Women Rights Kokab Jabeen 2012University of Gujrat
Contents1. Women right2. Introduction3. Pakistani history4. Women protection bill5. International history6. International bill7. Video8. Conclusion9. References
INTRODUCTION:Issue of gender is as old as the human being is. The first female (Eve) was bornthrough a male (Adam) who is the origin of human race, then it went forth from these twoand hence, The Creator multiplied the males and females on the earth. (Al-Quran, 4:1).The concern started with the spread of men and women, though its form and naturechanged time to time and it appeared in patriarchal or matriarchal societies during theturning out of the human history.Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the rights of women and do not discriminate in any sphere oflife. The basis of Pakistani constitution is Islam; a religion that has secured the rights of womenfourteen hundred years ago.In Pakistan; Mukhtaran Mai, Dr. Shazia and various other women have been raisedinternationally because of the corrupt character of our moth eaten justice, social and politicalsystem. In order to avail political power, dictators like General Zia-ul-Haq tried to placate thefundamentalist Mullahs by launching Hudood Ordinance. The society is silent over socialcustoms like Karo-Kari, Vaani, Swara and several other atrocities of the retrogressive people.Finally, the last hope, the justice system, is itself a victim of political interference.(I) What are women rights?Let us see why women rights are being denied and exploited in Pakistan, but before that, make itclear what are womens universal rights. • In Article 25(1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan it is stated,"All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law." • Article 25(2) states"There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone."
According to Islam:Islam guarantees an adult woman to marry according to her will. Even parents cannot force herto marry against her choice. Moreover, no person including parents, husbands, in-laws have theright to judge and decide the fate of women accused of being guilty of any crime. Courts arethere in a civilized society to decide what is right what is wrong.In addition to constitutional guarantee, 98% percent Muslims of Pakistan are morally binding asbeliever of Islam to fight evil and injustice, i.e., Amar Bil-Maroof Wanahi-o- Mankar. In thisregard, they are binding upon at least to voice their concern as a Muslim who cannot tolerateevils of gross injustices going on women.How are women rights violated?Despite the universal protection of Islam and the rights given by the constitution of Pakistan,women are the being abused by some atrocious elements of our society.a. Discriminatory LawsPolitics in Pakistan is a game of holding power and doing everything whether right or wrong inorder to secure that power. Women have been a victim of such a political game. General Zia-ul-Haq, after clinching power from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, enacted "Hudood Ordinances". Zia gavethe impression to Islamize the country; however, the hidden truth was to prolong his tenure bymaking the religious extremist happy. Still the women are being crushed under the barbarity ofHudood Ordinances:Hudood ordinance: In 1979, an ordinance, called the Hudood Ordinance was promulgated as apart of the process of Islamization in Pakistan which banned adultery, fornication, rape andprostitution (Zina), bearing false testimony (Qazf), theft and drinking alcoholic beverages.Hudood Ordinance was enacted to fulfil a fundamental condition of Islamic state andconstitution of Pakistan, as „zina‟ (adultery) was not a crime according to Pakistani law up tillthen. Subsequently the National Assembly ratified the ordinance and raised it to the status ofHudood Laws.Conditions:
If a woman is raped, one of the conditions of the law requires that woman must provide for fourpious Muslim witnesses for seeing the crime. Let for a moment condone that part of the law. But,the worst cruelty of the law is that in case of failing to provide witnesses, the rape victim will becharged of fornication; the punishment for which is stoning to death.According to Quran:The Holy Quran prescribes the punishment ofadultery in Surah Noor as under. The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each oneof them (with) a hundred stripes. (24:2) In this injunction the word zina is absolute and includeszina birraza (adultery) as well as zina bil jabar (rape).Sayyidina Wail bin Hajr radiallahu anhu narrated that during the days of Allahs Messengersallallahu alaihi wa sallam a woman had gone out to offer the prayer. On the way a manovercame and raped her. The woman cried for help and the man ran away. Thereafter the manadmitted that he had raped her. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam then inflictedthe Hadd on the man only, and not on the woman.Example:One of the examples from innumerous cases is that of an incidence of stoning to death to a blindgirl in 1980s. Her only mistake was to report that she was raped. But, unable to provide for thefour pious Muslim cum male witnesses, she was charged of adultery. Consequently, in thisIslamic Republic of Pakistan, an innocent was stoned to death.Does the above case conform to the right and protection given by the constitution of Pakistan?Does Islam allow injustice of such an inhuman nature? The answer is no, but, such atrocities arebeing done under the name of Islamic injunctions; however, the concealed fact is that of apolitical nature. The society was silent when the Hudood Ordinance was enacted, and it is stillheedless of the barbarisms from some of its own sections of people.(Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Ikrah, Bab 6):In the Sahih Bukhari is a tradition according to which a slave had raped a slave-girl. SayyidinaUmar radiallahu anhu then imposed the Hadd on the slave, but not on the slave-girl.
