While the whole world is celebrating Mother’s week, there is a dire need of recounting women’s rights which are being overlooked. Although, rights of women are protected under the predefined banner of social system and its current rules, she is a victim of physical and sexual abuse, harassment and mental torture, subjection to several atrocious practices of society. She is still a sufferer of honour killing, wanni and discrimination, no matter how many bills, act and laws are being passed and implemented for the protection of her rights.

Women’s rights have gained so much importance that these are surrounded by debates, legal reforms, related media and social behaviour at large. However, amid all these unselfish efforts of national and international conferences, using electronic and print media resources and unlimited number of active NGOs and organisations working for her welfare, today’s woman is a question mark to the world in her fight for the accurate determination of her rights.

Pakistani society is comprised of dual system of civil and shariah law. Constitution of Pakistan guarantees rights of women and negate the discrimination in any sphere of life, as the basis of constitution is Islam - a religion that has secured the rights of women about 1400 years ago.

But our society is silent over social evils like karokari, sware, badl-e-sulh etc. These crimes are increasing day by day and Pakistani woman has to face many challenges every day.

Though a lot of measures have taken to secure women rights in a society, a concrete strategy is urgently needed to implement the respective laws at ground level. Women’s success and wellness cannot be satisfied till they get rewarded with their essential rights.

In Pakistan, working women have to face number of problems. She is subjected to sexual harassment at work place, verbal abuse, gender discrimination and uncomfortable work environment, bullying by seniors and victimisation by bosses and co-workers. Long working hours, lack of transport facility and absence of day care centers has disturbed the family life of working women. Maternity leaves are not enough for the working women to leave her child at home and pay full attention towards work. Resultantly, her family life and work both are disturbed.

Even with all these hurdles, there is some ray of hope for having a section of women fully utilising constitutional and religious rights. Such women are participating in the development and prosperity of Pakistan. While fully observing the Islamic behaviour and conduct, they are working along with men in almost all spheres of life. They have significant participation in military, economy, health, politics, police, foreign services, law, and even in parliament.

Today, we have a number of female lawyers, judges, female court workers, and on the other hand, a large figure of female in police. But why women in Pakistan are hesitant to report any abuse against them?

There are many laws relating to sexual harassment but majority of women are unaware of this critical situation and some of them who filed it or complained have to go through long and complicated judicial process that mostly left it undecided. It is a reality that our justice is itself a victim of political hands. Women who report rape or sexual harassment encounter a series of obstacles. These includes not only the police, who resist filing their claims and misreport their statement, but also the medico-legal doctors who focus more on their virginity status and lack the experience and training to conduct adequate examination. They have to suffer more and humiliated instead of getting justice.

Now the need is to take active steps on government level for sensitising the women to be aware about their actual rights as was done during dengue awareness campaign. First of all, the government should take reasonable steps for increasing maternity leaves. Working women have to be facilitated by regular transport system. Reasonable figures of Day Care Centers are needed to be established close to the working place. The working hours should be restricted between 6am to 7pm.

Role of media is also so vital that it can transform the whole picture from worse to great when it comes to women’s rights. Unnecessary promotion of women to gain more audience is as destructive as making them pose nude in the name of fashion. There is a big gap that exists between the true teachings of Islam as provided by original sources and its projected image in west and modern civilization, which needs to be filled to ensure women’s rights.

We have to reform our system if we claim to stand with the rank of those who are fighting and struggling for the protection of  women’s rights and condemn violation against them. Moreover, violation of women’s rights, its complications and addresses must be discussed at every level. Every reasonable measurement and efforts should be taken into consideration to ensure women’s honour, her dignity, importance and valuable status of which she should be entitled to in a society. She must be allowed to raise her voice to governmental and as well at the global level.

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