Violence against Women in Pakistan: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward

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M. Rafique Wassan
Abdul Razaque Channa
Syed Faisal Hyder Shah

Abstract

Violence against women has become a grave sociopolitical and legal problem in Pakistan. The severity of the issue requires a joint effort from key stakeholders such as civil society, social science researchers, and policymakers to ensure laws and their implementation. Many women are killed, stone to death, married to an older guy, or even murdered due to defaming the family name, i.e., ‘honor.’ Fisk (2010) calls these brutal acts ‘crimes against women.’ This paper investigates various forms of gender-based violence and how the violence becomes a tool to disempower women and ostracize them in society. The paper's central object and argument are to theorize the victim’s narrative and experience of violence and reveal the various forms of crime frequently reported in Pakistan's newspapers. Secondly, the paper aims to conceptualize the existing discourse and discursive practices of gender discrimination and violence against women and girls. Based on in-depth informal interviews through purposive sampling, the analysis takes the moral, political position. It concludes that society's patriarchal structure is a significant determinant that aids in distorting the humanistic fabric of society. Therefore, the empowerment of women through policy and practice, education and economic opportunities, and legal and political support by the state and civil society is essential to stop gender-based violence in Pakistan.

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