An American Scholar Charles Kennedy: got interested and visited Pakistan to conduct asurvey of the cases. He analyzed all the data related to Hudood Ordinance cases and presentedthe results in the form of a report which has been published.The results are very much in line with the above mentioned facts. He writes in his report:Women fearing conviction under Section 10(2) frequentlybring charges of rape under 10(3) against their alleged partners. The FSC finding nocircumstantial evidence to support the latter charge, convict the male accused under section10(2)Â….the women is exonerated of any wrongdoing due to reasonable doubt rule.b. Heinous CustomsKaro-Kari is one of those customs related to fornication. A Kari is a woman who is alleged tohave extramarital relations with a man called Karo. In a typical Birdari and caste system of oursociety, especially in rural areas, if a woman marries with her choice outside of her familyrelation -- a crime of violating the Biradari unwritten rule – then she is alleged to havecommitted adultery. The whole Biradari becomes willing to kill both of the husband and the wifeunder the pretext of Karo-Kari.Even the dead body of the innocent woman is not given her due right of burying. She is interredin an isolated and far-flung place without religious rituals. In contrast, the Karo is given the rightto be buried with religious rituals.Moreover, husbands, in-laws, and their relatives also victimize the woman with allegation offornication. In fact, the reason is their personal grievances and enmity for not bringing enoughdowry or not following the orders of in-laws. She could be killed any time by her husband or anyof his relatives under the pretext of Karo-Kari custom.Not only the adult woman but also baby girls of even months old are not spared from theclutches of retrogressive customs. Swara and Vaani are such kind of heinous crimes that aredeeply upheld by the stone-age minded people.In both of the customs, the minor girls are given as compensation for the wrongdoingsperpetrated by one of the members of the culprit family on the aggrieved one. The villages cultof goons called "Punchayat" leaded by elders of village, fundamentalist Mullahs, including anyof our graduate MPA participate in such Punchayats.Many girls given under Vaani or Swara to the aggrieved family refused to marry there after
attaining adult age. CJ of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have taken suo motu action in thisregard. Furthermore, girls as young as ten years of age are married with 60 years old man undersuch customs.A woman is raped after every two hours and gang-raped after every eight hour. For honor killing,commissions report says that in 2006, 565 women have been killed under Karo-Kari. Police donot take seriously the crime of honor killings; as in 2005, there were 475 such cases, and policewas able to catch only 128 accused.According to a reportMinistry,There have been 4100 hon presented by the Interior or killings since 2001. The report alsocriticizes that under Qisas and Diyat" law, the killer could easily be forgiven after payingcompensation for the blood of the dead.c. Violence and ExploitationsThe village Punchayat is so lowest in its scruples that sometimes it orders to rape the women ofthe culprit family as revenge. Mukhtaran Mai is one of such victim who had been gang-rapedbecause her brother was guilty of some wrong for which she was punished to be gang-raped. Thelaw enforcement agencies denied her "right to register an FIR" because the criminalsinfluentials.Sometimes women are stripped and forced to walk naked in the village for any crime of theirfamily members. If she denies marrying with a family relative or raising her voice against her in-laws then she is subjected to mutilation of her body by acid-throwing. For whatever reasons, herhusbands could brutally beat her any time under any pretext. Most of the time, she was beatenand even killed for not having a male baby child.
Women are also exploited for the only reason of being a woman. With a high workload fromdawn to dusk, she was paid far less than what males get doing less work. Moreover, in our maledominant society, molestation and sometimes attack on her piety during job are frequentincidents. If she reports such crimes then as a punishment, she is rusticated from her job.Therefore, most of the crimes against her remain unreported.The traders of human flesh exploit her misery. Taking advantage of her penury, they force someof the women on prostitution. Trafficking of women is also a lucrative business for humantraffickers. Such women after going abroad work as domestic slaves under extremely inhumanconditions or they are kept in brothels for the shameful business.STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS:The issue of domestic violence has been a source of public concern for a number of years. Beingin the private domain, the gravity of violence in the domestic sphere is compounded. Incognizance of the stress and unbearable suffering of the aggrieved person, it is necessary tocriminalize the act. Through this Bill, domestic violence is brought into the public domain andresponds to the National Policy for development and empowerment of women and Conventionfor the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women of adopting zero tolerance forviolence against women and “introducing positive legislation on domestic violence”.Report by an NGO, the Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) says:In 2006, there were 7,564 cases of violence against women; 1,993 cases of torture; 1,271 womenwere kidnapped; 822 women committed suicide; 259 were gang raped; 119 were trafficked; 144booked under the Hudood Ordinances; and 792 were killed in the name of honor. The above dataare based on reported cases; and because of unreported abuses, the actual crime rate is far morethan what is reported.
