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Pakistani Women: Religion, State and Society

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mzebdeh
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Pages 28
PAKISTANI WOMEN: RELIGION, STATE AND SOCIETY

Much has been written in the international press in recent years concerning the difficulties facing Pakistani women today. Islam itself stresses that women have significant freedoms and rights and the Pakistani constitution guarantees equal treatment for all of its citizens. Pakistan has signed many United Nations treaties guaranteeing the equality and fair treatment of women. But the reality is very different. Most women in Pakistan face a hostile male-dominated environment where they have little or no choice in their lives and face the prospect of harsh violence directed against them. Some international journalists have written that Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places anywhere for women. The reason for this tragedy is that archaic tribal customs and attitudes remain a dominant force in many areas of the country. Pakistan was expressly created as an Islamic state, but many Pakistanis have not followed Islamic teachings concerning the treatment of women. The teachings of Islam provide full protection and security for women, but many Pakistani women are suppressed and victimized by their own family members. Although there are clear provisions both in Islam and in the 1973 Pakistani constitution to provide respect, safety and equal rights for women, Pakistan remains a male-dominated society where women still struggle to achieve their basic rights. Male officials in Pakistan can point to the nation’s constitution which guarantees equality for all people, the nation’s ratification of international treaties that are meant to enhance the status of women, and laws and directives that are designed to protect women. All these items may well exist on paper, but they are rarely if ever actually implemented. Old customs and traditions almost always prevail over modern definitions of human rights. There are...

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