In Pakistan, women have been discriminated against since the creation of this country. They have been viewed as prized possessions who are not allowed to have a say in how they live their life. If they are abused, they are taught to maintain their silence because a woman should always know how to tolerate the violent actions of men since “mard tou hotay hi ese hein, aurton ko sabar karna chahye.” Women in this country have been raped, harassed, killed, tortured and threatened; there has not been a single day in a female’s life which has passed without her going through the aforementioned.
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, regardless of age women have gone through unspeakable atrocities over things which men have never been condemned for, from rejecting a proposal to wanting a career. For example, in the 1980s, Nina Aziz was brutally murdered by her servants for being “modern” and in 2018, 7 year old Zainab Ansari was raped and murdered by Imran Ali on her way to her Quran class.
As the years have passed by, women have desperately anticipated change as they want to be treated better and live without being targeted on a day to day basis. However, as always the authorities in Pakistan have utterly annihilated these hopes. Upon estimation 5000 women in Pakistan are killed per year due to domestic violence in Pakistan and thousands of others are disabled or maimed. Despite these horrifying statistics, domestic violence has been completely normalized and interference has been condemned as it is viewed as a “family issue.”
Recently on facebook, a video of two brothers violently beating their sister and mother went viral after they asked for a land dispute, and shortly after this incident a domestic violence bill was passed on 6th July 2021. However, the law enforcement authorities do not register domestic violence as a crime and this bill was rejected in the senate and this was justified by Mufti Tariq Masood with the saying that a men has the right to be harsh with his wife and children to ‘preserve the family.’ He further stated that the Senate’s Domestic Violence Bill 2021 is for donkeys and horses, not for the welfare of humanity.
After the rejection of the domestic violence bill, a series of traumatic events took place and continue to this date.
On July 15, Qurat-Al-Ain Baloch the mother of four children, was tortured and murdered by her husband in Barrage Colony, Hyderabad, Sindh. Shortly after, on July 19 Noor Mukadam was murdered and later beheaded in Islamabad by Zahir Jaffer, the son of the CEO of Jaffar Group leading construction company. Andaleeb, a 7 year old was abducted on her way home from school, by a man who took her to his house to sexually abuse her and then further threatened her with murder if she told anyone. These horrendous events have caused an uproar on social media and the public demands justice for these victims along with so many others.
Women across Pakistan have been scarred and traumatized by these recent incidents and have started being cautious about the men around them. These events have also encouraged a plethora of women to come out against their alleged abusers to get them the punishment they so rightfully deserve.
The femicide happening in this nation is real; every woman’s life is at stake. They are being targeted and abused for raising their voices, for wanting justice so they can live in a country which values their existence; a country which holds criminals accountable and respects its women. Disappointingly, Pakistan is not that nation and its authorities do not wish to act accordingly anytime soon.
By rejecting domestic violence bills with the justification that it is required and by passing r*pe apologist statements like “men are not robots”, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has completely dismissed abuse enablers. He has shown his support for them and has turned a blind eye towards the tortures which women are currently going through. It is truly disappointing to admit that in Pakistan, women will always be discriminated against. This male dominant society refuses to alter its ways and continues to drown its privilege. Pakistan is truly a fallen nation.