d. Deplorable Level of Health and EducationFurthermore, most of the women have no choice of theirs in deciding the number of babies tohave. Family planning is seen in a typical conservative society as against Islam. In case of anymedical emergency, when no female doctor available for her help, the orthodox relatives allowher to die rather than to be provided aid by a male doctor. Thousands of woman die per annumfor not having female doctors in medical facilities.Being a female, cult of the fundamentalists mostly in tribal and rural areas does not allow her toget education. They say it is a western intrigue to make their women liberal. With the advent ofTalibanization, the girls schools are openly threatened to close their centers else,Their educational premises would be blasted. Such news in North Western part of Pakistan hasbecome common today and several girls‟ schools have been devastated by such crimes(III) Is there any positive side of Women rights in Pakistan?With all such atrocities on majority of women, there is some ray of hope for having a section ofwomen fully utilizing constitutional and religious rights. Such women are participating in thedevelopment and progress of Pakistan; while fully observing the Islamic behavior and conduct,they are working along with men in almost all the spheres of life. They are in military, economy,health, politics, police, foreign services, law, and parliament and in fact every place where it wasimpossible to think of their presence few decades ago.Recently, PAF (Pakistan Air Force) inducted in its services female pilots as commissionedofficers. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a female, Shamshad Akhtar, has beenappointed as Governor State Bank of Pakistan. In foreign services, Tasneem Akhtar is carryingout her duties diligently as foreign office spokesperson. Besides, her Excellence, Dr. MalihaLodhi, is working as an ambassador of Pakistan in UK.Asma Jahangir, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commissions of Pakistan, is famous for herbrave efforts for relieving the victims of Human Rights abuses in Pakistan At lower level,women are running their own business as entrepreneurs; working in petrol pumps, restaurants,and coaches; participating in politics. In fact, there is a long list of women who are active and noless than their male contemporaries are.There are 234 women legislators sitting in our assemblies; 18 in Senate; 73 in NationalAssembly; and 143 in Provincial assemblies. This is one of the first times in Pakistans history
that women are given greater role to play in legislation. Several women are working in cabinet asministers in various government divisions. In Local Government system, thousands of womenare elected as councilors, mayors, deputy mayors. Nasreen Jalil is Deputy Mayor of CDGK (CityDistrict Government Karachi).(IV) What efforts have been made for ensuring women rights?The number of women enjoying some of their rights is below optimum. For the majority, it is adistant dream to decide for their own choice of life partner; and it is a luxury for most of thewomen to avail medical facilities for delivering a baby.However, efforts are being made both from the government and non-government sides to makebetter the plight of the persecuted women. a. Different commissions on women and their reports: After Independence, the first Commission on the Emancipation of Women was formed in 1955; the commission presented its report in 1961, but the government diluted several of its recommendations. However, in the same year, president Ayub Khan promulgated "Family Law Ordinance" that gave not much but little relief to the women. In 1975, Pakistan Women Rights Committee was formed which presented its report in 1976 without having any effect upon the power holders. Similarly, in 1981, Pakistan Commission on the Status of Women was founded that submitted its findings in 1985. However, the report was thrown into the dustbin due to Zias passion for implementing his own version of Islamization. After nine years, the "Commission of Inquiry for Women" was formed in 1994. The commission presented its report in August 1997, but it has gone to the same fate as the previous commissions reports. The National Commission on Status of Women formed (NCSW) came into being in September 2000. The purpose was to advise the government for eradicating laws discriminatory to women. The commission provided its detailed report in 2003. The report presented a thorough and critical review of 1979 Hudood Ordinances and concluded that these laws are being used to abuse women; thus, it asked for their annulment.
The power of the NCSW is restricted to only for recommendations. Moreover, it has been devoid of chairperson for several months. The effectiveness of the commission cannot be enhanced unless it gets independent in its working. India has a commission of similar nature but it is quite powerful in questioning and calling any senior government official. Therefore, it should be made equal on such footing as that of Indian commission. b. Laws on protection of women rights In 1996, Pakistan internationally ratified Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The law requires the government to take strict measures against any abuse that hinders women rights for freedom, equality, and justice. The law is good in its part for binding the country in protecting rights of the women. November 2006 is important in relieving women some of the atrocities of Hudood Ordinances. Parliament passed "Protection of Women Rights Bill (Criminal Laws Amendments)"; the bill is an attempt to secure the women from misuse of Zina and Qazf laws under Hudood Ordiances enacted by Zia in 1979. Religious fundamentalists as usual opposed the passage of the bill and leader of opposition Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman said that the bill is "to turn Pakistan into a free-sex zone". They criticized the Bill to be against Quran and Sunnah.So much noise by religious bigots over rights of women is a norm in our society. The onlypurpose of such billows is to gain political marks. In fact, the Bill do not require a woman to bepunished - as the case under Hudood Ordiance 1979 - if she fails to provide for 4 pious maleslike our religious fundamentalists. Moreover, the bill requires the intervention of the sessioncourt in case the families pardon the culprits of rape or killing by settling the dispute outside thecourt under Qazf. Moreover, the bill made the offences under Hudood Ordinances to be takenunder Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that gives the right to have bail which 1979 Hudood Ordinancenegated.
