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Pakistani Women's Muffled Cries Tears trickled down her cheeks and trembled down her jaw line. She slumped against a wall, recollecting the agonies inflicted upon her. Outside, the calming moon was pouring tranquillity to every creature scrambling in green moss and heather.

Everyone was calm except Mukhtaran Mai. She glanced at her tormentors, who seemed immune to the calamity they had caused. Thinking of how her whole status had changed within a few seconds made her eyes brimmed with tears.

This is how Mukhtaran Mai felt on the night her whole destiny was transformed: the time she became yet another victim of male harassment tasted by countless women all around the country. Mukhtaran Mai became a victim of gang rape in 2002. However, the distant timing does not suggest that the scenario is any different now.

Even today, countless females are tortured by this brute aggression very now and then. May it be the illiterate fragments in our rural areas or the educated class living in posh areas, the molestation faced by the females is more or less the same. Every newspaper carries countless articles on agonies of the women. They are murdered at the slightest excuse. Men of the family beat them, tie them with ropes and humiliate them merely to satisfy their need to exercise power. Outside, females are still looked upon as objects of lust and have to tolerate constant ridiculing and jeering.

Many ruffians still think of whistling at ladies their prized pastime. It is because of these circumstances that even in the modern 21st century, most women are confined within their homes to protect themselves from this mockery.

However unlike the rest, Mukhtaran Mai was unable to bear this persecution. She stood up against her tormentors in a way which is worth a lot of praise. Contrary to what most oppressed would have done in an attempt to save their honour, the brave lady decided to deal with all her misery instead of hiding away. She received threatening calls, endured all sorts of criticism and even dealt with kidnap attempts. Nonetheless, her firm determination helped her get through it all.

Her constant toiling bore fruit and it was on 18 March, 2005 when the Government of Punjab finally detained the fourteen men involved in her gang-rape and finally, she was able to attain justice. Ever since then, the whole world has commended her bravery and today she has evolved into a strong social worker, striving to curb all evils of the society. But, the courage shown by Mukhtaran Mai is still alien to a lot of women. Even today, we females tolerate all this unfairness and remain quiet; fearing the consequences of raising voices.

Such discrimination strikes every nook of the womanhood and spares no one. Every other day we hear about abduction of small girls.

Fiza Waqar is a student of Lahore School of Economics and represents a huge fraction of aspiring women voicing out against this oppression. She says: "it pains me to see how this ruthless society of ours strives to engulf each and every female. My heart weeps when I think of how we are unable to protect our young ones from the evil clutches. This is my biggest affliction which hurts me 24/7."

Many female students have to constantly face these evils when they step out to acquire education. They are laughed at in class. Male professors ridicule their knowledge and jeer at them. It is even more heart-wrenching to hear of those unfortunate students who fall victim to the sexism prevalent in the society. Many students articulate very strongly against this harrying attitude.

Bakhtawar Atta Maneka is such an example. Currently studying in Lahore Grammar School, she considers it her utmost duty to speak against these evils. She says, "The society has been very primitive in accepting females. We have all those rights to lead our lives peacefully which the men claim to possess and the only reason women are tormented in this region is their aloofness towards their rights"

Our society claims to revolve around the rules which have been inscribed by the Islamic civilization. However these detached jurists seem to ignore all those rights Allah has adorned womanhood with.

They aim to confine females within homes where as the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) always decreed to encourage women in pursuing education. His famous tradition, "To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims, whether male or female." should be treated like a guiding stone by these persecutors who defy the right of education to women.

Despite the endless stream of Divine rulings prohibiting injustice against females, our customs are still inclined to resisting the betterment of women. Working ladies, still face the worst form of opposition. They are called 'un-Islamic' by people.

More discouraging is the fact that their own family tries to dissuade them from continuing their jobs.

Samar Iftikhar is a potential fashion photographer who is gravely moved by this deep-rooted discrimination. She says: "One thing I am unable to tolerate is this inequity between girls and boys. We females are equally capable to perform any task men do but even then we are always harassed, always ridiculed. I really hope that someday our nation would rid itself of these evils."

In times of such turmoil, it is a necessity for both men and women to strive together for the betterment of the country. Nonetheless, this objective cannot be fulfilled if the womanhood is not secure in the society. It is the duty of the state and society to provide security to women and accept them as equal citizens.

