Written By:Sadia Rafiq
The objective behind writing this article is to develop the thought that actually Islam conveyed about women empowerment and what initiatives Pakistan is implementing and what more measures are needed for strengthening its women power. Religion Islam taught us that a women should be valued and respected for being a human, for being a woman, for her character and mental power, not for society’s pervert physical beauty values.
In this era of globalization equality among gender and women empowerment are crucial implements for achieving viable progress therefore it is extremely necessary for the development of a country to bring them into mainstream. But somehow, individuals have delusion that empowering a woman or any other gender is a distant schema but it is only a mistaken belief, because when we look for assist in magnificent Holy Book Quran and in Hadith so it would be clearly seen that both Quran and Hadith greatly emphasized on the defense of the privileges of women, including their educational rights, veneration, autonomy of belief, preference of spouse, financial freedom and societal role. Here different aspects of women empowerment are discussed which include religious, political and legal aspect.
Islam Provides self-assurance to women, avouching them towards regard, recognition, equality and pride. In centuries that were before Islamic teachings women were maltreated, taken as not tolerable commodities and no or very little consideration was given to them. From the time when Islam was unveil to this mankind, a new chapter began and women were elevated from dark side to a bright beam of light. Women were provided with civil rights, constitutional rights equality, justice, and were given with high admiration and respect.
Almighty Allah clearly states about rights of women in the Quran in Surat An-Nisa (4:1):
“Fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (revere) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah Ever watches over you.”
According to our religion Islam women empowerment has several magnitudes that includes a woman can acquire education, owning of economic and social rights and more free will in processes regarding politics. A woman who is empowered will be a lady with self-reliance, who significantly examines her surrounding and exerts command over decisions affecting her life.
The thought of empowerment distinct its concept at all levels of common relations.
The importance of women in Islam and her success as a human is evaluated through a very different criteria. This criteria consist of measures including that how they fulfill their responsibilities which Almighty Allah has assigned to them regarding their family and children, their dread, believe and compliance on Almighty Allah. Though Islam is a religion of pragmatics that answers to all individual need and circumstances of life. Lots of women require or desire to earn livelihood due to several causes or situations therefore Islam respect such women who want to work externally and does not restrain them. Religion Islam just impose particular restrictions on women only for the sake of their own protection and honor which they must follow for their safety. These rules not only keep women safe they also help in keeping Islamic society stable and pure. Indeed participation of women is a valuable asset for society.
Have a brief look on the several laws and regulations which are proposed for the women of Pakistan. The Protection against Harassment of Women in workplace Act (2010) is an act that aims to build a secure working surrounding free from any abuse, harassment and bullying with an objective to meet women’s right to work with respect. Domestic Violence Prevention Act (2008) is a bill which was declared in the national assembly of Pakistan in 2009 but it was no longer valid when senate was failed for passing it in periods of 3 months necessary under constitution. Under this bill any kind of violence against women and children is prevented. Next is Hudood Ordinance 1979 which was a part of Islamization of General Zia ul Haq during his reign and further revised in 2006 by the name of Women Protection Bill. The objective of this bill was the execution of Islamic laws by giving punishments that are mentioned in Quran and Sunnah related to qazf, zinah, lawbreaking against property and alcohol drinks.
In Pakistan ratio of females appearing in politics is more than Sri Lanka, India and Iran. In the list regarding numbers of women in parliament proposed by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Pakistan rank as 45th country representing itself among many other developed countries like United Kingdom, America and Canada. In National Assembly of Pakistan the number women seats recorded is 171 out of the 342 and is considered as the highest women candidate number in the electoral history of Pakistan and in senate number of seat occupied by women is 18 out of 104. Moreover Pakistan is also among those 30 countries where women have also performed as speaker of National Assembly. No doubt these significant figures shows that now women are highly encouraged and valued to show their ability in politics as compared to the past.
The growth of a nation is dependent upon giving equal opportunities in each and every sector to both men and women. But giving empowerment, dignity and honor to females bring progress to not only entire female folk as well as to the entire nation. Undoubtedly government of Pakistan has taken various paces for strengthening women participation in economical domain but still there is extreme need to improve the position of females in our society and it can be done only when we will provide them safety constitutionally and intellectually .Women must be provide with opportunities and command on resources. A fruitful implementation should be made which will make women able to take decisions at every level .Enhancing women power will not only help in flourishing not only a single home but also entire country.