Sir: Pakistan is going to be 67 years old and, from the day of its birth, our women have been cruelly treated, murdered, sold and demeaned by their lords — husbands, fathers, brothers and, of course, heartbroken lovers. Women are a fragile entity in our country, continously targetted in the name of honour, Islam and fundamentalism. A three months pregnant woman marrying someone of her choice gets brutally stoned in front of the Lahore High Court, the building that was supposed to provide justice in case of her marriage, and onlookers dared not save her. The victim’s husband has already admitted to murdering his first wife for the sake of his love for the victim. This is not the first time a male’s honour has turned out to be more important than a female’s will and life.
Hundereds of women in Pakistan have been sold, murdered and tortured to satisfy the egos and sentiments of their male lords. It is sad to see that women in our society are being opressed in every single way. If they marry someone of their own choice, fathers and brothers get dishonoured. However, those who do not marry their lovers tend to be raped, sexually assaulted or subjected to acid violence in many cases. The worst part is that society, in most cases, seems to condemn the victimised woman. In one way or the other, it is the woman who is wrong as she should have listened to her male lord like a pious lady. Above all, the Hudood laws and the careless attitude of our governments have futher demeaned the status of women in this society. I think it is time for our women to rise up for their rights. Jubilating the existence of Benazir Bhutto, Sharmeen Chinoy and Asma Jehangir in this male dominated society is never going to help us find our niche and civil rights. Silence is not going to stop violence. It is time to come out for our rights, fight for our existence and demand the right to a respectable life in this society.