KARACHI, Pakistan – Each year in Pakistan, many hundreds of women are victims of violence and often brutally murdered in the name of “honor,” a really popular virtue in the society.
Some are reported, but most are not, just because the making such incidents public brings a bad name to a family.
But there are stories from almost every part of the country and sometimes, one or two incidents successfully grab the media’s attention.
I am not going to discuss the statistics and figures collected by Human Rights Watch or other NGOs as it would be in vain – the numbers keep increasing at the end of each year.
There is still a faction of society – or it could be referred to as a mindset – which does not allow women to express their views on matters like social and political activism, gender equality and much more.
This is not a situation just in certain social or economic classes. It’s present in almost every class.
Our society is also facing a severe brain drain. Of the women who are lucky enough to acquire higher education including up to a master’s degree – some are not allowed to work, even after being able to earn their bread by themselves.
These are not shocking facts, but the point is that bringing these issues into the limelight can reflect the situation where ground realities are even worst than one could explain.
As in the past, Pakistan celebrated Women’s Day on March 8 with zeal. Just like in other parts of the world, people from all aspects of life took part in seminars, conferences, workshops and ceremonies.
The core purpose was to insure empowerment for women.
Perhaps these initiatives could help to improve the situation when it comes to domestic violence and women’s education, but won’t get better until or unless we change the mindset that refuses to give equal rights to half of the population.
Yusra Rizvi is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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