No sanctuary for women?
SABA was gunned down by her father in Lahore. Zeenat Bibi was burnt to death by her mother in low income neighbourhood of Lahore. Sumaira’s throat was slitted by her brother who murdered her by using a kitchen knife in Karachi. Khanzadi Lashari was killed by her husband on honeymoon night in Jacobabad. Muqaddas Bibi was killed by her family members in Gujranwala when she was pregnant for her second child. These all women were killed by their father, mother, brother, husband, and family members. These are some cases of women killing in Pakistan by their family members, who are considered to be the custodian of women.
In such circumstances where women are not safe at the hands of their parents, brothers, and husbands then what can be expected from society? In our society there is no assurance of respect for women. Sometimes this society burns her in Murree while she was in a holy profession of teaching, sometimes she is subjected to derogatory remarks such as tractor and trolly on the floor of National Assembly, and sometime she has to face verbal abuse in TV show by a Senator of a religio-political party. According to a report by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 2015,1096 girls became victims of honour killings in Pakistan. 144 of them were burnt to death by acid or fire. 939 became victims of rape.In 2014, the number of girls who became victims of honour killings was 1005. 153 of them were burnt to death by acid or fire, while 828 girls were raped.
Does it not mean that women don’t have any safe place in Pakistan? What are the factors which have made Islamic Republic of Pakistan a dangerous country for women? How can we tackle this situation? These all questions pose a serious situation. Social behaviour is one of the factors that cause verbal abuse and violence against women. Overall beaviour of the people in Pakistan is not so good. Their dealing with each other is not respectable. When it comes to women then their behaviour becomes ruder. The intensity of bad behaviour towards women is to the extent that we even curse women when we are fighting with a male by using the names of his mother and sister. It does not matter that what was the reason behind quarrel but both sides exchange bad words for women of each other. Such a rude social behaviour of males causes violence against women in Pakistan.
Many people of Pakistan are lacking awareness. Such people are both literate and illiterate. They may have got education but they couldn’t get awareness. They are slaves of their whims. They consider women as inferior creature of to whom they can do whatever they want. Such a feeling of superiority makes them rude in their dealing with women. In our country women usually become victims of violence in the name of Islam. People are religiously radicalised to the extent that they took ugly steps against women on their little mistakes. They don’t go for any other option then killing them at once. This is because of the radicalisation and misinterpretation of Islam prevailing in our society. Holy Quran and example of Holy Prophet (PBUH) clearly guide the Muslims to be tolerant towards the women folk. It is a time to take this issue seriously that women are not safe in Pakistan both physically and mentally. They have to face physical punishment from their guardians and they also have to face verbal abuse from whole society. This brutality against women is not only in Pakistan. This issue is also in many developed countries currently. We should see that how other countries are tackling this issue.
Besides this, it is a time to educate people about status and rights of women. They must be taught the true teachings of Islam so that they may not be radicalised. Once they get awareness, they might change themselves. Hence, they will be able to educate their women so that they may not take any step which may humiliate their men. As a result there would be lesser scases of verbal abuse and honour killings. Our judiciary will have to play its role to eradicate this evil from our society. We will have to implement assure the empowerment of existing laws providing protection for women.