The Real War on Women
This week Anna Edwards, writer for the UK Daily Mail, filed a story concerning a nine-year-old girl being awarded as compensation to settle a dispute between Pakistani farm worker and land owner. The incident has gotten a great deal of attention in Europe and Canada, but has been virtually ignored here in the United States.
Lahore, Punjab: Police in Pakistan have arrested five men after a village council demanded a father hand over his nine-year-old daughter as compensation in a rape case. The Pakistani farmer was arrested for agreeing to a village council’s order to hand over the little girl be married off as part of the settlement. A group of elders in the remote rural area of Bahalak, in the Punjab province, ended a year-long dispute between a farm worker and an influential local landowner through the illegal agreement, local police station chief Mohammad Khalid reported.
The worker, Arshad, who goes by one name, was accused of involvement in the abduction and rape of landowner Ali Sher’s daughter, Khalid said.
‘The jury on Sunday decreed that Arshad would marry (off) his daughter Sidra to Ali Sher’s 22-year old son Maqsood,’ he explained.
‘Arshad agreed verbally but Sidra, who is too young, remains with her family,’ he said.
The marriage was not formalized but the village council insisted Arshad agree to pay Sher 400,000 rupees ($4,000) – a huge sum for a farm laborer in Pakistan – if he did not honor the agreement.
Khalid said Arshad and four council members had been arrested. Giving daughters away as compensation to end vendettas – a practice known as Vani – is illegal and punishable by up to seven years in jail.
Pakistani women have very few rights when it comes to relationships and marriages. Gradually, the age of women when married has risen in Pakistan. The average age of women when they are married has increased from 16.9 years in 1951 to 22.5 years in 2005.
Pakistan has seen a resurgence of radical Islamists and the lives of women, especially in poor rural areas, fall mostly under Sharia law. These women and girls normally have few rights and little protection from the police. The recent arrests gives hope that a more secular police force may be trying to protect the girls and women against the the tenets of Islamic fundamentalism which essentially treats women as property. In the current environment, it seems that the radical Islamists seen to have more sway in Pakistan than the elected officials, so only time will tell
Last week a couple in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed their 15-year-old daughter by dousing her with acid for supposedly shaming the family by looking at two boys.
As usual, the vaunted United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) have done nothing of note to stop the increased violence against women and girls under Shiria law. However her office is charged with: Transmitting urgent appeals and communications to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women.
I have to wonder if Ms. Rashida Manjoo has dropped a note to Malala, the teenager being treated in Britain for gunshot wounds inflicted by the Taliban in Pakistan. This past week Malala thanked her global supporters, one month on from the brutal attack.
“She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being,” said her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, on behalf of the 15-year-old.
“We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, colour and creed,” he said in a statement issued by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where Malala is being treated.
Full report at:http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-
There is a real war on women, and until we have the courage to deal with it honestly, political correctness be damned, we have no hope of saving the women and girls who fall victim to despair, violence and death.