By: S.K. BARLAAS
SHARMEEN Obaid-Chinoy of Pakistan won the prestigious Oscar for her praiseworthy documentary ‘Saving Face’, and gave a hope to Pakistanis that they must not keep quiet over the injustice that is prevalent in their society. Such practical measures certainly help educating the masses and helping them comprehends the injustice in society.
Crimes, particularly against women, are on the rise. Women are beaten by their inhumane husbands or shot dead by one of their family members for being ‘characterless.’ They are physically tortured or their faces are disfigured through corrosive acids. Only women suffer these evils; never do men. What a shame! The more alarming and highlighted problem is
the acid attacks that are carried out even by their husbands.
Frequency of such nasty crimes against womenfolk cannot fall without rigorous affirmative action in our country. Developed countries like the UK or the US have long since embarked on ‘affirmative action’ — the idea of institutionalised, preferential treatment of women by employing them in equal numbers to men at all jobs. Thus, the women there are growing socially and economically stronger and crimes against them are reducing.
There are a few representatives of women in law, police or the government, and women are socially and economically weak in Pakistan. Men have all the power and privileges.
With affirmative action implemented in Pakistan, our womenfolk would be integrated into social life and it would not be a rare sight to see women at a social or formal place. Women should particularly be hired in numbers equal to men first in the police and the judiciary and then in other institutions, since these two institutions are the primary centres of power and authority.
Thus, all the Pakistani authorities concerned should soon start an institutionalised programme so that women’s sufferings are quickly lowered. What the government must do is to pass and implement laws and bills in this regard.
Philanthropic fellows like Ms Chinai will keep on humanitarian moves; it is now up to the government to come ahead and integrate women into all spheres of life.