It is hoped that soon the sun will dawn on a Pakistan where women will no longer be oppressed. There will be no Mukhtaran Mai's striving for their honour and both men and women will be working in harmony to re-construct Pakistan.women mukhtaran mai
25 Jan 2011 | 1521 inamulhaq55 says: Location: pakistan  Posts: 1
It is quite miserable that in 21st century, Pakistan and countries like pakistan has the people with many degrees and white colar jobs but unfortunately low class thinking especially for women freedom. Many countries like INDIA, BANGLADESH etc. have this problem but i only have personal experience in Pakistan. In my view, People of Pakistan dont even try to come out from the old frustating traditions, even they love to controll women like a puppet.

In my country, Pakistan, a woman is a teacher, doctor, engineer, actress, business holder, piolet, even having almost every rank of nobelity in society, but still seek permission to do every minor thing at home. Her father controlls her when she is young child, her brother controlls her when she is a young girl, her husband controlls her when she is married, her son controlls her when she is old woman. Can anyone tell me, what is her time? The time when she do what she wishes for. When she will get her rights in Pakistan?

I am a Pakistani woman who has been being controlled by her family by the time of even birth. I am graduate and doing MA ENGLISH but the misery is that i can not even go near the main gate of my house without permission of my family. Its my wish that i could go out alone but i think it will remain my dream. I never even cannot wear anything of my choice , i cannot eat, write, read even each and everything in life without seeking permission of my father and brothers. They are not bad at all but just followers of so called traditions of Pakistan.

Few days ago, i read interview of an anchor person whose name is Shaista Wahidi. She is doing a morning show on GEO TV. She said a very right thing that "Man is afraid of her wife. He thinks a woman only need money to live happily with him so he works to meet her expenses, and he thinks if she would go out and will do job then what i will do?"

This is valid statement for a man in a country like Pakistan and i am very much agreed with her.

When Pakistan will get free of these frustrating ideologies?????????

Will Pakistan never get rid of these ideologies? I dont have answer but i really wish, Pakistan get success in moral values towards women.
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13 Mar 2011 | 1574 nabz says: Location: karachi  Posts: 1
My life is all about challenges. I still remember when I was young my father said to me that My son you have to do everything by your own, I am not able to spend money on you due to my financial position. Here I want to tell you about my family we are four brothers, I am the eldest one & my father works as a government officer. Seriously I was firmly demotivated cause I know I cant get the admission in any government eng University. So I did my Inter and didnt get the chance to take admission in any private University, even though I tried in government university as well but due to low marks I missed that chance as well. Finally I took admission in college and started my bachelor. But gradually I was getting away from the studies due to my bad company of friendship which is play a vital role in your life. Some of my friend activities i.e. we used to runaway from the restaurant without paying money or passes the girls mobile no each other & dating with them, going on dates hangouts these was the rubbish activities we were used to do. Its very important to have a good circle of friends cause it has a big influence in life. At that time I was committed with someone i dont want to mention her name; we met at coaching centre and fall in love with each other. Most of the time when I wasnt with my friends I was with her. She was a nice girl always there to help me. And she is the only one who gave me confidence then I realized where I am going & where I have to go she cleared my objectives and my paths. Finally I graduated From Karacachi University. I started my career as a assistant accountant then moved to MCB Bank ltd as a account officer. I took admission in ACCA evening classes as well. Life was going well my parents were happy. Suddenly there was a turn which changes my life. I got a call from her she was crying like hell and was saying everything is over cant live without you.after a while she told me that her parents forcing her to get marry with his cuison. Even though I wanted to tell my parents but there is no point to tell them because her parents already fixed her marriage. In one month she got married and moved to Canada. In those days I went to Lahore for internal audit so I managed to hide my tears from my parents, I spend 2 month over there, I spend every night with crying I had nothing to do just yelling on myself. I came back Karachi after arriving home I met with my best friend, he gave me support and give me confidence. I knew thats was not the end. I managed to stand alone and Alhamdulillah I am well established now just keep that in your mind, your first responsibilities is to look after your parents and fulfil their dreams. Thats a big lesson I learn from my life. Time is precious dont waste it.!
23 Aug 2011 | 1728 Syed Khalid Shafique says: Location: Pakistan  Posts: 1
For years, women in Pakistan have been severely disadvantaged and discriminated against. They have been denied the enjoyment of a whole range of rights - economic, social, civil and political rights and often deprivation in one of these areas has entailed discrimination in another. Women, who have been denied social rights including the right to education are also often denied the right to decide in matters relating to their marriage and divorce, are more easily abused in the family and community and are more likely to be deprived of the right to legal redress. Often abuses are compounded; poor girls and women are trafficked and subject to forced marriage, forced prostitution or exploitative work situations such as bonded labor. In all of these situations they are likely to be mentally, physically and sexually abused, again without having the wherewithal to obtain justice.

