Woman rights in Pakistan

Like the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is an ally of western imperialism. A model ”Islamic” democracy as capitalist media outlets love to spread. The post-2001 regime in Afghanistan is modelled on the Pakistani state. There is no separation between state and church as Sunni-Islam is made the state-religion. None-Muslims may not become president or prime minister, it is also not allowed for none-Muslims to become judges as the law of Pakistan is based on the Islamic Sharia law. Although woman have the same rights as men, in reality they face gender discrimination and because of a failed and corrupt justice system, many crimes against woman do not get resolved!

Pakistan is still a very unequal nation and is not supportive of woman rights. Most males think they stand above woman, some even claim they have the right to rape them if the woman is dressed too feminine. Rape is a problem in Pakistan, it is seen as a weapon of men to control their woman. Islamic morality is also used to defend their actions, claiming that under Islam the men has the right to stand above woman. There is however a huge difference between the woman of the elite and those who live in mass poverty. Rich woman are living a luxurious lifestyle and many men tolerant them as equals in the upper class. But woman who live in the lower working class, are subjugated to increasingly high rate of poverty and alarmingly low literacy rates!

Only 21,8% of all woman work, while men make up 82,7% of the workforce in Pakistan. Most woman who do work belong to the ruling class, who have the eduction, money and time to work. Poor woman are forced to stay at home and take care of children and elderly. As Pakistan is a deeply unequal nation, most woman have not choice but to stay at home. Another problem is Islamism, a reactionary political ideology supported by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League. Political Islam rejects woman rights and calls on them to stay at home and submissive of their men. This is enforced by the state and the capitalists who openly discriminate against those few woman who dare to work and show independence. It is very common that female workers in Pakistan are paid below the minimum wage because they are woman !

Radical Islam is supported by the Assembly of Islamic Clerics, a political party that openly supports Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is ironic that this radical Islamic force is part of the federal government, a government that claims to be a ally of the western world. The Assembly of Islamic Clerics works closely with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, this may proof why Taliban forces are using Pakistan to escape American bombings. Former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was found and murdered in Pakistan, living in a rather luxurious villa for the most wanted man in the world. The intelligence service of Pakistan knew about this, but they choose to ignore it. Since many high ranking members of both the military and state bureaucracy are openly Islamic, they may support a lot of theocratic ideals shared by Al-Qaeda. Pakistan is after all a breading ground for Islamic terrorism, just like Saudi-Arabia!

Malala Yousafzai has become the face for many young girls and woman in Pakistan. In 2012 the 15 year old schoolgirl was shoot by ten members of the Taliban. The Taliban targeted her because she stands for woman education, which is opposed by this Islamic group. Although shoot three times in the face, young Yousafzai survived and keeps on struggling for woman rights. Still the corrupt justice system of Pakistan showed its true colours. Three years after the shooting, it became clear that only two out of the ten Taliban members were sentenced. Their trial was kept secret and no public statements were made by the government. Now after three years it is revealed that only two were sentenced while eight were released!

Honour killing remains a big problem and many woman who brake the honour of a family, risk being murdered. When a family is dishonoured by the actions of a woman, she can be killed according to reactionary laws in Islamic nations like Saudi-Arabia. Although the law in Pakistan forbids honour murder, the corrupt government and police often ignore to investigate. This is mainly because police and government officials support the idea that family members should have the right to ”punish” a woman for brining shame on the family. It shows very clearly how backward Pakistan still is on the issues of woman rights. Still many brave woman dare to fight back. They are hated by the chauvinist males who run Pakistani society. Still it will be these woman like Malala Yousafzai, on which workers and poor can build a movement to combat both male chauvinism and Pakistani capitalism!