Recently, actress Zara Tareen took to Instagram to question women about how they were feeling in light of the horrific recent events happening in the country, and followers replied.
The truth is plain and simple – a femicide is happening in this country, and too few care to actually do something concrete about it. To iterate, let us take a look at certain incidents that have occurred in recent memory:
July 4th – Two men brutally beating their sister and mother because she asked for her rightful inheritance.
July 7th – Usman Mirza breaks into a hotel room and assaults a couple, both the man and woman.
July 15th – Quratulain is tortured and killed by her husband, Umar Khalid Memon.
July 18th – Raza Ali shoots his wife and children, resulting in his wife’s death.
July 20th – Noor Mukadam gets beheaded by Zahir Jaffar in Islamabad, the case that has gained the most traction so far.
Actress Zara Tareen posted a question on her Instagram, the video for which she posted on Facebook, wherein she asked: “To the women of Pakistan, tell me how you’re feeling right now, I wanna share.”
As expected, there were a large number of responses – and what did they hold in common? Fear. Fear for life, for daughters, sisters, mothers, themselves. Female students are scared to go to university, overseas female Pakistanis do not wish to return even for a visit, every woman feels terrified, numb and exhausted, facing and hearing of incidents like these day in and day out. No woman is safe even inside her household.
The recent Noor Mukadam case is just one of many that occur on a daily basis. Studies show that 60% to 70% of the women in Pakistan suffer some form of abuse. 20% of the world’s honor-killing cases happen in Pakistan. Over 22,000 rape cases have been reported in the past 6 years. 21% of the girls were married before the age of 18.
Now let us look at what’s is happening on the flip side:
- Conviction rate for rape criminals is only 0.3%.
- The Domestic Violence Bill got rejected – PM Imran Khan fell to the pressure of religious clerics and sent it for review.
- Zahir Jaffar still hasn’t received a proper sentence for his crimes.
- Relatives of the criminals, especially those with money and power, are doing everything they can to get them free, without regard for the victims.
Pakistan, as of currently, ranks as the sixth-worse country in the world for women. The problem doesn’t just lie in the system, it lies in the mind. Fact of the matter is, women simply aren’t valued in this nation. One has to ask – for how long will it continue?
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