THE women of Pakistan need to congratulate themselves on getting the pro-women’s bill passed through the National Assembly to penalise perpetrators against decades-old evils that are rampant in the country to silence their voices on all injustices done to them by their near and dear ones.
What is important here is to ensure that the provisions of the legislation are strictly implemented.
During the British Raj, Governor Lord William Bentinck passed a regulation on Dec 4, 1829, declaring Sati to be illegal and
punishable by criminal courts where a widow, on having lost her husband, was made by the relatives to perform sati where she had to immolate herself on the funeral pyre along with the body of her husband for no fault of her own.
In some parts of the country, women are killed in the name of ‘ghairat’. More often, it is motivated to deprive a widow of her right to the property left by her husband or her parents. It is time that a legislation was also enacted to curb karo-kari (honour killing) where a boy or a girl can’t exercise their right to choose a life partner and are killed in the name of protecting honour.
It is hoped that the various women welfare associations and NGOs would wage a war to make headway where this barbaric custom is concerned.
M. SHAFIQUE AHMED