Women in Pakistan politics:Mahatarma Fatima Jinnah became a leading icon of the Pakistan Movement. Dr. Dushka Syed, anoted academic writes:“The constant presence of Fatima Jinnah, the Quaid‟s sister, was not accidental, but a messageby this visionary leader that women should be equal partners in politics and that they should notbe confined to the traditional home-bound role of a wife and a mother. It is not surprising thenthat he was constantly under attack of the orthodox religious parties. Once, so the story goes, hewas about to address a mammoth public meeting, and was requested not to have Fatima Jinnahsitting on the dais by his side. He refused.”Women protection bill 2006:is also being claimed that the bill does not violate the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. Let ustake a serious and realistic look at the basic points mentioned in this bill. How much they are inline with the claims being made.If we study the bill we would arrive at the conclusion that the bill contains only two substantivepoints:• Punishment for rape• Crime Punishment for rape (zina bil jabar) as ordained by the Quran and Sunnahwhich is called hadd has been completely abolished in this bill. As such a person who hascommitted rape cannot be given the legal (sharai) punishment and instead he will receive ataazeeri punishment (anything below hadd) Crime which was declared a taazeeri punishment in the Hudood Ordinance has beendowngraded and declared lewdness, thereby reducing the severity of its punishment.The government presented another bill on women rights "Prevention of anti-Women PracticesBill 2006 (Criminal Law Amendment) in December 2006. The bill contains the proposal of nine-member Ulema panel to relieve women from some of the malpractices. Under Section 310A, thebill prohibits handover of women for settling a dispute between groups, either under marriage or
as Vaani, Swara. Any violation of the Bill carries three-year prison term and fine.The second bill on women rights also protects the women from depriving of the inheritance inproperty, violation of which carries seven-year imprisonment under Section 498A; forcemarriage is regarded as punishable with three-year imprisonment and fine under Section 498B;Section 498C prohibits marriage with the Quran, those involving such practice are punishablewith three-year imprisonment.Parliament asked to adopt women protection billMembers of the committee stressed for the need of proper mechanism and relevant clauses in thedraft bill to preclude the possibility of any misuse by either sex and it was suggested that womenorganizations and NGOs might be asked to develop documentaries on how to seek redressal incase of harassment/violence and to screen the same in rural areas of the country.The participants emphasised that proper measures needed to be taken to ensure that police didnot side with the perpetrators of crimes against women. The meeting urged the government toprovide more funds and staff to the Ministry of Women Development for undertaking thisventure.Minister for Information Sherry Rehman assured the Senate body of her ministry‟s fullcooperation with the women development ministry and other organizations working for therights of women, especially with regard to preparation of media campaign for sensitization.She said it was desire of the government that bill should originate in the Senate. She hoped thatthe vetting/amendments being made by the Law Division would not defeat the original purposeof the bill, adding that the government would continue to accord priority to welfare of women.The meeting was also attended by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Raza Rabbani andSenators Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari, Muhammad Ayaz Khan Jogezai, Ms Razina Alam Khanand Ms Fauzia Fakhur-uz-Zaman.
The protection Punishment against harassment of women at workplace bill 2009:In Karachi: president Asif Ali Zardari on Friday signed the bill. Providing increased punishmentover harassment of women at workplaceThe Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill 2009” Criminal Law(Amendment) Bill, 2009 amends both the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of CriminalProcedure, “increasing the punishment for the crime up to three years in prison and a fine of upto Rs 500,000. The President signed the bill in the presence of a large number of women hailingfrom different sections of the society. The gathering termed it a landmark decision by thegovernment, reflecting the desire of the government to ensure dignity and honour of the women.According to the bill whosoever makes any sound or gesture, utters any word, exhibits anyobject or demands sexual favour from woman at workplace would face the punishment. The billwas unanimously passed by the National Assembly on Jan 21, a day after its passage from theSenate. It also proposes penalties including demotion, compulsory retirement, removal fromservice and dismissal from service.Under the new law, amendments have been made in Criminal Act and if a person to be involvedin the physical or any harassment with woman on work places, would get three years sentence orfine of Rs. 0.5 million or both.The law said that if a workingwomen complaints to her in charge regarding the attitude of anyperson then a three-member committee to be formed for inquiry. The committee after review thematter would present its report to the authorities concerned. Under the new law, amendments
have been made in Criminal Act and if a person to be involved in the physical or any harassmentwith woman on work places, would get three years sentence or fine of Rs. 0.5 million or both.Under the law, the use of immoral language against women or teasing her would be tantamountof violation of the law.A woman can also lodge a complaint herself against any person to whom, she feels threat ofharassment. The law would provide sense of protection to women; however, a woman wouldalso face fine or punishment if she lodged a wrong complaint against any person. c. NGOs working for Women Rights Women Action Forum was formed in Karachi in September 1981 in order to voice against brutalities of Hudood Ordinances. Behind its formation, there was a case in which a fifteen year old woman was sentenced to flogging because of marrying of her choice. Since then the forum took out many demonstrations and public awareness campaigns for eliminating the abuse of women rights in Pakistan. The forum has expanded its activities in major cities of Pakistan. Aurat Foundation formed in 1986 is working enthusiastically for the rights of women. The head office is located in Islamabad. The organization has its own information and publication department that apprise the people the true realities women facing in Pakistan. APWA (All Pakistan women association) and UNFPA are working for the women‟s right.
Current SituationIn 2011 Jan to June 2011 it has been seen more cases. 4448 women‟s victmed by the male 22/4448=acid burn women 81/4448= forced marriagesThe rural women mostly victimed by males but they don‟t make action against them….Current bill: Punishment for acid: 14 year, 10 lakh Varasat mey mehroomi: 7 year, 10 lakh Force marriages or the marriages with Quran e pak: 7 year, 5 lakhWOMENS RIGHTS:Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and careeropportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as womens most significantprofessions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote andincreased their educational and job opportunities
Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a reevaluation oftraditional views of their role in society. INTERNATIONAL HOSTORYEarly Attitudes Toward Women:Since early times women have been uniquely viewed as a creative source of human life.Historically, however, they have been considered not only intellectually inferior to men but alsoa major source of temptation and evil. In Greek mythology, for example, it was a woman,Pandora, who opened the forbidden box and brought plagues and unhappiness to mankind. EarlyRoman law described women as children, forever inferior to men.Early Christian theology perpetuated these views. St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father of theChristian church, said: "Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of theserpent, in a word a perilous object.“Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, said that woman was "created to bemans helpmeet, but her unique role is in conception . . . since for other purposes men would bebetter assisted by other men."The attitude toward women in the East was at first more favorable. In ancient India, for example,women were not deprived of property rights or individual freedoms by marriage. But Hinduism,which evolved in India after about 500 BC, required obedience of women toward men. Womenhad to walk behind their husbands. Women could not own property, and widows could notremarry. In both East and West, male children were preferred over female children.Nevertheless, when they were allowed personal and intellectual freedom, women madesignificant achievements. During the Middle Ages nuns played a key role in the religious life ofEurope. Aristocratic women enjoyed power and prestige. Whole eras were influenced by womenrulers for instance, Queen Elizabeth of England in the 16th century, Catherine the Great ofRussia in the 18th century, and Queen Victoria of England in the 19th century.
