Pakistan

While on one hand a PIL has been filed for UCC, there is another significant development in this direction. This relates to the personal laws of Muslim community. That ‘Muslim women are subject to more domination and gender injustice’ has been a widespread perception. While as such the Personal laws of different religious communities are not giving adequate justice to women, the popular focus is mainly on the Muslim community. This despite the fact that there are number of Muslim women’s groups who are striving for gender just civil codes within Muslim community. The recently released Nikahnama (Marriage Norms) by Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) is one such leap by Muslim women to overcome the shackles of patriarchal grip on the Muslim women.  Model Nikahnama released by BMMA (June 23, 2014) is an important step in this direction, in the direction of empowering Muslim women This tries to give the solution to various problems faced by Muslim women. It outlines the various steps for which the large section of Muslim women is longing for. 

On Tuesday morning, a 25-year-old woman by the name of Farzana Iqbal was beaten to death by her family. Farzana was on her way to the Lahore High Court when her father, her brother, and a mob of family members attacked her with guns. When they missed, she ran but her brother grabbed her headscarf, making her fall down. As she lay on the ground, she begged for her life. In response, her family members smashed her head in with bricks.

0:12 In many patriarchal societies and tribal societies, fathers are usually known by their sons, but I'm one of the few fathers who is known by his daughter, and I am proud of it.

BY WAJAHAT S. KHAN AND HENRY AUSTIN

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) concluded its 191th meeting, here Tuesday with the ruling that the laws related to minimum age of marriage were un-Islamic and that children of any age could get married if they attain puberty.

A couple were stoned to death for adultery in a remote area of Pakistan's western Baluchistan province, an official said Monday, leading to six men being held on suspicion of murder.

31st January 2014

CNSNews.com – Pakistan’s government faces a looming deadline to either comply with a court ruling to amend the country’s penal code to make the death penalty the only lawful punishment for “blasphemy,” or to appeal the order. And with just four days to go, its failure to respond is worrying religious freedom campaigners.

The early December ruling by the federal shari’a court threatens to worsen an already grim situation faced by religious minorities. Currently those convicted of “defiling the name of Mohammed” face either life imprisonment or the death penalty, but the court wants the latter option to now be compulsory.

Despite national laws and international commitments, child marriage remains a real threat for many in Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Demographic and Household Survey (PDHS 2006-7), 13 percent of girls in the country are married by the time they are 15 and 40 percent by 18 years. 18% of Pakistani women have had their first birth by age 18; 9% have begun child bearing between 15-19 years and 7% are already mothers in those ages leading to one of the highest infant mortality rates in South Asia (PDHS 2006-7).

Samreen Shahbaz

In January 2005, Dr. Shazia Khalid was raped by member of the Pakistan Army in a remote area of Baluchistan province. Dr. Shazia Khalid is a medical doctor who was working as an employee of Pakistan Petroleum Limited at that time, and the incident happened at her compound which was located inside the hospital’s premises in the Sui area of Baluchistan. A case was filed and investigations began after her husband made repeated visits to the police. The military government of that time found Dr. Khalid’s protests against sexual assault by a military employee extremely irritating and started making conscious efforts to remove the thorn in their side. First, the authorities destroyed the evidence and later, they started questioning the character of the victim by narrating shady stories of “used condoms” being found at her compound. Her case was also dismissed on the grounds that the victim failed to produce four witnesses of the incident. Her case increased tensions between the Baluch nationalist tribes and the Pak Army as the tribes took the incident as an attack on their honour. Dr. Khalid was kept under a house arrest in Karachi for several weeks. Eventually, she was flown out of the country and the entire story was swept under the carpet. Dr. Shazia Khalid is still awaiting justice.

The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to help individual journalists, media persons, management and owners of media houses to promote gender justice in their organizational policies as well as in their professions to become better at their work, by accepting and applying an established understanding of the expected universal gender-sensitive standards, attitudes and behaviour. This Code deals with the following six main areas: Right to Privacy; Pictorial Depiction of Women; Balanced Representation of Women; Projection of Gender Roles in Advertisements; Quality Coverage of Women’s Issues and Maintaining Professional Standards.

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