Pakistan: Laws Passed to Protect Women
Friday, January 13, 2012 11:45 AM

The parliament in Pakistan recently enacted a set of laws that aim to stop various abuses against women. The bills created harsher penalties for those convicted of acid attacks, made it illegal to stop women from inheriting property, and criminalized the tradition of marrying off girls to solve disputes between tribes. Pakistan, a conservative, patriarchal country, has a long history of mistreatment of women and gender discrimination. Women’s groups hope the legislation will combat this past.
Activists for women’s rights celebrated the laws, calling them “a big achievement for the women of Pakistan,” but some expressed concern that the most difficult road lies ahead. The major challenge will be to push Pakistan’s legal institutions to execute these laws on behalf of women. Nayyar Shabana Kiyani of the the Aurat Foundation, a women's rights group, said that positive results will only come when “the laws are implemented at the grassroots level.”