Q No # 1

How Do You Relate gender and health? Discuss the phenomenon of sexism in health care?

Discrimination represents a significant social problem in Pakistan as well as throughout the world. Girls face discrimination everywhere in the world. They often receive less food than boys do, have less entrée to schooling and work long hours. Why can’t we see the helpless agony of
the girl child in our society? Their ignorance will certainly beget to forget our cause, which is still fractured in the regions. In societies where a male child is regarded as more valuable to the family, girls often are denied the right of life, denied the right to name and nationality. And by
being married off early or forced to stay at home and help in domestic chores, girls are often denied the right to education and all the advantages that go with it, the right to associate freely and the rights accompanying unjustified deprivation of liberty. These all are basic humiliation
from family to girls when boys are regarded as the pillars of tomorrow. The convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 and by now ratified by most countries of the world,
provide an agenda for action in identifying enduring forms of inequality and discrimination against girls, abolishing practices and traditions detrimental to the fulfilment of their rights and
defining an effective strategy to promote and protect those rights. But implementation is necessary to ensure positive changes. Other than the CRC, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the most extensive and widely ratified
international agreement promoting the rights of girls and women. When we talk about the education system, it reflects the inequality found outside the classroom. Girls the world over are
less likely than their brothers to be attending primary school. In some cases, where a decision has to be made about which children to send to school, it is commonly seen that parents decide to
invest in their sons’ education rather than their daughters’. This may reflect the fact that upon marriage, daughters may no longer contribute to family income and are therefore not seen as worth investing in. There are several gender discrimination related consequences of child labour
as well. Most obvious are the problems faced by girls who have been sexually exploited. Also girls working as child domestic workers are often denied medical treatment when required since
they are domestic help and do not share the same status as the other children in the household.
Children who suffer an accident at work may also feel that this is their own fault for being
clumsy or bad at their job, and the adults and medical personnel who they encounter may have
the same attitude. Education is the tool that can help break the pattern of gender discrimination
and bring lasting changes for women in developing countries like ours. Pakistan has for decades
grossly underinvested in education, and in particular, girls’ education. Girls’ education also
means comprehensive change for a society. Educated women are essential to ending gender bias,
starting by reducing the poverty that makes discrimination even worse in the developing world.
Women’s right in the world is an important indicator to understand global well-being. No society
can function properly without women. Aristotle the father of political science had said that the
state is a” union of families and villages”. Family plays a very important role in society, and
makes the foundation of the state .Happy families build healthy societies and healthy societies
are prerequisites of strong political order in democratic societies. A woman is an architect of
society. She forms the institution of family life, takes care of the home, brings up the children
and tries to make them good citizens. Her role in totality contributes to the building of an ideal
family, ideal society and an ideal state. In order to build the prosperous and healthy society both
men and women demand for equal rights. About half the mankind consists of women and they
are treated as second class citizens all over the world, but especially in developing states they are

oppressed in different sectors of life. In these developing countries one of the living examples is
Pakistan which has been coming across this issue since it got independence in 1947. Women’s
lives are controlled and shaped by various gender discriminatory structures in Pakistan. Their
contribution to the production and physical hardships are not acknowledged. A woman suffers in
education, health and gender biased feeding and recreation practices. As a human being she is
denied from her own identity. In some parts she is considered as commodity owned by her
brother and father before marriage and then by her husband. She does not have the power to
make a decision for her life. Someone else takes decisions on behalf of herself about marriage,
education or giving birth to a child.
In this paper I will explain the situation of women with a special focus on discrimination against
them in different sections of society. What are the main obstacles in the development of
women’s rights. Furthermore I am also going to explain women’s rights from an Islamic point of
view, since this is sometimes used as an explanation or an excuse, for violating women’s human
rights. The essential teaching communicated to each woman in this patriarchal society where I
myself grew up, is to stay a quiet viewer, even as a silent party to any unfairness done by a man.
Women from 48% of the inhabitants in Pakistan. A huge number inhabits in countryside areas,
where essential facilities are lacking and women’s rights are mistreated. In those areas they are
kept away from education, don’t have access to schools and colleges and usually became victims
of honor killings, rape, early marriages and gender discrimination. In remote areas, women are
treated as slaves and remains under their men only as a labor force. Usually their fate will be
decided by their husbands, fathers and brothers, which are often called male dominating
societies. They do not have the right to make a decision concerning important aspects of lives.
For instance, marriage is also a kind of business among rich and poor families; this tradition
exists both in the villages and cities, which is extremely infringing on their rights to exist. In
some of the areas the customary act of Swara is largely prevalent especially in Khyber Pakhtoon
Khwa and Balochistan ( provinces of Pakistan), by the virtue of which, instead of giving blood
money as “badl-e-sulha”(retribute) an accused family gives their girl or girls in marriage to an
aggrieved family as “compensation” to settle down the blood feud between them. In this study I
have used the concept of Martha Nussbaum ,, capability approach,, According to her the ten
capabilities are life, bodily health, bodily integrity, senses, imagination and thoughts, practical
reason, Emotion, Affiliation, Other species, Play, and control over one’s environment. These
capabilities are related to one another in many complex ways. It must be protected and
guaranteed in order to have happy and successful life. Nussbaum presents the important
ingredients necessary for living an honorable life. Her concept is derived from the Aristotle
notion of human beings as a political animal and from Marx idea that the human being is a
creature. She thinks that her approach is a defensible theory of justice and although a partial one
and calls it the capability approach. Capabilities are important for the achievement of well-being
for everyone. It helps to compare one nation to another. In Nussbaum view, the capability
approach is used in analysis of women human rights. This is because the capability approach
provides a social and political framework to implement the solution to the problems of human
welfare. It also provides a guide for policy makers and governments ( Nusssbaum 2000, P-14).
According to Nussbaum the ten capabilities are following.
Life. A person must be able to live to the end of a human life of normal length, not dying
prematurely, or before ones life is so reduced as to be not worth living.
Bodily health. A person should be healthy, including reproductive health, to be adequately
nourished and to have proper shelter.

