband,

  3. Anbreen Ahmed says:

    If women enpowering means allowing your sisters,daughters and mothers to have boyfriends, going on dates, wearing outragious cloths and making themselves available for other men. Then sorry dude, atleast not here…go to the communist countries and enjoy yourselves….our females will not be an amusement for people like you.

    We want to see our treasured women all covered, pure and pampered in their our homes. Like pearl is always covered in a shell, muslim women are pearls. We keep our jewels safe in a valet not in the showcase of a shop to be seen, admired, tried and leave if you can’t buy…to be kept again to be tried by another customer until the fashion expires and they are thrown in the fire to be melted.

    • Shafi says:

      Anbreen Ahmed, Please come out of the ‘grave yard’. Freedom for women does not mean they should be locked up at home and be slaves to macho men like you. You do not ‘treassure’ women you, treat them like your personal property.

      • attique says:

        actually anbreen is not something is true that all women rights give on in islam. women not is a show case piece.

  4. james says:

    let the women be educated well. then they would become aware of their rights. slowly they would
    organise themselves and find their freedom despite all odds.for that also democracy should prevail in the country. educate a women she would educate the family.

    • Shafi says:

      James, what you say is ideal but in a country like Pakistan where education is only for the well off and 70% poor do not even have access to education, how can your goal be achieved? It needs a monumental effort by the whole nation which is just a dream. sorry

  5. Kazi Ashraf says:

    The key is addressing GENDER INEQUALITY. In the west also, the pendulum has shifted from one end to other, a number of times to give women or men their rights; resulting in great harm to the family unit. The US has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, more than 18 million children are being brought up in single parent households, more than half of America is unmarried, adolescent crime rate is through the roof in fatherless homes and senseless child support collection has led fathers to flee from their children or be incarcerated!!! I can go on…

    Any law (or lack thereof) that gives one gender an upper hand on the other, should be treated as a threat to justice for any groups trying to advocate for any gender’s rights.

  6. Javed sahibzada says:

    In Pakistan God is going to establish women rights by his mighty force.If every human male pictures women In different prospective as a girl,sister, mother,widow and daughter, and then decide without discrimination I am sure he will get the true picture of rights.

    • Sara Khan says:


      • Mohit says:

        Tolerance and etiquettes please Sara. Javed has a right to speak just like you have it. If we start laughing out loud on every comment we don’t agree with, then how can we have a civil and intellectual dialogue?

  7. Well, how funny it is that a country which was made in the name of Islam is now debating on women rights! We know that the rights of women are clear in Islam. And also they have some duties. In Pakistan, there is no need of such debates because we already have given the women much. Tell me in which field they are not? Police, Army, Education, Bureaucracy, Medicine, in every field they are present. As, I am a student, I have personal experience that in all the offices, they are listened more carefully if compared with us, boys.

    And if you are talking about those media reports saying that women are being killed, raped and slaved, let me tell you that it is impossible to stop it. Because, even in the most civilized countries (So-Called), US and UK, there are a hell lot of such incidents.

    It is because, in every society, there are some people who can not be taught and made civilized. And on the basis of such few people, we should not blame the whole society of discrimination with women.

    There is no reason to celebrate Women Day.

  8. Ali says:

    you need to trust the people you love or its not love. Try giving liberty and trust to your woman. You will be amazed…the values important to you she will adapt them herself without you asking.

  9. raika45 says:

    A law passed by your politicians and written on a piece of “paper” is useless unless those inflicting the pain on the womenfolk change their ways.Some politicians need such peoples backing to stay in power, especially when these people have influence in their area or village.Your system is such that I do not think that there can be any change.You can however hope,but hope is a very fickle thing.Stop thinking of Jinah’s dream of a just nation.Along the way it got buried and forgotten.You have people and politicians with self vested interest now.Sacrificing the rights of women is a small matter to them. Tell me frankly, who has the guts to stand up to them.

  10. parmoon shuja says:

    Pakistan’s urban women are well educated and know well their role in the society. Where as rural women – which contains a higher ratio of the total population of women in Pakistan, are uneducated and suppressed.
    They need the right attention. Give them education and awareness.
    Take the example of Islam and our prophet (SAW.)
    Some leader once said ” Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”.
    And InshAllah one day Pakistan will be a good nation.

  11. Shafi says:

    “Do we as a nation believe…”? The unfortunate answer is -No

    • shakeel says:

      i guess u r living in pakistan , plz dont underestimate urself,dont be a pessimist. there is no nation as beautiful as WE ARE Alhumdulillah .

