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Affirmative action for women

Miss Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy of Pakistan won the prestigious Oscar for her praiseworthy documentary Saving Face, and pushed Pakistanis to not keep quiet over the injustice that is prevalent in their society. Crimes, particularly against females, are on the rise. Women are beaten by their inhumane husbands or are shot dead by one of their family members for being ‘characterless’.

They are physically tortured or their faces are disfigured with corrosive acids. Only women suffer these evils; men never do. Most alarming are the acid attacks carried out by husbands and their families at the slightest infraction by a woman. Developed countries like the UK and US have long since embarked on ‘affirmative action’, which is the idea of institutionalized, equal treatment of women by employing them in the same numbers as men in all jobs. Women there are growing socially and economically stronger with crimes against them decreasing. In Pakistan, there are very few representatives of women in the law, police and government, leaving them socially and economically weak. Men have all the power and privileges.

With affirmative action implemented in Pakistan, women will easily be integrated into the workplace and society. Women should be hired in equal numbers to men in the police and judiciary, especially since these two institutions are the primary centres of power and authority.

All concerned authorities should soon commence with an institutionalised programme so that female suffering hits an all time low. What the government must do is passing and implements laws and bills in this regard. This should be far easier a move than issuing decrees on the depleting domestic gas and incessant load shedding situation. Philanthropists like Ms Chinoy will keep working on humanitarian grounds but it is now up to the government to really integrate women in all spheres of life.

Daily Times

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