A predominant, ‘one-sex’ nation!

You can never really expect a ‘good’ morning in Pakistan.

After waking up from the sleep last morning, I logged into my facebook account to just get a daily dose of news updates. As I scrolled down my home page, a link shared by a friend caught my eyes that completely bewildered me. The news headline read, “Pakistan ranked as THIRD most dangerous country in the world for women.” I tried to ignore the news ‘labelling’ it a false, rumor story but then I thought to undergo a process of research and thinking on the it.

The process that I did was just a track down of past few years of Pakistan where extremism, radicalization and terrorism had dominated the image of the nation, and where poor-stricken and underprivileged women were often seen as innocent victims of the disease of extremism and terrorism. I recalled how women in Pakistan are just not ‘equally’ treated like men; how they are deprived of their basic rights to live with freedom – free from all sorts of impositions; how they are less accessible to education; how they are less accessible to different sectors in Pakistan when it comes to employment; and how they are treated when what they do is just ‘defend’ their rights or ‘voice’ their concerns.

There are numerous incidents that happen daily in developing countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc. that are primarily centred around women. For instance, in the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi, alone, on average, over 100 women are raped every 24 hours. Furthermore, of those raped, only a minor faction have the courage to report their cases to the justice system. This is largely due to delay in justice system as well as lengthy medical processes. In 2007, over 2000 women were raped in Pakistan with only 20 % of rape cases carried forward. Surely, this number would have increased by 50 % or more today, but it seems that the justice system of Pakistan is far from bringing culprits to justice or even giving protection to the women. To add to the injury, we will find the image of women in Pakistan being put at stake every day ‘differently’. Just two days ago, two men stripped a woman naked and parraded her in a village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan’s most conservative province. What else greater crime could those men be committing for deteriorating an innocent woman’s image in front of her neighborhood? Is this not a signal of growing injustice in the society or are we just too occupied to let that happen?

With so many problems digging the country further into erosion, the problem of ‘women protection’ in Pakistan remains prominent. It is the government’s foremost duty to make education more accessible to the women of Pakistan, especially the young girls residing in remote villages/rural areas of Pakistan, who due to absence of education or so, end up being a victim of local tribal tyranny and injustice. Together with this, the government needs to frame a solid policy regarding the treatment of those who violate the system of justice such as rapists and bring that it into action immediately. A system of monitoring such policy and ensuring that law-enforcement agencies do their job honestly should be formulated.

It is the time, the government of Pakistan and its justice system, recognize women as the valuable members of society who are just as equally rightful of living in a society with tranquility and peace as men. Further worsening conditions of women in Pakistan, will just curb the power of growing libertarianism in the nation and once again, will give a handy opportunity to the extremists, of ‘legally’ (as they say) flogging, torturing and raping innocent women.

A woman’s hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them. ~ George Eliot

This post was submitted by Faraz Ahmed Shaikh.

22 thoughts on “A predominant, ‘one-sex’ nation!”

  1. I am not denying women are treated horribly in Pakistan, but where did u get that number of 100 women raped each day in Khi ?? You lose credibility when you just throw around numbers with nothing to back them up. For example, I could say, "672 villagers are raped each day by their feudal." Probably more than that, but I have to show the documentation for those numbers…..

  2. Thank you for reminding me of not using hyperlink with the text, JJ. ;)

    Here you go:

    <a href="http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008916story_16-9-2008_pg1_8&quot; rel="nofollow">At least 100 rapes in Karachi a day – Daily Times – September 16, 2008

    Now I don't think I need to emphasize the authenticity of Daily Times Newspaper.

    Btw, this is just a quoted figure. There are many cases which are unreported in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan daily, hence the unofficial statistics of daily rape victims can rise significantly.

    1. I'm not questioning whether or not there really are 100 rapes per day in Karachi, but the Daily Times article doesn't offer any data, other than a police surgeon stating he is sure of this figure, at the same time mentioning official statistics of 197 cases reported in 8 months.

      Unless there is some verifiable data, this figure of 100 per day should be classified as an urban myth.

    2. Mr. Khalid

      How many incidents are there which we do not get to hear from media or other sources? Countless.

      Even if we admit to your opinion that data is unverifiable and that daily rape victims in Karachi can number upto, say around 50, we'll be 'understating' the figure. In fact, a lot of rape incidents are what we do not get aware about as women do not proceed forward to record an FIR or report their cases. This can boost up the figure greater than 100, and in Karachi with a population of 15 million, it is unsurpising.

    3. Faraz

      A google search brought up an estimate of 200,000 rapes annually in the UK, with a population of 62 million. Proportionate to population, 100 rapes a day in Karachi would actually be below the UK estimate, so although the figure sounds unbelievably high at first, it may well be reasonable.I stand corrected.