Bodily health. Must be able to move freely from one place to another, having ones bodily
boundaries treated as sovereign, i.e. being able to have physical security and having
opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction etc.
Senses thought and imagination. Everyone in society has to be able to use the senses, to think, to
imagine and reason. To do all these things in the proper way they all need adequate education
and basic scientific and mathematical training. In order to be able to use thought and imagination
everyone has the right to freedom of expression, choice of religion and free association in order
to be able to search for the ultimate meaning of life in one’s own way( Nussbaum 2000, p-78).
Emotion. Everyone has the right to be attached to things and people outside ourselves, to care
and love for those who care and love for us, to grieve at their absence, in general, to love, to
grieve, to experience longing, gratitude, and justified anger. Do not harm other emotions with
fear and anxiety.
Practical reason. Everyone in society has the right to plain their own life in a good way without
any interference from others.
Affiliation. Being able to recognize and show respect for other human beings, to engage in
different forms of social interaction, to be able to understand the situation of another and to have
compassion for that situation. Further to have the ability for both friendship and justice. Being
able to be treated as a respectable human being whose worth is equal to that of others. Protection
against any type of discrimination on the ground of sex, race, religion, ethnicity etc. ( Nussbaum
2000, p-79)
Other species. ,, Being able to live with concern for and in relation to animals, plants, and the
world of nature,,
Play. Everyone has to be able to have recreational activities and to be able to laugh and to play.
Control over one’s environment. A. Political. Being able to take part in political activities of their
own choices, having the right of protection of free speech, association and political participation.
B. Material. Being able to hold movable and immovable property, having equal property rights
of possession and ownership, having equal opportunity for employment. (Nussbaum 2000, p-80).
The above items on the list are interrelated to one another in many complex ways. One of the
most effective ways of promoting women’s control over their environment and their effective
right of political participation, is to promote women’s literacy. According to Nussbaum a woman
who can seek work outside the home have exit option that helps them protect their bodily
integrity from assaults within it. She futherly says that reproductive is related to many complex
ways to the practical reason and bodily integrity. As a result this gives us more reason to avoid
promoting one at the expense of the others ( Nussbaum 2000. P-81). Women do not have a
chance to live a valuable life. Nussbaum thinks that this is because of lack of support for basic
functions of a human life. She thinks that the capability approach serves as a “good basis for a
specific political conception and a specifically political overlapping consensus” (Nussbaum
2000, p. 14) . According to her these capabilities are very important for individuals lives and are
connected to each other in many complex ways. These capabilities must be fulfilled by the
government instutions especially in women casese in order to have happy and successfull life. As
we see that in a country like Pakistan all the above capabilities are mostly missing in womens
lives and leads them to discrimination in different spehers of life.


Qno # 2

Do you see any wage gap between men and women workers in Pakistan? Discuss the situation in details?

