Published Date: Mar 15, 2014
No let-up in women’s sufferings: Asma
Whereas future bodes well for women, their suffering is also
going to multiply in the coming days. This was said by vocal champion of
women’s rights and former President of the Supreme Court bar association, Asma
Jahangir at a reception held in her honour by the SDPI here Friday. The
reception was titled "Inspiring Change – SDPI in Conversation with Asma
Dr. Maleeha Aslam, Head of Gender & Human Security, SDPI moderated the
Asma Jahangir talked about her earlier struggle by sharing that in 1980, she
and her sister Hina Jilani formed the first law firm established by women in
Pakistan, which has provided legal services to several women and members of
minority groups of Pakistan.
During the conversation, she spoke against various forms of public harassment,
degradation, pressures & propaganda. "My family has equally suffered
abductions, attacks and life threats, but I have continued my struggle for
She said that the struggle initiated by women had brought changes in
controversial laws like the Hudood Ordinance. About Women Protection Laws
(2006) she said that women used to be shunned by society when they were involved
in false cases, but now things have become better” noted Jahangir.
While talking about the "honour killing" she said it does take place in Muslim
countries mostly i.e. Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen etc. Judicial bias and gender
discrimination give constant threat to women in Pakistan and apathetic response
of government is unbearable. Making legislation is not simple but its
implementation required a proper mechanism and institutional reforms as well.
She also proposed interactions on the civil society level through social
exchange combined with efforts to uplift the status of women and also
encouraged Non-government organizations (NGOs) to start an advocacy campaign on
grass root level to create awareness among women, specifically in labour class
for their rights and privileges. Jahangir shared about the current political
situation in Pakistan and also showed concerns over Talibanisation, sectarian
conflicts and constitutional violations in Pakistan.