In Pakistans patriarchal culture, it is rare to hear the voices of women who represent a distinct perspective in the context of the public debate on Islam and human rights (including womens rights). A woman is equally important member of society. The woman plays a vital role in building the society on healthier and stronger foundations.
Tradition and culture are an integral part of any society. None of the major world religions, including Islam, are free from cultural influences. In fact, our religion promotes the concept of unity in diversity. Allah (s.w.t) tells us in the noble Quran that: "He made us into nations and tribes, so that we may get to know one another, and not despise each other."[Q49:13] As a way of life, Islam is a thinking persons faith, which crosses territorial and cultural boundaries the world over. It does not require the export of eastern tradition to the West, or vice versa, in order to understand and practice its tenets. Therefore, there is no "one culture fits all" or "my way or the highway" policy in Islam.
Vocal and visible as the extremists in Pakistan are, they constitute a small percentage of the total population of Pakistan. The vast majority of Pakistanis are middle-of-the-road people who neither subscribe to nor support extremism. While they have a strong Muslim identity and their faith is very important to them, they also aspire to be a part of the "modern" world through acquiring education, awareness of contemporary values, and the means to have what the Greeks called "the good life". In other words, they want both "Deen" (religion) and "Dunya" (the world). This is a position supported by Qur'anic teaching and the Prophetic example which describe Islam as a religion of balance and moderation, stressing the complementarity of various spheres of life.

The discourse on Islam and Human Rights in Pakistan is dominated by two highly vocal and visible groups that represent opposing mindsets. In some ways both of these mindsets can be described as "extremist." The first mindset is represented by persons such as Dr. Farhat Hashmi who consider themselves the custodians of "Islam" which they generally define in narrowly-construed literalistic and legalistic terms. The second mindset is represented by others such as Asma Jahangir and other leaders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan who consider themselves the guardians of "human rights" which they see as being incompatible with religion, particularly Islam.

A review of Pakistan's history shows that "religious" extremists have, in general, opposed any critical review or reform of traditional attitudes and practices which have become associated with popular Muslim culture. They have, in particular, been opposed to any changes in the traditional roles of women and have regarded the movement for women's rights as a great threat to the integrity and solidarity of the Muslim family system.

Averse in general to "modernity" which they identify largely with "Westernization" of Muslim societies, "religious" extremists have raised a red flag and shouted that "the integrity of the Islamic way of life" was under assault, each time any government has taken any step to address the issue of gender inequality or discrimination against women.

While "extremism" is associated most often with "the religious right" referred to above, it is important to note that it is also to be found in the utterances and actions of those who regard religion, especially Islam, negatively. In asserting that "Islam" and "human rights" are mutually exclusive, advocates of human rights such as Asma Jahangir adopt a position which is untenable both on theoretical and pragmatic grounds. The Qur'an strongly affirms all the fundamental human rights. In pragmatic terms, it is evident that Muslims generally - including the vast majority of Pakistanis - are strong believers in God and Islam, regardless of how they express or enact their beliefs. The insistence by "anti-religious" advocates of human rights that Islam should not be made part of the ongoing discourse on human rights in Pakistan, is, therefore, vacuous. Whether acknowledged or not, Islam which defines the identity and ground reality of millions of Pakistanis is already, and inevitably, a part of this discourse. Furthermore, it is important to know that religious and anti-religious extremisms feed into one another. The more the anti-religious extremists marginalize Islam in their rhetoric, the stronger is the outcry from religious extremists that Islam is in danger.

It is a matter of utmost gravity that in Pakistan the discourse on Islam has been hijacked by religious extremists and the discourse on human rights has been hijacked by anti-religious extremists. In my judgment, it is vitally important to broaden the discourse both on Islam and human rights to include a third option. This option means the creation of a new discourse or an alternative paradigm which is grounded in the ethical principles of the Qur'an and relates to the beliefs as well as the aspirations of middle-of-the-road Pakistanis.

Islam is, undoubtedly, the sustaining factor in the lives of millions of Muslims - including Pakistanis - many of whom live in conditions of great hardship, suffering or oppression. It can easily become a source of empowerment for them if they begin to see that they have been given a large number of rights - not by any human agency but by God. Once the masses who constitute the silent majority of Pakistanis become conscious of their God-given right to actualize their human potential to the fullest, they can be mobilized to participate in building a dynamic and democratic society. But in order to make this happen, a new perspective on human rights (including women's rights) grounded in normative Islamic ideas of universalism, rationalism, moderation, social justice and compassion must be disseminated as widely as possible.