Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-02-98

Women's Groups Fear Possibility of "Another Taliban" in Pakistan

Women's rights groups in Pakistan fear that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's plans to "Islamize" the country's government will devastate women there.

Pakistani women already face pervasive domestic abuse and discrimination. Shahnaz Bokhari of the Progressive Women's Association believes that Sharif's plan will devastate gains made in women's rights by institutionalizing women's status as invisible and inferior and asked "Will this lead us to another Taliban?"

Bokhari reported that hundreds of Pakistani women are burned or mutilated by their husbands and that if the government imposes sharia, the abuse will increase. Fatima Mernissi defines sharia as sacred law based on the Koran and Sunna (teachings of the Prophet Muhammad), which represents or expresses divine will1. "If sharia is imposed, how can they say women will be safe? At home, behind a veil, where they can be burned or killed with no recourse?" asked Bokhari.

The government denies any attempt to emulate the Taliban and states that its objective is to rid Pakistani society of "barbarity and lawlessness."

Critics of the government charge Sharif's plan to "Islamize" Pakistan is unnecessary because the government's constitution already clearly establishes Pakistan's adherence to Islam. Aitzaz Ahsan, opposition leader in the National Assembly, said that Sharif's plan would allow him to rule as a dictator, issuing orders that legislators and courts would have no power to refuse. "This is designed very nakedly to concentrate all authority and power in the prime minister's office. It would make him a supra-constitutional monster," said Ahsan.

1Mernissi, Fatima (1991). The veil and the male elite. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, p. 32.

Media Resources: Washington Post - September 2, 1998


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/22/2014 Louisiana Pro-Choice Community Stands Up Against Operation Rescue - Saturday, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America launched an aggressive week-long siege against reproductive health clinics and abortion care providers in southern Louisiana. The annual siege is expected to run through Saturday, July 26, but already, several dozen Operation Rescue protesters have moved these forceful assemblies to doctors' private residences, riling neighbors in the process with their megaphones, explicit and invasive signage. . . .
 
7/21/2014 Detroit Maternal Death Rate Is Triple the US Average - Women in Detroit are dying from pregnancy-related complications at about three times the US average, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Twenty-six women died in Detroit over the period 2008-2011 as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, and Detroit has the highest rate of infant mortality among major US cities, with 13.5 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. According to Dr. . . .
 
7/21/2014 White House: Corporations Must Inform Employees About Refusal to Cover Contraception - The White House clarified on Thursday that closely held for-profit corporations refusing to provide contraceptive coverage will be required to inform their employees. The clarification is a response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby v. . . .