Farida Afridi was shot dead in cold blood for the crime of being a decent, caring human being. As the executive director of the human rights NGO, Sawera, Afridi was working in Fata performing the most thankless of jobs: trying to improve the plight of women in an area where many people have never even considered the concept of women’s rights. For that, she had to pay the ultimate price as she was killed by armed gunmen, most likely members of the Taliban, as she drove from her home in Hayatabad, Peshawar to Jamrud in Khyber Agency. Apart from taking away a valuable activist, the militants, through their brutality, will also ensure that there is a chilling effect as fewer NGOs and women will be willing to risk working in an area that needs their efforts the most.
Security leaks have brought to light a plot to kill human rights defender Asma Jahangir - former UN Special Rapporteur for Religious Freedom and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. Jahangir has been a vocal and outspoken leader of the human rights movement in Pakistan for over 30 years and is respected both within Pakistan and the international community.
Farida Shaheed is a sociologist with over 25 years’ research experience on women’s issues (including rural development, women and labour and legal rights), especially in Pakistan and South Asia. She is a long-time UNRISD collaborator, and joins us with an interview on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Her article on politics, religion and gender in Pakistan has been published in a special issue of Cahier du Genre entitled “Religion et politique: Les femmes prises au piège”. In this interview, she speaks to UNRISD about International Women’s Day, laws on women’s rights in Pakistan and some of the challenges in implementing them.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, and Justice for Iran are pleased to announce the release of a new publication: Mapping Stoning in Muslim Contexts. This report locates where the punishment of stoning is still in practice, either through judicial (codified as law) or extrajudicial (outside the law) methods.
Pakistan’s Senate on Monday passed a bill that makes violence against women and children an offence carrying jail terms and fines, state media said. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill was introduced by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar and passed unanimously by the upper house of the federal parliament, Pakistan Television reported.
The murder of infants, particularly girls, by poverty-stricken parents in Pakistan appears to be on the rise.
Late at night two months ago in a village in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, the parents of a two-day-old infant girl smothered the child, and then buried her tiny body in a distant field, carefully patting down the soil to hide any signs of digging. The mother cries often and says she still has nightmares about the event.
MULTAN, 28 September 2011 (IRIN) - Being beaten almost daily by her husband is a routine part of Saadia Bibi’s life. “Ever since I was married nearly seven years ago, I have been slapped, punched or kicked virtually every day. Once or twice my husband has burnt me with cigarettes,” she told IRIN in Multan, in conservative southern Punjab, displaying the distinct, circular scars on her shoulders and legs.
The “misdemeanours” Saadia has been beaten for include cooking food which is “tasteless”, speaking “too loudly” on the telephone or “arguing back”.
The project was designed to address the issue of gender based violence against women that has become an endemic in Pakistani society and is taking a very heavy toll on the confidence, self-esteem and physical, mental and psychological health and even life of the targeted girls and women. It aimed at elimination /mitigation of the effects of the below listed factors that become instrumental in pacing up the discriminatory and violent behavior and conduct against women.