The founding father of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah had once said that “on nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut within the four walls of the houses as prisoners… There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live”. Unfortunately for Pakistan, there are sanctions to be found in every sphere of life for awomen in Pakistan. Gender disparity in Pakistan is evident by the country’s ranking as 141st out of 142 countries in terms of economic opportunity and political participation for women
Women in Pakistan are regularly subject to violence. In Pakistan violence against women has been categorized into crimes including, abduction/kidnapping, murder, domestic violence, suicide, honour killing, rape/gang rape, sexual assault, acid throwing and burning. As per the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 597 women and girls were gang raped, 828 raped and 36 stripped in public in Pakistan in the year 2014. The Aurat Foundation estimated a total of 7,852 cases of violence against women were reported across Pakistan in 2013
Domestic violence is a very common form of violence silently suffered by many women in Pakistan. It is a form of physical, sexual or psychological abuse of power perpetrated mainly (but not only) by men against women in a relationship or after separation. In Pakistan since the joint family system is common, in laws are also common perpetrators of domestic violence in relation to dowry issues or family disputes. The problem with this form of violence against women is that such cases are seldom reported, often treated as private household matters. Men consider it their right to threaten or be physically violent to their wives as corrective behaviour when women are seen as being disobedient. According to estimates, 39% of married women aged 15-49 report having experienced physical and/or emotional violence from their spouse.
In 2015, women were denied the right of vote in various parts of the country. In May 2016, during a parliamentary by-election in Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, none of the eligible 50,000 women in the constituency voted after warnings reportedly broadcast on mosque loudspeakers. Polling stations were guarded by “baton-wielding men,” according to news reports, who blocked the few women who attempted to vote.
The Pakistani government has taken inadequate action to protect women and girls from abuses including rape, murder through so-called honor killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriages. The government has also failed to address the issue of forced conversion to Islam of Hindu and Christian women.