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Stop violence against women

Sir: Pakistan, a state made in the name of Islam, has half of its population comprising of women and more than half of these women are victims of violence, especially domestic violence.

Physical and emotional abuse, rape, beating, burning and stoning to death — all news items that we come across daily – remind us of the time before the emergence of Islam.

Violence against women is not just limited to countries like Pakistan; it does exist in even developed countries like Europe and the US. However, the situation in third world countries like Pakistan is different from the situation abroad. Women in our country lack education and awareness about their rights and also lack the confidence to speak up for themselves.

It is also a fact that victims of violence are not always poor and illiterate women; well-educated women belonging to good families also become victims of domestic violence. The difference between the West and our society is that if a woman plans to leave her husband or take a divorce, she lives a normal life in the West while in third world countries, this woman has to bear with labels like ‘divorcee’, ‘unluckyÂ’ and ‘a woman of bad character’.

Violence against women, be it domestic, honour killing or any other type can be stopped by educating illiterate women about their rights and by giving courage to the women who are literate but not confident enough to fight. Through giving wisdom and awareness about what is right and what is wrong, women can recognise their rights and develop confidence to raise their voices against violence, and even rebel if need be.

Men and women both have rights in Islam. It is the misinterpretation of their rights and obligations by the extremists of our time that has led to problems and violence against women. Men and women can never be equal because the rights given to women in Islam are more special than the rights given to men.

Another important thing after awareness of religiously given rights and educating the masses is upholding law and order. Our judiciary needs to be strong and independent and should provide strict sanctions for those guilty. Last but not least, the role of different organisations, especially NGOs and the media, is very important. NGOs along with the media should also do something more than just chanting slogans and conducting seminars.

SAMIRA KHAN
Source: Daily Times
Date:8/12/2011

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