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Dilemma of Women’s Security in Pakistan

By: Aneesa Ajmal 

To write about women in our society is a sensitive topic, and sometimes it is considered as a traumatic issue.  The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a developing country, where half the population comprises women. According to the World Bank Report of 2023, the total percentage of women is  49.06%. Being a citizen of an Islamic state, our society must be organized according to Islam in terms of its norms, values, beliefs, protection, and safety measures for individuals who are living within the country. And it’s also the state’s responsibility to provide such things to everyone in the country.

ALSO READ: Redefining Women’s Security

The heart-wrenching, and horrifying crime incident of Toba Tek Singh, and many other incidents of our society about women harassment, sexual assaults, rape cases and many more other cases about women in Pakistan is escalating day by day.  According to the report of the National Police Bureau, the total number of registered cases of rapes and sexual assaults in the year 2022 was 4247, and 6624 cases were registered in the year 2023. These are the cases that are reported officially, and there are uncountable cases that are not reported officially yearly.

Most of the women who are being assaulted range between 12 to 25 years and even those less than 12 years also be registered.  During this age, females are not mature enough to about their rights, and voice. Unfamiliar with basic legal procedures, basic human rights, lack of ability to speak, and blame someone if someone tries to do wrong to her. All these are just because of a lack of literacy and awareness about the modern world. They become quiet due to the fear of social stigma and due to family pressure.

Pakistan has always been struggling for the protection of women’s rights in terms of honor, protection, and most importantly in term of career opportunities. Reports about women’s protection and safety reveal that in Workplaces, parks, hospitals, educational institutions, and even within the family female protection is deteriorating and getting challenging every day. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of human needs, safety, security, and protection are the crucial factors that society should provide to individuals. But unfortunately, we are living in a society where the safety guard for women is limited.      

Islam gave the best protection to females about 1400 years ago, preserved their dignity, and gave them honor. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), loves, respects, and provides protection to all of their wives and their daughters. And he set a role example for us to be according to him.

One of the Hadith about women is “Fear Allah in respect of women”.

The prospect of Pakistan will be detrimental if social crime against women is not controlled because they often lose self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and passion for their work. As a result, our society will not flourish at all. People will be more cautious about the safety of their daughters, and their wives and women will never be able to independently move out of their homes. Women constitute a major portion of the economy, and how the economy works is the significant portion of the women affected. In every profession, a female has a due role which cannot be denied at all.

Although there are many civil society organizations and government bodies that are working for women in Pakistan, it is still one of the most highlighted issues in our society.  In society, there must be individual responsibility to ensure protection for women. On the National level, there must be strengthening the laws, enacting legislation about different kinds of crime related to women, and must be committed to ensuring the protection of women under the constitution by adopting all possible measures.  Furthermore, there must be some forum through which every woman has the authority either living with the family or living somewhere else can easily lodge complaints about it. The major role of such a forum would be to critically evaluate such issues and grant severe punishment according to the law so that I will deter other people from committing such crimes. Conclusively, women’s safety is very important for the progress of the country and the nation as well. In Pakistan, there are weak safety precautionary measures for women, because it’s a male-dominated society and females are considered inferior in terms of their power, and ability, and they just objectify women. So there is a need of the hour to change such notions about women. Globalization increasing day by day, and women’s role is increasing trend with the world‘s demand.

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