At the core of Pakistan’s pursuit of progress and prosperity lies a deeply ingrained crisis that casts a sinister shadow—gender-based violence. This crisis is not just a collection of statistics or isolated incidents; it is an unrelenting storm that shatters lives, leaving women in a perpetual state of vulnerability and fear. As an Islamic republic, Pakistan’s commitment to respect, justice, and dignity for all must extend to its women, yet reality stands in stark contradiction.
Will the femicide crisis in Pakistan ever cease? Pakistan, an Islamic republic, should stand as a beacon of respect and dignity for its women, yet reality remains a shameful paradox. Women, the cornerstones of society, endure abuse, harassment, assault, humiliation, and degradation daily, sharply contrasting the ideals this nation should uphold.
What paints an even grimmer picture is that gender-based violence transcends mere physical harm; it’s a deeply ingrained psychological affliction that erodes a woman’s very essence. The scars it leaves are not only on the body but etched into the soul, serving as a constant reminder of a society that failed to protect and uplift its own.
To combat this crisis, Pakistan must embark on a multifaceted transformational journey. It starts by dismantling deeply-rooted patriarchal norms that provide fertile ground for violence to thrive. These norms, woven into the fabric of society, must be unravelled strand by strand and replaced with a narrative of equality, respect, and empowerment. Furthermore, legislative measures and policies, no matter how well-intentioned, hold little value without robust implementation.
As Pakistan stands at this crossroads, today’s choices will shape the society that future generations inherit. Will it be a nation that breaks free from the chains of violence and oppression, or one that remains captive to its own demons? The time has come for Pakistan to break free from the chains of silence and blame, to hold its society accountable, and to offer genuine protection to its women, including those from minority backgrounds.
SYEDA SAMAN FATIMA,