  3. Why make violence and justice a

    gender issue and that too on

    'Fathers'Day'. It recalls to me

    a Bollywood song by Sahir:

    "Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko,

    mardon ne use bazaar diya

    Jab chaaha chooma chaata, jab

    chaaha dhutkaar diya"

    So the woman is no less

    responsible for what the men do

    with her as men are born by her

    and with what a fond desire for

    a male child.

    As for our justice system, the

    less said the better. Its very

    name is a misnomer. Any how it

    is generally tilted in favour of

    the women. Have you ever witnessed

    a woman sent to jail for not

    delivering conjugal rights to her

    husband or milk-sucking rights to

    her children but we see often news

    about husbands sent to jail for

    not providing maintenance to their

    wives.

    In fact, the gender relationship,

    being multifaceted and intertwined

    like a single

    chain it is absurd to

    compartmentalize it in two

    totally separate entities having

    clash of interests merely on

    gender basis. Asma is on record

    saying in a talk-show on the TV,

    the other day,

    that in family ceases which come

    to her women always complain

    against their mothers-in-law than

    their husbands.

    1. wao !! quite a mature response

      On Asma Jahangir however i was 18 when I read her book Hadood Ordinance it just filled me with fear and horror.

      As I have matured and seen the world the gruesome acts of violence she have compiled are horrible and are enough to scare someone for life.

      I do curse myself for reading that book and do believe Pakistan and world itself is not such an unfortunate place as she has put together.They must be the real cases but that is not a healthy book .

  4. Look at the picture, poor woman and the english banner…

    I wish these NGOs could atleast give these poor woman a banner in urdu (at least that caption would go well with the context).

    1. I honour your opinion, but you’ll also have to realize the diversity in Pakistan which make people to hold different types of demonstrations but for the same cause. If you take statistics, more banners in Pakistan are made in Urdu than English when it comes to protesting each year. English banners are usually used by students, educated class etc. when protesting for some cause. The picture in the blog can mean that women may be educated and the people in the environment in which they are protesting may be educated as well.

  5. It means we are only doing the lip service to the real problem or maybe we are focusing on the problem just in terms of figures but not trying to fight it.

    Well any gender can be a victim of rape .

    Particularly in case of Pakistan it does happen when mostly people are using their social positioning like the rich will ofen be the offenders be it young males or females of the house committing it against domestic servants or at work place where rich men or women are taking advantage of their positions —a typical and best example of that is in Tess of Hardy .Where Alec makes Tess feel that it is her fault that she has beautiful lips and she is young and he makes her feel she needs his help etc.

    None the less in any society rapists usually know their victims or befriend them before their act.

    The rules to avoid it are simple and basic.Never trust any one and never be an over confident person.Never think it cannot be me.

    Rape happens to all sort of women and to all sort of age.

    To discourage every possible offender there are some rules :

    1.Always be confident look into the eyes of the person while speaking to them.

    2.If you are going to meet someone always ask them to be at a public place.

    3.Arrange your own ride to and from the place.

    4.Never accept to work late or go to office when you think you are going to be alone.

    5.live with some rules and always spell them out .Like I am sorry I do not stay out that late .or I would not be coming becasue it will be very late going back.

    I donot wish to drive or travel alone at that time

    the first response thrown at woman at all such times is come on it is twenty first century which plannet do you live in.

    never give in to this sense of stupid adventure to prove you are modern or bold actually you are quite stupid and have just agreed to what the other man wanted in most cases he wanted you to be alone and ina vulnerable position

    6.I was shocked when my colleague said she lives in a rough area and would not like to work on a late shift because rding a bus at that time is full of nuisance.

    Always walk straight .think ahead of your route and be aware of your sorroundings at all time.

    7.When at home alone make it a principal never to invite a man to your house.

    8.never trust your neighbours,cousins,milk man ,electrician ,driver etc and always be ware of Mr.Nice office guy.

    9.Always keep your mobile charged and in hand in case of emergency when travelling or walking alone.

    Mostly European women carry a pepper spray in their hand bags you can keep a fly killer spray or perfume ,spray it directly on the eyes of the offender it will give you time to run.

    10.ALways be vocal about slightest touch or mis-advantage of position taken by a man .Stop him and confront even if that was accident do let him know that you noticed that and was uncomfertable and would not be shutup about it.

    in all such confrontations keep your voice low ,always be polite but firm.

    Take no non sense most of men jokes and page 3 pictures are not to be amused or laughed at…….these are simple signs which show the frustration level of a pervert.

    Educate your children and just because someone is an educatinist , a teacher or a preacher with a beard etc does not exempt them from being an offender .

    and if you are a muslim do recite Ayat ul Kursi infact make it a habbit ,it calms your nerves and boasts your confidence that you are protected.It works for me but more than calming the nerves or boasting confidence it is part of my faith that no harm will get to me unless it is really suppose to be by Allah.

    Before opening the gate of your house make sure nobody is following you and always ask for help It is quite alright to stop in a shop or speak to a stranger asking for directions etc to get rid of someone if you are being followed .

