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Women lawmakers’ responsibility

IT is disheartening that at a time when there are more than 60 women legislators in parliament, crimes against women continue unabated. Over the years there has been a surge in the number of crimes conunitted against women.

In our milieu it is not uncommon that women are treated as possessions/commodities. Violent/heinous crimes against women occur through the length and breadth of the country, but they are commoner m rural and far-flung areas.

Although in urban areas where the literacy rate is higher, men have discarded anti -women tribal and feudal customs and traditions to a great extent, reports on abuse of women appear in the press frequently. It is women living in the rural areas, however, who are subjected to the worst kinds of violent repression.

There are in our society many forms of violence against women; they are beaten up, burnt alive, raped and killed. The most gruesome aspect of the problem is that women are often .In the name of honor.

In the rural areas women are not given their proper status and rights, which have been accorded to them by Islam. Women cannot even marry of their own choice. The case in point is that of Shasta Armani a school teacher, who was made to suffer miseries, because she chose to marry according to her wishes.This sorry state of affairs reflects very badly on the moral fabric of society.

The correct proportion of such crimes cannot be ascertained as many cases go unreported and only a few victims manage to reach the electronic media and the press. Even if a case is registered, criminals go scot-free as law-enforcement agencies deal quite leniently with them.

Whlie the electronic media and the press should continue to highlight the plight of women, the women lawmakers must also rise to the occasion and fight for the rights of the women of Pakistan. They must make efforts to outlaw all barbaric practices such as karo-kari. They can either spend their stints without doing anything, or do something to better the conditions in which women are forced to live. The choice is theirs.

Source: Dawn
Date:2/1/2004

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