WOMEN IN PAKISTAN: THE OBJECT OF VIOLENCE
Women today make easy targets for violence and abuse across the globe. It does not matter which country or nation they belong to, the single matter of fact remains that they continue to be easy targets for abuse.
In Pakistan, there have been so many instances where women died after being set on fire by their husbands or in-laws. Still many are murdered in the name of honor. With lax laws in the country, women have become easy targets.
Honor Killings are a part of life especially in the rural areas and in tribal communities where eloping and running off with paramours is punishable by death.
This violence continues unabated. And in the province of Baluchistan, there was a case that involved four women being buried alive for daring to try and get married to their lovers through the civil courts.
The issue was raised in the Baluchistan National Assembly but I was shocked to hear one of the Baluchi Members of Parliament telling reporters during an interview state that it was a Baluchi custom and tradition.
It has also been particularly disturbing to listen to numerous accounts of young women being gang raped by feudal lords and their cohorts in the rural areas of Pakistan. In Pakistan, the parents of a gang rape or rape victim often try to suppress the story of their daughter’s rape for it would bring shame to their family. There are instances where the poor parents of a victim have been threatened with death by the rich thugs who perpetrated such a heinous act.
Quite often the police in small villages and rural areas become cohorts of the local feudal lords and hence instead of protecting the poor and weak, they become accomplices in various crimes.
Many paramours have been gunned down on court premises and in the presence of a large contingent of police present. I for one have been shocked at this state of affairs.
There have also been instances where young women have had acid thrown over their faces. In most cases the act had been committed by men whose advances had been rejected by the women.
On many occasions, women end up married to men having deep psychological problems and complexes. Others suffer from fits of rage and each time the wife serves as the punching bag that receives all this punishment. Quite often newly-wed wives find themselves at the mercy of her mother in law. The mother in law often sees her sons’ wife as a potential competitor when it comes to receiving love and attention and hence a majority of newly wed women suffer verbal abuse at the hands of their mother in laws.
In an extremely poor country such as Pakistan, the girl is still seen as a burden and the son a blessing. And it has been seen within the poor households that young women are often married off as soon as they attain puberty.
So many young women are sold into prostitution over here. Females as young as eleven are often sold into this old profession. And no action to save young girls from the clutches of pimps and human traffickers is being taken.
In the province of Baluchistan, several schools for females have been destroyed by terrorists who used explosives for the purpose. In fact there are certain areas of the country where the local Pakistan Taliban are busy targeting young girls and women who dare to get educated and one of them was Malala Yusuf Zai, young girl who defied their orders and went to school. She and her friend were shot and seriously injured for doing so. It is such acts that make me wonder where Pakistan is headed.