    Draw a line between colleague,class fellow ,flirtation a prospective proposal ,romance etc whatever never allow anyone to cross that line.

    Respect and value yourself and protect yourself.]Wearinga see through dress or dressing up like a model doesnot help.

    There is a difference between dressing modestly or for work and like a cheap girl for modelling .what looks fab on the front cover of magazine may not be suitable for you.

    Be practical and do always consider where you live and work before choosing your outfit.

    About the rapes in village that is the most sorrowful and sorry situation and the worst case scenario is when it is done to humiliate or take revenge from the family but rules are still basic and simple Do not be in a vulnerable position meaning alone.

    Above all world is not that bad place but one should be careful.

  6. last and most important always listen to your gut feeling or the instinct .If you feel uncomfertable walk away or say no if you are not sure .

    If you have no other excuse just say I am sorry I am not comfertable with it.

    If it is work do confront the person never shy away …….put the person on the spot ?What do you mean?how do you mean?Are you staring at me? What were you doing in my street yesterday

    So who lives there ?

    always create a comfortable distance between you and the person if they move close in case of working on computers etc get up from your seat and ask them to sit and work or sort out the problem.

    In case of visting doctors take someone with you always

  7. Gender issue is a big one at the moment in the country and we must take care of it. it is imperative to fight this menace before it grows more and more in Pakistan.

  8. @farrahshah

    You have made a good show of

    your expertise in laying down

    the safety measures for

    escaping rape. But what if one

    desires to be raped.

    Sex is the very life which is

    a sovereign force having its

    own rules and values. It accepts

    control only to certain extent

    depending upon the culture of

    the individual and the

    environment in which one is

    brought up.

    In any case, the fact that

    both the sexes may get into

    the raping mode, with

    different modus operandi, it

    is not

    a gender issue, but a purely

    cultural and a legal issue

    albeit a very tricky one.

    1. @Mr.Lord stop reading Frued and no one wants to get raped even if one is born in a brothel.

  9. I think its pointless to bicker about the figure of 100 rape cases a day, or whether the rape average is higher in the UK. What does it matter? Is 10 cases a day any less horrific than 100 a day? The fact is that Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – all the countries of South Asia in fact – have cultures that consistenly value the life and worth of a woman as less than that of a man. Rape and war crimes against women is only one point of a multi headed weapon used consistently against women – and only ordinary citizens like us, saying we won't support such a culture any more – only our voices en masse can change the system. So speak out everyone – let's change this unjust system.

  10. @farrahshah

    You say:

    "Mr.Lord stop reading Frued and no one wants to get raped even if one is born in a brothel"

    So you still remember Freud (What

    a nasty spelling) whom I had long

    forgotten. I do however remember

    the hot woman Zulekhah of Egypt,

    described in Quran, who had tried

    to rape Yousaf, who had also got

    inclined but for Allah's

    intervention.

    In fact, rape is a normal mode of

    sex in some animals and some humans as

    well. You must have seen a cock

    running after a hen and the same

    hen seen hovering near that cock

    after her rape. This open rape, apparently non-consensual sex, is

    in fact the normal mode of sex in

    hens.

    On the other hand the pigeons always perform a love making ritual before sex.

    You may say why learn from birds. But for your information the very first teacher of the man, Qabeel, was a crow.

    So sex be either consensual or non-consensual (50%). You may be knowing that even non-consensual sex with your spouse is treated as rape in some countries, called civilized, whereas Hadees says “ God curses that woman who refuses to allow sex to her husband”.

    My point is sex is neither moral nor religious function but purely a psycho-physical function in the ambit of the given culture. There is no Islamic sex or Kafir sex. It is the life and life creating force. It is only your personal culture which makes you mention hatefully the one ‘born in brothel’, a sinful sex, but what about those born of ‘Kafir’ sex?

  11. @farrahshah

    Thank you dear for such a kind

    response. I love all the living beings and among the birds, love the pigeons most, mainly because of there sex and family life. There is a famous story about familial love among pigeons:

    “A king was worried about his daughter who was aging but refused to marry. The king consulted his hakeem about her refusal. Hakeem noted that she was living with hens and often seeing the cock running after a hen to perform sex with her in a violent fashion. So he advised the king to let her live with pigeons. This suggestion worked and soon thereafter the princes agreed to marry.”

    On my part, if I had been called upon to advise, I would have advised the king to show her the Bollywood film ‘Vivah’ for a quicker response instead of following the birds.

  12. What a munafiq Qaum!!!

    We hold rallies and banners to show-off in the world media for so called being rated #3 in world for women abuse.

    WhyTF, does it have to come from world media to tell us to hold rallies for innocent boys and men killed in the streets of Karachi?

    Are we not bothered by the ongoing turf war between PPP-MQM-ANP, where innocent people from different ethnic backgrounds are killed in a tit-for-tat battle.

    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………

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