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-12-06

Pakistan: Reforms of Cruel Rape Law Fail

In a blow for women's rights in Pakistan, the government's proposals for reforming the country's cruel rape laws were dropped today. Under the Hudood Ordinances, which are based on sharia law, a woman must produce four male witnesses in order to convict her rapist, a requirement that often cannot be fulfilled simply because rapes are often private crimes. The proposed law would have allowed women to choose whether they would prosecute a rapist under the Hudood Ordinances or under Pakistan’s civil penal code. Religious conservatives, however, strongly opposed the proposed laws and threatened to walk out of parliament if the laws were passed, The Independent wrote.

Women rape victims in Pakistan are often further punished by the judicial system because, when a victim cannot produce four male witnesses, she can be convicted of adultery – a crime punishable by death. Human Rights Watch issued a statement denouncing the Hudood Ordinances because these laws render “most sexual assault victims unable to seek redress through the criminal justice system, deeming them guilty of illegal sex rather than victims of unlawful violence or abuse.”

The Independent reports that the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan found in 2002 that a woman is raped every two hours and gang-raped every eight hours. These rates, however, might be significantly higher because of social mores, unfair laws, and insensitive treatment from police officers and government officials that discourage rape victims from reporting crimes.

Media Resources: The Independent 9/12/2006; Reuters 9/11/2006; AP 9/11/2006; Human Rights Watch 9/6/2006


© 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

4/23/2015 BREAKING: The Senate Just Confirmed Loretta Lynch for Attorney General After a Five-Month Delay - After a five-month battle, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch US Attorney General today, making her the first Black woman in US history to take on the role. . . .
 
4/22/2015 We Need to Talk About Gender On Earth Day - Today is Earth Day, an annual event that celebrates our planet and encourages people to find a way to protect it. . . .
 
4/21/2015 Feminists Mourn the Loss of Activist Grace Mann - Feminist activist Grace Rebecca Mann, a 20-year-old University of Mary Washington student, was killed in her home on Friday. Grace was found unconscious by her two female roommates on Friday, one of whom called 911 and attempted to administer CPR. . . .