The Weaker Sex?Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to performwork requiring muscular or intellectual development. In most preindustrial societies, forexample, domestic chores were relegated to women, leaving "heavier" labor such as hunting andplowing to men. This ignored the fact that caring for children and doing such tasks as milkingcows and washing clothes also required heavy, sustained labor. But physiological tests nowsuggest that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and statistics reveal that women live longerand are more resistant to many diseases.Maternity, the natural biological role of women, has traditionally been regarded as their majorsocial role as well. The resulting stereotype that "a womans place is in the home" has largelydetermined the ways in which women have expressed themselves. Today, contraception and, insome areas, legalized abortion have given women greater control over the number of childrenthey will bear. Although these developments have freed women for roles other than motherhood,the cultural pressure for women to become wives and mothers still prevents many talentedwomen from finishing college or pursuing careers.Traditionally a middle-class girl in Western culture tended to learn from her mothers examplethat cooking, cleaning, and caring for children was the behavior expected of her when she grewup. Tests made in the 1960s showed that the scholastic achievement of girls was higher in theearly grades than in high school. The major reason given was that the girls own expectationsdeclined because neither their families nor their teachers expected them to prepare for a futureother than that of marriage and motherhood. This trend has been changing in recent decades.
Formal education for girls historically has been secondary to that for boys. In colonial Americagirls learned to read and write at dame schools. They could attend the masters schools for boyswhen there was room, usually during the summer when most of the boys were working. By theend of the 19th century, however, the number of women students had increased greatly. Highereducation particularly was broadened by the rise of womens colleges and the admission ofwomen to regular colleges and universities. In 1870 an estimated one fifth of resident college anduniversity students were women. By 1900 the proportion had increased to more than one third.Women obtained 19 percent of all undergraduate college degrees around the beginning of the20th century. By 1984 the figure had sharply increased to 49 percent. Women also increasedtheir numbers in graduate study. By the mid-1980s women were earning 49 percent of allmasters degrees and about 33 percent of all doctoral degrees. In 1985 about 53 percent of allcollege students were women, more than one quarter of whom were above age 29.The Legal Status of WomenThe myth of the natural inferiority of women greatly influenced the status of women in law.Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract,or sue and be sued. But a married woman, defined as being one with her husband, gave up hername, and virtually all her property came under her husbands control.During the early history of the United States, a man virtually owned his wife and children as hedid his material possessions. If a poor man chose to send his children to the poorhouse, themother was legally defenseless to object. Some communities, however, modified the commonlaw to allow women to act as lawyers in the courts, to sue for property, and to own property intheir own names if their husbands agreed.Equity law, which developed in England, emphasized the principle of equal rights rather thantradition. Equity law had a liberalizing effect upon the legal rights of women in the UnitedStates. For instance, a woman could sue her husband. Mississippi in 1839, followed by NewYork in 1848 and Massachusetts in 1854, passed laws allowing married women to own propertyseparate from their husbands. In divorce law, however, generally the divorced husband kept legalcontrol of both children and property.In the 19th century, women began working outside their homes in large numbers, notably intextile mills and garment shops. In poorly ventilated, crowded rooms women (and children)
worked for as long as 12 hours a day. Great Britain passed a ten-hour-day law for women andchildren in 1847, but in the United States it was not until the 1910s that the states began to passlegislation limiting working hours and improving working conditions of women and children.Eventually, however, some of these labor laws were seen as restricting the rights of workingwomen. For instance, laws prohibiting women from working more than an eight-hour day orfrom working at night effectively prevented women from holding many jobs, particularlysupervisory positions that might require overtime work. Laws in some states prohibited womenfrom lifting weights above a certain amount varying from as little as 15 pounds (7 kilograms)again barring women from many jobs.During the 1960s several federal laws improving the economic status of women were passed.The Equal Pay Act of 1963 required equal wages for men and women doing equal work. TheCivil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination against women by any company with 25 ormore employees. A Presidential Executive Order in 1967 prohibited bias against women inhiring by federal government contractorsBut discrimination in other fields persisted. Many retail stores would not issue independent creditcards to married women. Divorced or single women often found it difficult to obtain credit topurchase a house or a car. Laws concerned with welfare, crime, prostitution, and abortion alsodisplayed a bias against women. In possible violation of a womans right to privacy, for example,a mother receiving government welfare payments was subject to frequent investigations in orderto verify her welfare claim. Sex discrimination in the definition of crimes existed in some areasof the United States. A woman who shot and killed her husband would be accused of homicide,but the shooting of a wife by her husband could be termed a "passion shooting." Only in 1968,for another example, did the Pennsylvania courts void a state law which required that any womanconvicted of a felony be sentenced to the maximum punishment prescribed by law. Often womenprostitutes were prosecuted although their male customers were allowed to go free. In most statesabortion was legal only if the mothers life was judged to be physically endangered. In 1973,however, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states could not restrict a womans right toan abortion in her first three months of pregnancy.Until well into the 20th century, women in Western European countries lived under many of thesame legal disabilities as women in the United States. For example, until 1935, married women
