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
11/25/2014 Marissa Alexander Has Accepted a Plea Deal - Marissa Alexander, the woman imprisoned for firing a warning shot in the presence of her abusive husband, chose to accept a plea deal Monday with the state of Florida, pleading guilty to three felony counts of aggravated assault.
As part of the plea deal, Alexander received three years imprisonment, but she will be credited for the time she's spent behind bars. . . .
11/24/2014 The City of Louisville Has Overwhelmingly Approved a CEDAW Resolution - The city of Louisville, Kentucky approved a resolution that will use the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a framework for all future policy aimed at ending gender-based discrimination.
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh introduced the resolution, which passed overwhelmingly on November 6. . . .