In observance of Equal Pay Day (March 31, 2020), PayScale has updated our tremendously
popular Gender Pay Gap Report for 2020. Since we have started tracking the gender pay gap, the
difference between the earnings of women and men has shrunk, but only by an incremental
amount each year. There remains a disparity in how men and women are paid, even when all
compensable factors are controlled, meaning that women are still being paid less than men due to
no attributable reason other than gender. As our data will show, the gender pay gap is wider for
women of color, women in executive level roles, women in certain occupations and industries,
and in some US states.
Recently, pay equity has been thrust under a glaring media spotlight. The #MeToo movement of
2018, which began as an outing of sexual harassment and sexual assault, cascaded into analysis
of gender inequality in the workplace in 2019, encompassing not only pay inequity but also
barriers to advancement and representation of women in leadership. In addition, several highprofile class action lawsuits have made pay equity a hot topic in executive boardrooms across the
Our research shows that the uncontrolled gender pay gap, which takes the ratio of the median
earnings of women to men without controlling for various compensable factors, has only
decreased by $0.07 since 2015. In 2020, women make only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes.
The controlled gender pay gap, which controls for job title, years of experience, industry,
location and other compensable factors, has also decreased, but only by $0.01 since 2015.
Women in the controlled group make $0.98 for every $1 a man makes.
New to the gender pay gap report for 2020 is analysis on the impact of lost wages on lifetime
earnings. By calculating presumptive raises given over a 40-year career, we find that women in
the uncontrolled group stand to lose $900,000 on average over a lifetime. Lost earnings narrow
to $80,000 for the controlled group, but this is still significant, especially if you consider how
lost earnings due to the gender pay gap would grow with compound interest if invested each year
for 40 years.
To illustrate the importance of the gender pay gap in more detailed terms, we also looked at the
top 20 jobs with the highest gender pay gap. Here, the gender pay gap ranged from $0.83
(Anesthesiologists) to $0.90 (Sales Representatives) for the controlled group, showing that the
gender pay gap is very real and larger for women in certain occupations. The gender wage gap
refers to the difference in earnings between women and men.
2 Experts have calculated this gap in
a multitude of ways, but the varying calculations point to a consensus: Women consistently earn
less than men, and the gap is wider for most women of color.
Analyzing the most recent Census Bureau data from 2018, women of all races earned, on
average, just 82 cents for every $1 earned by men of all races.
3 This calculation is the ratio of
median annual earnings for women working full time, year round to those of their male
counterparts, and it translates to a gender wage gap of 18 cents. When talking about the wage
gap for women, it is important to highlight that there are significant differences by race and
ethnicity. The wage gap is larger for most women of color.
The wage gaps for each group are calculated based on median earnings data from the U.S.
Census Bureau and thus do not necessarily represent each individual woman’s personal
experience. In particular, the 90-cent earnings figure for Asian women likely underestimates the
wage gap experienced by women belonging to many Asian subgroups. For example, for every $1
earned by white, non-Hispanic men, Filipino women earned 83 cents, Tongan women earned 75
cents, and Nepali women earned 50 cents.
4 The larger wage gaps for most women of color reflect
the compounding negative effects of gender bias as well as racial and/or ethnic bias on their
People living intersectional realities—such as transgender women and immigrant women—also
experience the compounding negative effects of multiple biases on their
6 Unfortunately, these women are often left out of the broader conversation about the
gender wage gap owing to the limitations of available data. Much more data—disaggregated by
sex, race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and more factors—
are needed to understand precisely where pay disparities exist and where efforts must be
These wage gap calculations reflect the ratio of earnings for women and men across all
industries; they do not reflect a direct comparison of women and men doing identical work. This
is purposeful. Calculating it this way allows experts to capture the multitude of factors driving
the gender wage gap, which include but are not limited to:
 Differences in industries or jobs worked. By calculating a wholistic wage gap,
researchers can see effects of occupational segregation, or the funneling of women and
men into different types of industries and jobs based on gender norms and expectations.
So-called women’s jobs, which are jobs that have historically had majority-female
workforces, such as home health aides and child care workers, tend to offer lower pay
and fewer benefits than so-called men’s jobs, which are jobs that have had predominantly
male workforces, including jobs in trades such as building and construction. These
gendered differences are true across all industries and the vast majority of occupations, at
all levels, from frontline workers to midlevel managers to senior leaders.
 Differences in years of experience. Women are disproportionately driven out of the
workforce to accommodate caregiving and other unpaid obligations and thus tend to have
less work experience than men. Access to paid family and medical leave makes women
more likely to return to work—and more likely to return sooner. However, as of March
2019, only 19 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave through their
employers and only 40 percent had access to short-term disability insurance benefits to
deal with their own medical needs.
 Differences in hours worked. Because women tend to work fewer hours to
accommodate caregiving and other unpaid obligations, they are also more likely to work
part time, which means lower hourly wages and fewer benefits compared with full-time
 Discrimination. Gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal
11 since 1963 but is
still a frequent, widespread practice—particularly for women of color.
12 It can thrive
especially in workplaces that discourage open discussion of wages and where employees
fear retaliation. Beyond explicit decisions to pay women less than men, employers may
discriminate in pay when they rely on prior salary history in hiring and compensation
decisions; this can enable pay decisions that could have been influenced by
discrimination to follow women from job to job.
These are just some of the major drivers of the gender wage gap. Other factors, meanwhile, help
narrow the gap between women’s and men’s earnings. For example, increased educational
attainment by women—particularly when women have more education than men—can help
narrow the gap.
13 Unionization can also help narrow the gap because workers collectively often
have greater leverage to push for workplace changes, combat discriminatory practices targeting
specific groups of workers, bargain for better working conditions and wages, and
14 However, the cumulative effects of factors such as these are not large enough to close the
gap entirely.
It is important to note that many of these factors can be directly and indirectly influenced by
discrimination based on gender and race or ethnicity. For example, societal and structural sexism
often influences the jobs that women work in, and those same forces mean that women most
often take on the majority of the caregiving, housework, and other unpaid responsibilities that
men do not. So while experts have attributed the estimated 38 percent
16 of the wage gap that is
not explained by traditional measurable factors—such as hours worked and years of
experience—to the effects of discrimination, it must be understood that discrimination likely
affects more than just 38 percent of the wage gap.


