Feminism in Pakistan
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Feminism in Pakistan is a set of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women in Pakistan. It is the pursuit of
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After independence, elite Muslim women in Pakistan continued to advocate women's political empowerment through legal reforms. They mobilized support that led to passage of the Muslim Personal Law of Sharia in 1948, which recognized a woman's right to inherit all forms of property. They were also behind the futile attempt to have the government include a Charter of Women's Rights in the 1956 constitution. The 1961 Muslim Family Laws Ordinance covering marriage and divorce, the most important sociolegal reform that they supported, is still widely regarded as empowering to women.
In 1947, Muslim women did not have it easy; they were some of the worst victims of the traumatic events that took place in the South Asian region in the mid-20th century. It's reported that 75,000 women were abducted and raped during the partition, sooner after Pakistan's Independence Fatima Jinnah took part in refugee relief work and formed the Women's Relief Committee during the transfer of power, which evolved into the All Pakistan Women s Association. Later on Fatima Jinnah set up a secret radio station to running for president when it was perceived to be a man's role. These are some of the empowering stories that are often left untold and very few people talk about this effort of empowering women in Pakistan.
End of 1970's started a new wave of
on backdrop of this General Zia's more
Feminist work in Pakistan cuts across all sectors of civil society: education, health, poverty, domestic violence, rape, denial of rights and legal/ political reform through range of women's movements
Post General Zia period, While Pakistan got its first woman prime minister in form Benazir Bhutto, that helped create some positive image for Pakistan, and she made some small efforts here & there like all women police station & appointing women judges first time; she could not succeed in repealing anti women laws of General Zia era.
Post-Zia era (1988-1999), activists produced research that focused on increasing women's political voice and strengthening inclusive democratic governance (Shaheed et al., 2009; Zia, 2005; Bari, 2015). They have also produced some of the first research and awareness-raising material on sexual and reproductive rights (Saeed, 1994),5 environmental issues (Sadeque, 2012; Hanif, 2011), and citizen-based initiatives for peace between India and Pakistan (Sarwar, 2007).
While it is still more time i.e. 2006 to water down General Zia's some of ordinances and quite a long time to effect any social change; after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in USA & subsequent global war on terrorism, obviously along with global political Islam, Afghanistan, Pakistan's socio-political structures also came under global attention.