By: FARIS JAFFREY
Disturbing news reports recently tell of how two minor girls, Salma aged nine and Rukaiyya aged 11, have been recovered by police in Multan after they were declared wani (compensation) by a tribal court. The fact that such cases are on the rise and are being reported left, right and centre just goes to show that the state is not taking any concrete, solid steps to fix the problem and uproot it from our society. Pakistan is a patriarchal society, one that has thrown any concept of true female emancipation right out the window. While our politicians claim many lofty ideals on how bills are being passed and laws are being enacted to grant women their rights and give them an equal status, there is nothing being done for the women who need it most — those living in the rural areas of the country. There they are beaten up by the men in their family and are made victims of some of the most heinous crimes one can imagine.
I implore the government to take concrete steps to eliminate this disgrace from our society. Young girls are made unsuspecting victims when they are married off to men who are much, much older because of some transgression on the part of the girl’s family. How long will we, as a nation, suffer from this barbarity? We need to ask ourselves this question so that we can start looking for solutions.