in England did not have the full right to own property and to enter into contracts on a par withunmarried women. Only after 1920 was legislation passed to provide working women withemployment opportunities and pay equal to men. Not until the early 1960s was a law passed thatequalized pay scales for men and women in the British civil service.Women at WorkIn colonial America, women who earned their own living usually became seamstresses or keptboardinghouses. But some women worked in professions and jobs available mostly to men.There were women doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, writers, and singers. By the early 19thcentury, however, acceptable occupations for working women were limited to factory labor ordomestic work. Women were excluded from the professions, except for writing and teaching.The medical profession is an example of changed attitudes in the 19th and 20th centuries aboutwhat was regarded as suitable work for women. Prior to the 1800s there were almost no medicalschools, and virtually any enterprising person could practice medicine. Indeed, obstetrics was thedomain of women.Beginning in the 19th century, the required educational preparation, particularly for the practiceof medicine, increased. This tended to prevent many young women, who married early and boremany children, from entering professional careers. Although home nursing was considered aproper female occupation, nursing in hospitals was done almost exclusively by men. Specificdiscrimination against women also began to appear. For example, the American MedicalAssociation, founded in 1846, barred women from membership. Barred also from attending"mens" medical colleges, women enrolled in their own for instance, the Female Medical Collegeof Pennsylvania, which was established in 1850. By the 1910s, however, women were attending
many leading medical schools, and in 1915 the American Medical Association began to admitwomen members.In 1890, women constituted about 5 percent of the total doctors in the United States. During the1980s the proportion was about 17 percent. At the same time the percentage of women doctorswas about 19 percent in West Germany and 20 percent in France. In Israel, however, about 32percent of the total number of doctors and dentists were women.Women also had not greatly improved their status in other professions. In 1930 about 2 percentof all American lawyers and judges were women in 1989, about 22 percent. In 1930 there werealmost no women engineers in the United States. In 1989 the proportion of women engineers wasonly 7.5 percent.In contrast, the teaching profession was a large field of employment for women. In the late 1980smore than twice as many women as men taught in elementary and high schools. In highereducation, however, women held only about one third of the teaching positions, concentrated insuch fields as education, social service, home economics, nursing, and library science. A smallproportion of Women College and university teachers were in the physical sciences, engineering,agriculture, and law.The great majority of women who work are still employed in clerical positions, factory work,retail sales, and service jobs. Secretaries, bookkeepers, and typists account for a large portion ofwomen clerical workers. Women in factories often work as machine operators, assemblers, andinspectors. Many women in service jobs work as waitresses, cooks, hospital attendants, cleaningwomen, and hairdressers.During wartime women have served in the armed forces. In the United States during World WarII almost 300,000 women served in the Army and Navy, performing such noncombatant jobs assecretaries, typists, and nurses. Many European women fought in the underground resistancemovements during World War II. In Israel women are drafted into the armed forces along withmen and receive combat training.Women constituted more than 45 percent of employed persons in the United States in 1989, butthey had only a small share of the decision-making jobs. Although the number of womenworking as managers, officials, and other administrators has been increasing, in 1989 they wereoutnumbered about 1.5 to 1 by men. Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in 1970 were
paid about 45 percent less than men for the same jobs; in 1988, about 32 percent less.Professional women did not get the important assignments and promotions given to their malecolleagues. Many cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1970 wereregistered by women charging sex discrimination in jobs.Working women often faced discrimination on the mistaken belief that, because they weremarried or would most likely get married, they would not be permanent workers. But marriedwomen generally continued on their jobs for many years and were not a transient, temporary, orundependable work force. From 1960 to the early 1970s the influx of married women workersaccounted for almost half of the increase in the total labor force, and working wives were stayingon their jobs longer before starting families. The number of elderly working also increasedmarkedly.Since 1960 more and more women with children have been in the work force. This change isespecially dramatic for married women with children under age 6: 12 percent worked in 1950, 45percent in 1980, and 57 percent in 1987. Just over half the mothers with children under age 3were in the labor force in 1987. Black women with children are more likely to work than arewhite or Hispanic women who have children. Over half of all black families with children aremaintained by the mother only, compared with 18 percent of white families with children.Despite their increased presence in the work force, most women still have primary responsibilityfor housework and family care. In the late 1970s men with an employed wife spent only about1.4 hours a week more on household tasks than those whose wife was a full-time homemaker.A crucial issue for many women is maternity leave, or time off from their jobs after giving birth.By federal law a full-time worker is entitled to time off and a job when she returns, but few statesby the early 1990s required that the leave be paid. Many countries, including Mexico, India,Germany, Brazil, and Australia require companies to grant 12-week maternity leaves at full pay.Women in PoliticsAmerican women have had the right to vote since 1920, but their political roles have beenminimal. Not until 1984 did a major party choose a woman Geraldine Ferraro of New York torun for vice-president (see Ferraro). Jeanette Rankin of Montana, elected in 1917, was the firstwoman member of the United States House of Representatives. In 1968 Shirley Chisholm ofNew York was the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives (see Chisholm).
