Pakistan: Women, religion and rights

Metroblogging Lahore writes on Women's Day in Pakistan and a very insightful comment on the post explores religion and women's rights.


  • Dear Madam,

    Pakistani Women at crossroads?

    Everyone has the right to live with, liberty and security of the person. Woman is entitled to equal rights as citizen of Pakistan and live in a family, which is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to be protected by society and state. The women power in Pakistan is nearly 52% of the population, but while considering the status of ‘women’ in Pakistan, our women still look like to be living in the dark ages. Their right for acquiring education and economic freedom is not encourage; it is a matter of deep distress that being Muslims we have completely forgotten the status of women given by Islam, as per teaching of our beloved prophet, Mohammad (P.B.U.H) that women are dignified, respected and secure in Islam than in other faith. Women are more protected by Islam then by the faith and society which preaches monogamy. Islam was the first religion to recognize the equality of sexes and granted women all rights, 1400 years ago, in those early days of Islam.

    But since the creation of Pakistan the rights of women were ignored just as similarly as the rights of Pakistani to rule this country and decide the fate of their own future. After the independence of Pakistan the socio-political system does not change, little or no reform were carried out and therefore the status quo of the society remain the same as it was before. The feudal remain in power as they were before, under the rule of British Empire and even before them.

    The survival of the feudal system remains in brutality, ignorance, illiteracy and poverty’s it is the system to be blame for humiliation, exploitation and cruelty with women’s. The right of women cannot be protected till we provide ample opportunity to women for uplift, such as education with skill development and an opportunity to utilize that kill to enhance economic activities such as their participation in the production and services in the country.

    We must feel proud in developing and implementing our values and stop looking at the west as passage/light for women’s right, women is most exploited in the west, in the name of democracy and equal rights, the freedom allowed in the west is not for the protection of women from exploitation and maintain the dignity. Even in these modern world women is being humiliated in socio-economic and cultural front by the dominant man power. Everybody is talking about the women’s right with special reference to job, education and equal opportunity in the society with dignity and respect. But, Women’s are being exploited even since the commencement of modern society. At work place in the factory, in search of job and better chances to avail for better income and prosperous life, even in the offices women are exploited by the influential people, one way or the other.

    The most exploited women’s are from working class due to economic problems, middle class in order to maintain fake standard of living and the upper class for the sake of enjoyment of life and for getting rid off frustration in their social domestic life.

    It is true that women in Pakistan have never been disassociated with the struggle for democracy. However, the women’s gained more maturity in its understanding of national issues because of this interaction and participation in the movement for democracy, women have been engaged in the debate on insecurity and instability and its links to critical domestic condition.

    Pakistan is an Islamic state, where people, not only take pride in strictly adhering to the Islamic values but are ready to sacrifice their loved belongings for the glory and sanctity of Islam. Islam has accorded a highly respected social position to women. Islam acknowledges the rights and privileges of the women in society. Likewise, Islam does not impose any restrictions that may hamper the social growth and development of the woman within the framework of Islamic society. A woman is equally important member of society. The woman plays a vital role in building the society on healthier and stronger foundations.

    The women in Pakistan have been constantly complaining of having being isolated from the mainstream of society. Women feel disillusioned on being maltreated by the male-oriented set up in Pakistan. They strongly claim that if they are given a chance, they can contribute more positively towards the development of all social aspects. Pakistani women are at crossroad and need a serious concentration on the route cause of exploitation of women’s right; the reason, the route cause is the prevailing system in the country which is needed to be changed. The current democracy and the representation of women within the assembly does not represent common Pakistani women, they are part and partial of rich and feudal families.

    Therefore, Islamic Democratic Party has decided to give back dignity and respect to the women, but that dignity and respect cannot be achieved without the change of socio-political system in the country. However, to give back honor and dignity to the women, we are suggesting to the women of Pakistan;

    • Education and Technical knowledge to be provided to every capable woman in separate and safe environment.
    • After enhancement of knowledge and skill, provide safe and separate environment for women to work and join national production force.
    • A guarantee for job opportunity should be provided to every woman wanted to work in safe and separate environment.
    • When, 52% women power will join production and services sector, national gross production /services will increase and so the increase in revenue.
    • Working women will earn for the family and bring happiness to the family and so the self satisfaction, dignity and respect within the family will increase.
    • A separate working environment reduces the objection from the male member of the family.
    • An educated mother can train new generation in better way and be a supporting partner in family as and when needed.
    • Being earning member of the family, self confidence of women will enhance and so the intrinsic skill will further developed.
    • The medical facilities and insurance coverage should be provided to every working woman.

    • Equal participation in political wing for women in the political parties.

    • Only the society base on tolerance, equality and justice can be the real guarantee for the prosperous and strong Pakistan.

    Therefore, we, invite the women from all walks of life to come forward and join the rank and file of Islamic Democratic Party and take the rain for the change of socio-political system in their hands to acquire peace and progress for better life with women’s dignity, respect and equal opportunity in Pakistan.

    Ilyas khan Baloch
    Organizer, Islamic Democratic Party.

  • OJ

    Dear Ilyas

    I have been living in Islamabad for a little more than a month by now and I must say that I am really shocked by the conditions woman face in this country. I come from Norway and most Pakistanis I have met, don’t really understand what I am talking about if I carefully mention gender equality. Actually I am becoming a little sad to read your post because I feel that I am reading that Pakistani women don’t want to move on – afraid of becoming to western. I don’t think becoming western should be used as an argument against gender equality because many western countries are also lagging far behind in gender related issues. And I also think there is no such thing as “West” because western countries are again different from each other. I don’t at all think that Pakistan should consider “the West” as a light. But in some aspects, developing could mean that Pakistan would unintendedly become more western, if that develoment was for the better – why should it then be rejected?

    Anyways, back to Pakistan. What I see here is that woman are being told from childhood where their place in life should be – and that’s a pretty marginal place. However – the big problem, as I see it, is that men won’t let women ahead of them. Women are always sitting in the passenger seat, the few times I have seen a woman drive a car I become really happy, but I have never seen a woman drive a car unless there are no men in the car. I really think men are suppresseing women with the excuse that woman should be protected, but what should they really be protected from? Is it to be protected from men? – Then the Pakistani women are paying for Pakistani men’s inability to discipline themselves. Or is it from wanting the same freedom, possibilities and jobs that men today have?

    I really think that woman have to take the steeringwheel in this country and find out what they want themselves without any man telling them. I honestly believe that could advance this country a lot, because men have been proving for a pretty long time that they’re not able to stake a course for this country.

    And when female success stories are mentioned, it’s always about women who have gotten to their positions through nearby men, like Benazir, daughter of Zulfikhar, and Allama Iqbal’s sister. Seldom any woman has been able to make it to the top by herself.

    For instance, if a woman has a good job and earns more than her husband, would it then be possible for her to go to work and let her husband stay home to take care of the children? I don’ know, but I have my doubts, it could be too much for the Pakistani man to swallow.

    And I don’t think this is a religious issue, that’s just like blaming someone else. Instead the people will have to make up their mind where they really want to go, gender equality shouldn’t be reduced to a question about religion or to “becoming western”

    Best regards
    OJ, Islamabad

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