The rise in crimes against women in Pakistan has shocked people all over the world. According to a report by a leading human rights group an average of nine women are killed daily across the country in what are termed “honor killings” with the ratio higher in the northern tribal areas. Also on an average, at least two women are raped every hour in Pakistan. The suicide rate among women has drastically increased as almost 500 women committed suicide in Pakistan during the previous year. These are just some of the few instances where women are oppressed. Pakistan has increasingly turned a patriarchal and anti-women state. The living conditions of women are appalling.
Pakistani imposes upon women a male-dominated narrative of morals in which a woman is born to obey, not question. Women in Pakistan are encouraged to pursue domestic roles.
Women in Pakistan are not considered part of the general public debate. Talking about their problems can bring great devastation upon them both in public and within the family. They are strictly prohibited from taking part in the decision – making process. Lack of education is still a big hurdle in the way of women‘s freedom. Illiteracy among women is pervasive in rural areas, whereas the situation in urban areas of Pakistan could hardly be termed encouraging.
According to Ameera Javeria in the Journal of the International Institute, “A growing gender gap in male and female population—94 women for every 100 men—speaks of the gender discrimination that women face in areas of health and education. The economic disparity between genders does little to improve their situation. A male child is still preferred as an economic force and thus preserved and reared in a better fashion. There are no support mechanisms to improve life for the female populace. Women who work are largely employed informally. In this vast agrarian country they work as hard as men in the fields, taking care of the livestock and household. Their contribution, however, is not acknowledged by the feudal lords who control the land. These feudal acknowledge only the services of men, who collect on behalf of their family. Even in the cities women are encouraged to work informally, which does not bring them any confidence or self-esteem. Only two percent of Pakistani women are formally employed in the country.”
Another persisting issue is that of honour killings which has plagued the country back into the dark ages. With all the atrocities against women Pakistan claim any moral high ground regarding its treatment of women. The recent story of Samia Shahid is a case in point. Samia Shahid was a British Pakistani who was tricked by family to return to Pakistan. As soon as she returned she was murdered by her father and her husband. Samid Shahid’s case is just one of thousands of such cases of violence against women. Women in Pakistan are among the worst affected in the world.