Hattie Caraway of Arkansas first appointed in 1932 was, in 1933, the first woman elected to theUnited States Senate. Senator Margaret Chase Smith served Maine for 24 years (1949-73).Others were Maurine Neuberger of Oregon, Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Kansas, PaulaHawkins of Florida, and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.Wives of former governors became the first women governors Miriam A. Ferguson of Texas(1925-27 and 1933-35) and Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming (1925-27) (see Ross, NellieTayloe). In 1974 Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut won a governorship on her own merits.In 1971 Patience Sewell Latting was elected mayor of Oklahoma City, at that time the largestcity in the nation with a woman mayor. By 1979 two major cities were headed by women:Chicago, by Jane Byrne, and San Francisco, by Dianne Feinstein. Sharon Pratt Dixon waselected mayor of Washington, D.C., in 1990.Frances Perkins was the first woman Cabinet member as secretary of labor under PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt. Oveta Culp Hobby was secretary of health, education, and welfare in theDwight D. Eisenhower Cabinet. Carla A. Hills was secretary of housing and urban developmentin Gerald R. Fords Cabinet. Jimmy Carter chose two women for his original Cabinet Juanita M.Kreps as secretary of commerce and Patricia Roberts Harris as secretary of housing and urbandevelopment. Harris was the first African American woman in a presidential Cabinet. When theseparate Department of Education was created, Carter named Shirley Mount Hufstedler to headit. Ronald Reagans Cabinet included Margaret Heckler, secretary of health and human services,and Elizabeth Dole, secretary of transportation. Under George Bush, Dole became secretary oflabor; she was succeeded by Representative Lynn Martin. Bush chose Antonia Novello, aHispanic, for surgeon general in 1990.Reagan set a precedent with his appointment in 1981 of Sandra Day OConnor as the first womanon the United States Supreme Court (see OConnor). The next year Bertha Wilson was named tothe Canadian Supreme Court. In 1984 Jeanne Sauve became Canadas first female governor-general (see Sauve).In international affairs, Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed to the United Nations in 1945 andserved as chairman of its Commission on Human Rights (see Roosevelt, Eleanor). EugenieAnderson was sent to Denmark in 1949 as the first woman ambassador from the United States.Jeane Kirkpatrick was named ambassador to the United Nations in 1981.
Three women held their countries highest elective offices by 1970. Sirimavo Bandaranaike wasprime minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1960 to 1965 and from 1970 to 1977 (seeBandaranaike). Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980until her assassination in 1984 (sees Gandhi, Indira). Golda Meir was prime minister of Israelfrom 1969 to 1974 (see Meir). The first woman head of state in the Americas was Juan Peronswidow, Isabel, president of Argentina in 1974-76 (see Peron). Elisabeth Domitien was premier ofthe Central African Republic in 1975-76. Margaret Thatcher, who first became prime minister ofGreat Britain in 1979, was the only person in the 20th century to be reelected to that office for athird consecutive term (see Thatcher). Also in 1979, Simone Weil of France became the firstpresident of the European Parliament.In the early 1980s Vigdis Finnbogadottir was elected president of Iceland; Gro HarlemBrundtland, prime minister of Norway; and Milka Planinc, premier of Yugoslavia. In 1986Corazon Aquino became president of the Philippines (see Aquino). From 1988 to 1990 BenazirBhutto was prime minister of Pakistan the first woman to head a Muslim nation (see Bhutto).In 1990 Mary Robinson was elected president of Ireland and Violeta Chamorro, of Nicaragua.Australias first female premier was Carmen Lawrence of Western Australia (1990), andCanadas was Rita Johnston of British Columbia (1991). In 1991 Khaleda Zia became the primeminister of Bangladesh and Socialist Edith Cresson was named Frances first female premier.Polands first female Prime Minister, Hanna Suchocka, was elected in 1992.Women in Reform MovementsWomen in the United States during the 19th century organized and participated in a great varietyof reform movements to improve education, to initiate prison reform, to ban alcoholic drinks,and, during the pre-Civil War period, to free the slaves.At a time when it was not considered respectable for women to speak before mixed audiences ofmen and women, the abolitionist sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke of South Carolina boldlyspoke out against slavery at public meetings (see Grimke Sisters). Some male abolitionistsincluding William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Frederick Douglass supported the rightof women to speak and participate equally with men in antislavery activities. In one instance,women delegates to the Worlds Anti-Slavery Convention held in London in 1840 were denied
their places. Garrison thereupon refused his own seat and joined the women in the balcony as aspectator.Some women saw parallels between the position of women and that of the slaves. In their view,both were expected to be passive, cooperative, and obedient to their master-husbands. Womensuch as Stanton, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth were feministsand abolitionists, believing in both the rights of women and the rights of blacks. (See alsoindividual biographies.)Many women supported the temperance movement in the belief that drunken husbands pulledtheir families into poverty. In 1872 the Prohibition party became the first national political partyto recognize the right of suffrage for women in its platform. Frances Willard helped found theWomans Christian Temperance Union (see Willard, Frances).During the mid-1800s Dorothea Dix was a leader in the movements for prison reform and forproviding mental-hospital care for the needy. The settlement-house movement was inspired byJane Addams, who founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889, and by Lillian Wald, who foundedthe Henry Street Settlement House in New York City in 1895. Both women helped immigrantsadjust to city life. (See also Addams; Dix.)Women were also active in movements for agrarian and labor reforms and for birth control.Mary Elizabeth Lease, a leading Populist spokeswoman in the 1880s and 1890s in Kansas,immortalized the cry, "What the farmers need to do is raise less corn and more hell." MargaretRobins led the National Womens Trade Union League in the early 1900s. In the 1910s MargaretSanger crusaded to have birth-control information available for all women (see Sanger).Fighting for the VoteThe first womens rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in July 1848. Thedeclaration that emerged was modeled after the Declaration of Independence. Written byElizabeth Cady Stanton, it claimed that "all men and women are created equal" and that "thehistory of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man towardwoman." Following a long list of grievances were resolutions for equitable laws, equaleducational and job opportunities, and the right to vote.
