ATP Poll: Pakistan’s image and women’s rights

Posted on July 12, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Society, Women
19 Comments
Total Views: 17589

In case you have not noticed on the sidebar on the right, ATP has a new feature. An ATP opinion poll for our readers and visitors. The question is about what can be done to improve Paksitan’s international image in terms of women rights.

I must confess, even though this is my question it bothers me a bit. Maybe, a better question might have been about what can be done to improve the condition of women’s rights in Pakistan. However, there are three reasons why I chose this question. First, the powers that be seem to be very concerned about Pakistan’s image these days, so why not give them the benefit of our advice. Second, some folks seem convinced that this blog is about Pakistan’s image; it really is not, but lets play along. Third, a lot of our readers are quite perturbed about the image question as various comments have shown, most recently in relation to the ATP post about the Dawn ad. So, OK, lets be positive and think about what ought to be done. Over to you!

The Question: Which of the following will do most to improve Pakistan’s international image in terms of women’s rights?

1. Publicize positive news about women pilots, professional women, etc.
2. Highlight how Islam gives a lot of rights to women
3. Vigorously defend against mis-reporting on women’s rights in Pakistan
4. Write and complain to media outlets that propagate negative stereotypes
5. Launch a ‘charm offensive’ on ‘softer side’ of Pakistan (cultural shows, fashion shows, etc.)
6. Change behavior of Pakistani men towards women though educational campaign in Pakistan
7. Repeal Hudood Ordinance and other laws that restrict women rights

You can get to the polling area by clicking on the responses in the sidebar, or directly by clicking here.

I know you are all more tech savvy than me and could skew the results by voting multiple times if you wanted to. I hope you won’t (it would be dishonest, unfair, and it will devastate my faith in our potential for real democracy). But if you do want to influence the results, please, by all means ask your friends to also vote!

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19 responses to “ATP Poll: Pakistan’s image and women’s rights”

  1. Every religion whether Christianity, Hinduism or Islam gives less respect to women and their rights.Read the holy books and you will know what i mean. So it is question of NOT FOLLOWING WHAT IS WRITTEN in them by humans (might be revealed as in Islam or teachings as in christianity or vedas gibven by god himself).

  2. Talawat Bokhari says:

    I wonder what is meant by ‘women’s rights’. Isn’t the woman a human being? If so, have we got the basic human rights that we, mostly men, are thinking of sharing these rights with the women? First we should define ‘woman’ as woman in abstraction means nothing. Woman is a wife, a co-wife (sautan), mother, mother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, a loundi, a keep, a pros, etc., etc. What rights will you bestow on each of them when some of the relationships’ interests clash with each other.

    Again, rights go with the obligations. In a Muslim or Eastern culture, in general, the responsibility of upkeep of the family lies squarely on the shoulders of the husband which is legally enforceable, but nothing is required of a woman as her legal duty or obligation. Why not rights be commensurate with the obligations. No obligation, no rights. So can any body tell me what are the obligations of a woman in the Eastern culture?

    As regards Mukhtaran Mai bizarre episode it has evidently been blown out of proportion by the Western media and NGOs with apparent sinister motives without ever going into the facts of the case which are yet to be determined by an independent authority. Anyhow, we should we, the Pakies, bother when she is bringing in a lot of foreign exchange when, it is said, the Pakies can sell even their mothers for a few chips.

  3. Adil Najam says:

    Folks, please see this post on the blog ‘Boundless Meanderings’ by Aisha PZ, where she comments on this post, inclouding her message above, but going beyond that also. It is an insigtful discussion, including rightly pointing out that a focus on image only will make us ignore a lot of real issues related to women’s rights in Pakistan, and including a commentary on the current debate on Hudood Ordinance in Pakistan.
    Its worth a read.

  4. Khalid_s says:

    AIsha, you have it exactly right. This should have been a post in itself. More people need to read this. The question has to be viewed in the broader framework you present and not just as an image question. The real question is not how the world views us, things need to change for our own sake.

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