Patriarchy and Gender-Based Violence in Pakistan
Patriarchal values are embedded in Pakistani society which determines the subordinated position of women. Patriarchal control over women is exercised through institutionalized restrictive codes of behavior, gender segregation and the ideology which associates family honor to female virtue. The abnormal, amoral, and harmful customary practices which aim at preserving subjugation of women, defended and sanctified as cultural traditions and given religious overtones. Abnormal and amoral traditional practices in Pakistan include honor killing, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, acid attacks, being burned, kidnapping, domestic violence, dowry murder, and forces marriages, custodial abuse and torture. According to a 2011 poll of experts by the Thomson Reuters Foundation Poll, Pakistan is ranked the 3rd the most dangerous country for women in the world. This paper aims to highlight the sufferings of women in Pakistan and consider that in patriarchal societies violence has been used as a social mechanism to perpetuate the subjugation of women. Patriarchal system necessitates the violence for the sake of its existence. With the help of existing data, the gender-based violence in Pakistan has been analyzed. This paper concludes that all forms of gender-based violence are committed to ensure the compliance of women. In order to eliminate violence against women, patriarchal system has to be changed which can be achieved by strengthening the social, political and economic position of women.
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