      • Sara Khan says:

        frankly there are more beautiful nations and there are much wiser and more tolerant, maybe poorer as well…
        Stop living in this dream

  12. Qurat-al- AIN says:

    Dan Blocker, a famous Hollywod actor for his role of a ‘BIG ” guy in Bonanza, used to say that, ” he never allowed his children to go hunting. “. He himself wil not hunt untill the animals learns how to shoot back at him. Beating wife or a helpless women is a sign of a coward man. Wait till they also become powerfull and hit back. I should point out that in the early years of Pakistan the abuse was unheard of. We were better than than that. We had Fatima Jinnah who ran for the office of Presidency in 1964, when the American women even could not vote 1965. We were a progressive country, and now this.

  13. Farooq says:

    I have tears in my eyes as I write this thinking of the horror and fear the women must experience while these cowardly acts are committed against them. Needless to say I don’t know how they feel…Must be brutal and worse than I can ever imagine as a man.

    We in society must once and for all uphold woman’s right of equality. There should be no debate or equivocation on the universal right of an individual to not be discriminated upon for the reason of race, gender or religion.

    You ask if we are encouraging this absurd and barbaric acts of sheer madness by tolerating acts of some domestic violence. The answer is resoundingly in the AFFIRMATIVE. Or by now these acts of immeasurable brutality against women would seize to exist.(that has to be the goal) We must enact, at least in our community(ies) of zero tolerance of any form of violence against women. We must teach our children and society that women can do anything they put their mind to; may it be Fly an Airplane (I work with few) or go in space, literally sky is the limit …….My message and request Please Stop this INSANITY of hurting women for the sake of FALSE HONOUR. There is noting honourable in hurting someone’s daughter, sister or mother as I am sure it wont be pleasant if the shoe was in the other foot. And someone did that to our daughters.

  14. Mohammed Shahid says:

    Salam to everyone.

    Women rights in Pakistan is one of the most important issue. If we successfully solve it, we will be able to solve the half of Pakistani social issues automatically. The question is how we can do it? The answer to this question is that we have to make toughest laws and then their ruthless implementation and monitoring the system through an independent body. In order to do it successfully, we have no choice but to involve Internation organisations.

    There is no other solution to this problem.

    Thank you…

  15. Krishnendu says:

    Dear sir, as a reguler reader of online dawn I know that most of city dwelling and educated (not madrassa off course) people of pakistan(as per reflexions of regular readers of Dawn) are simple, liberal, secular, open minded, honest in their feeling and also among the best humen of the world. They are already conviced to do and think better for children, female and also for all weaker and under previllaged sections of Pakistan and also of the world. Please try to organise this type of debate in local language i.e. Urdu etc. At least you can think you want to see better pakistan for real.

  16. Mahwish says:

    Its very sad in fact tragic I wonder when the condition of women will change in Pakistan? Neglecting domestic violence has landed us in a cycle of abuse nationwide.

  17. Agha Ata says:

    An occasional case of kidnapping or rape is not surprising for a world like ours. but witnessing thousands of cases in a particular country proves there is something drastically wrong somewhere.

    One of the main reasons is the tribal culture which hasn’t evolved for centuries because the existence conditions suit the interests of their warriors and sardars. And when these Sardars and warriors join the government as their tribal’s’ representatives they see to it that the status quo doesn’t change.

  18. attique says:

    Women should be respected and given due dignity but not much liberty. we need to keep a close eye on our ladies specially in colleges & universities where they are enjoying and adapting a closely western style culture.
    parents need to restrict their daughters. teach them to be modest and keep within their limits. engaging freely with boys and hanging around them should not allowed at all at any cost. we cannot label ourselves women empowered just by engaging and adapting western culture and ethics. we need to dress modestly, talk modestly and above all watch around our ladies as to what are they doing?????

    • simi says:

      n what u think about men…who is watching them as to what are they doing in street corners,universities,puplic places…….?????aah y do they hanging around girls every where when she step out her front door???????is this modesty?liberty?or is in our religious beliefs???

    • Bharat says:

      And should men not be allowed to mix with women?
      are men also expected to dress modestly ? stop wearing those open collar shirts, or those sunglasses? or sleeveless shirts to show off their muscles?

    • Sara says:

      Oh wow! And why won’t you do the same with your sons? If western culture, girls and boys hanging together and immodesty is such a big issue for you, why not restrict your sons too? Why only women?

      • Sunil says:

        attique isn’t talking about the western culture Sara. He is talking about his own. It is time to realize who wants what and move on. You can’t convince him to follow the west and vice versa. To each his own! Live and let live.

    • Shafi says:

      attique, What a load of male macho rubbish. Lock them up is your answer? on Facebook on Facebook