These are testing times for women in Pakistan. The country ranks 106th out of 137 on the Gender-related Development Index and 66th out of 75 on the Gender Empowerment Measurement Index. Despite religious, constitutional and legal rights, women’s position in the society is weak.
With each passing day, conditions are getting miserable as women are subjected to more extreme forms of violence and exclusion. Incidents of honour killing, rape, fire and acid burning, domestic violence, dowry-abuse, trafficking, under-age marriage and trade of young girls among tribes for dispute settlement are gruesome and frequent. Women in rural and poor communities are more vulnerable to violence and crime, committed most often by their own family members, in the name of law, religion, customs and tradition. It is sad that incidents of physical and psychological torture upon women are increasing but grossly under-reported in the media or other public reporting systems.