Women and human rights
Children can not give free and full consent to marriage. As parents, women shall have equal rights “irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to their children.” It is discriminatory to arbitrarily deny women spousal support and equal custody rights at divorce. Various other conventions ensure that women are protected from involuntary servitude, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Domestic violence can not be ignored as simple “family misunderstanding” but must be prosecuted as a serious crime. The Convention on the Rights of the Child protects young girls from being forced to undergo the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation and rape in the form of child marriages.
It is, indeed, time to end the silence and stand up and speak up against their dehumanization in different parts of Pakistan. The rampant violence against women must not be tolerated. It must be combated through a combination of education, information and rigorous prosecutions of abusers. If actions or lack of action speaks louder than words, it is obvious that ruling elite do not think much of their women’s lives and dignity. A broad social movement needs to be established to challenge all practices that degrade women and challenge cultural and social patterns defining the lopsided power relationship between men and women in Pakistani society.