Social Ethics Project
On March 8th, the Prime Minister of Pakistan vowed to have his government take all the necessary steps to give women equal rights in Pakistan. Women are at risk because of Pakistan's biased laws towards women and a weak judicial system. Police are not subject to investigate gender biased crimes nor are the courts subject to provide justice to women who have survived acts of violence. Many of these laws were created by General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamisation in the 1970s and 1980s and are still in effect. Women have also been attacked because of extremists. Many laws have been enacted in order to appease these extremist. There is a large amount of women rights violated in the FATA and KP regions of Pakistan where women are subjected to state sanctioned discrimination, militant violence, religious extremism and sexual violence. The extremists and militants have targeted women and activists working for women's rights to create fear for those who strive for improvement. Also, they terrorize these activists to silence them from working. The Pakistani government has a constitutional obligation and international commitment to combat gender inequality and remove the barriers to women’s empowerment. Repealing discriminatory legislation and putting in place laws that protect women are necessary to ending violence against women.
- Who are the main opponents? The main opponents are the women of Pakistan who are at risk from being attacked and subject to abuse and violence. Women are at risk because of state laws which are discriminatory towards women and the country's weak justice system.
- Any other countries involved or concerned? No, there is currently no other country involved. The issue is an internal conflict and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that his government would take all the necessary legislative and administrative steps to protect and empower women. There are plenty of other countries that are concerned. Specifically organizations based in other countries who are working for women's equality.
- How is this conflict being conducted (i.e., what tactics: terrorist attacks, suicide bombers, drones… etc.)? Police officers are not held accountable for not investigating gender based crimes. The subordinate judiciary is not held accountable for for failing to give justice to women who survive acts of violence. Many of the discriminatory laws are still in effect. Specifically in the FATA and KPA regions, women are subjected to state sanctioned discrimination, militant violence, religious extremism and sexual violence. The militants attack and target those who work towards women's rights.
- What was the cause of the conflict (as far as you can tell)? Previous laws which were created by General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamisation in the 1970s and 1980s are still in effect which are very discriminating towards women. These laws deny women of gender equality, their constitutional right, and also fuel religious intolerance and violence towards women. Most recently, Pakistani women have been victim to these laws and state policies in order to appease violent extremists.
- What efforts are being taken to solve the problem non-violently? Include your evaluation of the effectiveness of these peacemaking efforts or suggestion for what would be more effective. The new Pakistani Prime Minister is working to make legislative changes in order to get rid of these discriminatory laws. He vowed to make change on March 8th, which was International Women's Day. If he continues with this, it will mean the end of these unjust laws, counter to extremist threats, and heavily involving women in the process of making new state policies to improve the lives of women. If this continues, it will be very effective. Ending the old laws and creating new laws is a large step in gender equality in Pakistan. Involving the women in this process of improvement is also a large step and aids in the empowering of women. It will also create better laws since the women will be personally involved in the change. Making all these changes legally will also be effective and will solve the issue non-violently.
"Women, Violence and Conflict in Pakistan." International Crisis Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2015.