With the Union victory in the Civil War, women abolitionists hoped their hard work would resultin suffrage for women as well as for blacks. But the 14th and 15th Amendments to theConstitution, adopted in 1868 and 1870 respectively, granted citizenship and suffrage to blacksbut not to women.Disagreement over the next steps to take led to a split in the womens rights movement in 1869.Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, a temperance and antislavery advocate, formedthe National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in New York. Lucy Stone organized theAmerican Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in Boston. The NWSA agitated for a woman-suffrage amendment to the Federal Constitution, while the AWSA worked for suffrageamendments to each state constitution. Eventually, in 1890, the two groups united as theNational American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Lucy Stone became chairman ofthe executive committee and Elizabeth Cady Stanton served as the first president. Susan B.Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw served as later presidents.The struggle to win the vote was slow and frustrating. Wyoming Territory in 1869, UtahTerritory in 1870, and the states of Colorado in 1893 and Idaho in 1896 granted women the votebut the Eastern states resisted. A woman-suffrage amendment to the Federal Constitution,presented to every Congress since 1878, repeatedly failed to pass.
International rights for womenConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women New York,18 December 1979INTRODUCTIONOn 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminationagainst Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as aninternational treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenthanniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound byits provisions.The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United NationsCommission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation ofwomen and to promote womens rights. The Commissions work has been instrumental inbringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men. These efforts for theadvancement of women have resulted in several declarations and conventions, of which theConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is the central andmost comprehensive document. • It present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. • Discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this end, undertake:
(a) To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions orother appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and otherappropriate means, the practical realization of this principle;(b) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctionsWhere appropriate, prohibiting all discrimination against women;(c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensurethrough competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection ofwomen against any act of discrimination;(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and toensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person,organization or enterprise;(f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws,regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;(g) To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.3. To eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and,in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publiclyelected bodies;(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and tohold public office and perform all publicFunctions at all levels of government(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the publicand political life of the country. • To eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:
(a) the same conditions for career and vocational guidance, for access to studies and for theachievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as inurban areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional andhigher technical education, as well as in all types of vocational training;(b) Access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of thesame standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality;(c) The elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men andwomen at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types ofeducation which will help to achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks andschool programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods;(d ) The same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants;(e) The same opportunities for access to programmes of continuing education, including adultand functional literacy programmes, particulary those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possibletime, any gap in education existing between men and women;(f) The reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programmes for girlsand women who have left school prematurely;(g) The same opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;(h) Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being offamilies, including information and advice on family planning. • to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:(a) The same right to enter into marriage;(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free andfull consent;(c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;(d) The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in mattersrelating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
(e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their childrenand to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise theserights;(f) The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, ward ship, trusteeship andadoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; inall cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;(g) The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, aprofession and an occupation;(h) The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management,administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuableconsideration. Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993The term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or islikely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, includingthreats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or inprivate life.Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following: • Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation; • Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution; • Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. These rights include, inter alia :
The right to life;(b) The right to equality;(c) The right to liberty and security of person;(d) The right to equal protection under the law;(e) The right to be free from all forms of discrimination;(f) The right to the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health;(g) The right to just and favourable conditions of work;(h) The right not to be subjected to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment orpunishment.CONCLUSION:Given these facts, the Women in Pakistan do not possess their due rights guaranteed by theConstitution and Laws. The state is unable to protect the women from inhuman social customsprevalent in our society. The general population is mum over wicked practices being carried outon women; there is a great need of their voice against anti-women practices rather than forminglaws over laws. The only need is to wake people of Pakistan for the Protection of Women Rights.
References: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reveals, (Charles Kennedy: The Status of Women in Pakistan in Islamization of Laws page 74 Saeed Anwar-194 THE REALITY OF WOMEN PROTECTION BILL 2006 by Justice (Retd) Muhammad Taqi Usman,11th December 2006.20:54 (http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/showthread.php?t=32301http://www.pakpassion.net /ppforum/showthread.php?t=32031) ARY News (reported on 29th jan,2010) Women history in America, presented by women international center http://www.nation.com. Women parliamentary caucus Quran e pak & hadis • Dawn Date:12/19/2008 (pk press foundation).