Friday, January 23, 2009

State & Status of Women

Excerpts from Sarwar Bari's article for the News International:

"For many years we have been witnessing women being prevented to participate in the electoral process both as voters and candidates. Shamelessly, despite their cutthroat competition, the religious and so-called liberal parties engaged in this fraud. And the Election Commission of Pakistan has never taken any action against this clear violation of its code of conduct. In addition, the state has been ominously silent on the closure and burning of girls' schools and women's colleges in some parts of the country. It also must be noted that recently, when the Islamic Ideological Council announced some pro-women recommendations on divorce, the mullahs aggressively opposed them, while the so-called pro-women parties did not bother to defend the recommendations.

Is it not an irony, especially when the Constitution of Pakistan (Articles 25 and 34) guarantees equality between the two sexes? Let us not forget that Pakistan also signed the Convention for the Elimination of All Kinds of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In order to achieve the objectives of CEDAW, Pakistan has also launched a Gender Reform Action Plan. In short, it could be concluded that the constitutional and policy framework of the state of Pakistan is externally pro-women, but inwardly it has no shame when its own laws are violated.

As long as the state is dependent on these two retrogressive forces [mullahs and feudal/tribal sardars] we will neither see any improvement in the status of women nor in governance in Pakistan. The implementation on the Constitution of Pakistan, the CEDAW and the MDGs will remain only a dream. The unholy alliance of mullahs-feudals and the state will not let us, and the world, have peace. "

Please use the link above to read the full article.

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