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Pakistan Future of Women and Work Initiative United States Department of State

The 1961 Muslim Family Law Ordinance, which regulated marriage, divorce, and polygamy continues to have a significant legal impact on the women of Pakistan. Historically, Muslim reformers such as Syed Ahmad Khan tried to bring education to women, limit polygamy, and empower women in other ways through education. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was known to have a positive attitude towards women. After the independence of Pakistan, women’s groups and feminist organisations initiated by prominent leaders like Fatima Jinnah started to emerge in order to eliminate socio-economic injustices against women in the country.

Patriarchal structures are relatively stronger in the rural and tribal setting where local customs establish male authority and power over women’s lives. On the other hand, women belonging to the upper and middle classes have increasingly greater access to education and employment opportunities and can assume greater control over their lives. The most common female dress is the shalwar kameez with a shawl called dupatta.

  • Previously in 1982, she was also first woman to be appointed as civil judge in Quetta, Balochistan.
  • The injustice done to her is likely to drive the majority of women and girls to come out and participate in the Women’s March,” she said.
  • Suicide bombings, armed attacks, and killings by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates targeted religious minorities, security personnel, and politicians, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
  • However, more than 90% believe that female children should be educated, nearly half of them believing that, should opportunity be available, they should rise to college education and beyond.
  • UNESCO and the Orascom subsidiary of Pakistan telco, Mobilink have been using mobile phones to educate women and improve their literacy skills since 4 July 2010.

In order to marry off a son, one must also have a daughter to marry off in return. If there is no sister to exchange in return for a son’s spouse, a cousin, or a distant relative can also do. Even though Islamic law requires that both partners explicitly consent to marriage, women are often forced into marriages arranged by their fathers or tribal leaders. Watta satta is most common in rural parts of northwest and west Pakistan, and its tribal regions. Vani is a marriage custom followed in tribal areas and the Punjab province. The young girls are forcibly married off in order to resolve the feuds between different clans; the Vani can be avoided if the clan of the girl agrees to pay money, called Deet, to other clans. Swara, Pait likkhi and Addo Baddo are similar tribal and rural customs that often promote marriage of girls in their early teenage years.

Pakistani man stoned to death for alleged Quran desecration

Gender Inequality IndexValue0.534Rank135th out of 191 Global Gender Gap IndexValue0.556 Rank153rd out of 156Women in Pakistan make up 48.76% of the population according to the 2017 census of Pakistan. Women in Pakistan have played an important role throughout Pakistan’s history and they are allowed to vote in elections since 1956. In Pakistan, women have held high offices including that of the Prime Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition, as well as federal ministers, judges, and serving commissioned posts in the armed forces. Lieutenant General Nigar Johar, attaining the highest military post for a woman. Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan on 2 December 1988. Pakistan’s volatile relationship with United States, the country’s largest development and military donor, deteriorated in 2018, amid signs of mistrust. According to the organization Sahil, an average of11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported daily across Pakistan.Zainab Ansari was among the dozen children to be murdered in Kasur district, Punjab in 2018.

ICC proposes six-team T20 events for both men and women at 2028 Olympics

Aman arranged for her son’s marriage to the victim in 2002, but even after the victim’s husband moved away from the home, the defendants kept the victim in their Virginia home to serve the extended family. Fifty five percent (55%) of the respondents believe that “Both husband and wife should work”; while 45% said it is wrong for both husband and the wife to work. More than 50% of men including those from rural areas agree that both husband and wife should work for a better living. When the respondents were asked whether “Men are better politicians as compared to women or not”; 67% agree men are better politicians while 33% think otherwise.

Militants and interest groups also threaten freedom of expression through threats and violence. Far past regular working hours, the couple sits around their office table, cooling off in the breeze of several whirring fans. Kanwel’s brother-in-law joins them, along with two young women dressed in traditional salwar kameez garments.

Freedom of Expression and Attacks on Civil Society

Waseem, who was originally sentenced to life in prison, had said he strangled Baloch to death because her behavior had dishonored the family. Decision-making about healthcare showed mixed results, with almost half of the women (48.1% in 2012–13 and 48.2% in 2017–18) being involved in this domain of decision-making. In both 2012–13 and 2017–18, around half of the women (47.1% vs. 46.4%) were involved in decision-making about visiting family or relatives. Likewise, in 2012–13 and 2017–18, more than half of women (56.9% vs. 58.5%) were not involved in decision-making about large household purchases. Comparably, not being involved in decision-making regarding spending the money earned by their husband was a little higher in 2012–13 than in 2017–18 (59.7% vs. 50.2%).

In addition, adult women had less secondary-school education than males (26.7% vs. 47.3%) . Concomitantly, low educational opportunities and poor educational achievement lead to low empowerment among women, particularly those who live in remote areas of the country . The situation is further exacerbated when female parliamentarians in Pakistan appear to be bound by patriarchal beliefs and practices when they could realize empowerment. In such circumstances, the notion of empowerment in Pakistan appears to be only theoretical without any sense of practical embodiment . The situation gradually improved, and by 2014, 20.7% of elected representatives were female, a statistic well ahead of the United States and less than 2% behind the United Kingdom.

Before 1947, there was a tendency for Muslim women in Punjab to vote for the Muslim League while their menfolk supported the Unionist Party. Women in PakistanPhoto of Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan.

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