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“Legislation by a broken system is not going to work”
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“Legislation by a broken system is not going to work”

Naseema PerveenWomen in Pakistan live under threat of violence no matter what their socio-economic level, writes Naseema Perveen, 21, of Islamabad in Pakistan. Some legislation has been enacted to address the violence, but she argues it will not be effective until women have freedom of speech.

Mukhtar Mai, Fakhra Younis, Samia Sarwar… these are women victimized in Pakistan.

The first was victimized by gang-rape, and the rapists went free. The second was a victim of acid attacks that are practiced on a large scale, and the third was killed in the name of honor when she wanted to leave an offensive marriage.

They belonged to diverse socio-economic backgrounds, but in the end living in a society like Pakistan proves the ultimate equalizer for women.

According to the Aurat Foundation, in 2011 over 8500 women in the country were victimized by violence including acid attack, rape and honor killing. Yet in a country like Pakistan even if a women is victimized she has to survive under an atmosphere of violence. Several legislative acts have been passed by the Pakistani parliament, designed to provide protection to women against violence like acid attack, honor killing, sexual harassment and forced marriages including marriages to Quran. But passing of legislation by a broken system is not going to work effectively. What is needed is proper implementation of the laws and regulations, and serious effort to remove this curse from society.

 Pakistan is a country where women are considered to be a dishonor not only for family but also for society. Many of them are bound between the four walls of the house. In some more interesting cases I have come across, many of the women are allowed to get an education but unfortunately after completion they are not allowed to work in offices. This is a loss of talent, loss of resources and a disastrous factor to society.

These educated women could otherwise play an important role for the socio-economic development of society. Such women must be encouraged to be independent economically so that they can work side by side with the men to improve the standard of living for families. That improvement would obviously affect the national prosperity since approximately half of the population consists of women. Unfortunately Pakistan is such a suffocated country that women do not have freedom of speech.

It is now time for all women to fight for their right to life, dignity and justice, in order to save their own lives, to save the society and to save the nation.

Photo:  © Commonwealth Secretariat

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About me:

I am blogger, writer, and a social person; I am a responsible, trust-worthy and friendly person. My aim in writing is to address social issues, many of which remain unnoticed. 

Currently I am a student of Economics, aspiring to make my career in social development as a social worker. I have passion to work with people from all walks of life and believe social development is only possible through common effort and consultation.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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