Pakistani Women Protest outside the UNHRC Against Gender-related violence

Pakistani Women’s Human Rights Organisation organized a silent protest outside the UNHRC in Geneva on September 21, against gender-related violence and honour killing in Pakistan. The women displayed banners that said “Pakistan Free Your Daughters”, “There is no Honour in Killing” and “Stop Abusing Women”. Speaking to the media, one of the protestors, Alisha Khan, stated that she was here to protest to remind the world that Pakistani women, in their daily lives, were still faced with domestic violence and honour killing. She added that despite international media attention to some of these incidents of violence, things were not changing in Pakistan. She held the growing influence of Islamic clerics in Pakistan’s policy making as one of the main reasons for its society becoming so regressive. In this connection, she gave the example of the human rights bill that was introduced in the Punjab Assembly not being implemented, because ot the objection of fundamentalist leaders, who claimed that such a bill would be against the Sharia.

Tarek Fateh, who was also present at the venue of the protest, said that these women who stood silently to protest against this oppression, very aptly symbolized the reality of Pakistani women being voiceless. He informed that every year nearly 5000 women were killed by their fathers, husbands or brothers in incidents of honour killing. Calling Pakistan a pariah State, he said that the country practiced the worst form of Islamic fascism, and the present condition of women and the support by the Pakistani State to terrorism, was a result of this.

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