Q NO #3

How Do you evaluate the participation of women in Pakistani politics? Discuss.

The under-representation of women at any level of governance and decision-making results in a
democratic deficit. It has been proven time and again that diverse groups make better decisions.
This is particularly true when it comes to a task as challenging as representing the interests of
citizens at the local level. Often influencing policies in housing, security, transport, and the
economy, local government makes important decisions that affect the lives of women and men.
Women’s equal participation and representation in local decision-making processes is critical for
prioritizing women’s practical needs and issues in local governments’ agendas and for
localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender-balanced local councils may be
an important step in helping to attain gender balance at the national levels.
Although some countries have information on how many women and men are local councilors
and mayors, a standardized system to provide comparable statistical evidence across all countries
and regions has been missing until recently. Some reasons for this are the vast number of local
governments and the diversity of their structures worldwide. The methodology of the new SDGs
indicator on the ‘proportion of seats held by women in local governments’ (5.5.1b) developed
by UN Women provides a model on how to generate comparable data across countries. The
harmonized measurement and reporting of data for the SDG indicator 5.5.1b will enable to build
the first global measurement of the proportion of women in local governments. This will
generate strong statistical evidence that will help to raise awareness and accelerate progress on a
range of aspects of women’s political participation.
In addition to measuring numbers, further information is needed on strategies to elect more
women at the local level. With the focus of the 2018 CSW revolving around achieving gender
equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls, iKNOW Politics and its partners are
convening this e-Discussion from February 2 to March 8, 2018 to seek input from politicians,
experts, practitioners, and researchers on the challenges and opportunities for women’s
representation in local government and its role in helping achieve gender equality and empower
women at the local level.
Obstacles to women’s political participation: Women around the world at every socio-political
level find themselves under-represented in parliament and far removed from decision-making
levels. Research data suggest that in the year 2005, women hold barely 16% of parliamentary
seats around the world. The factors that hamper or facilitate women’s political participation vary
with level of socio-economic development, geography, culture, and the type of political system.
Women themselves are not a homogeneous group; there are major differences between them,
based on:
 class,
 race,
 ethnicity,
 cultural background, and
 education.
The exclusion of women from decision-making bodies limits the possibilities for entrenching the
principles of democracy in a society, hindering economic development and discouraging the

attainment of gender equality. If men monopolize the political process, passing laws which affect
society at large, the decision – making process does not always balance the interests of the male
and female populations. As noted in the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), women’s
equal participation with men in power and decision making is part of their fundamental right to
participate in political life, and at the core of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Women have to be active participants in determining development agendas. Women who want to
enter politics find that the political, public, cultural and social environment is often unfriendly or
even hostile to them. Even a quick glance at the current composition of political decision makers
in any region provides evidence that women still face numerous obstacles in articulating and
shaping their own interests.
Obstacles to women’s participation in decision – making: The barriers that women and girls face
to their meaningful political inclusion occur and must be addressed on three levels:

  1. individual,
  2. institutional, and
  3. socio-cultural.
    While change may not happen simultaneously on each level, all three must be addressed in order
    to create an enabling environment for women to reach equal and sustainable political
    participation. Breaking down the barriers and creating opportunities for women at each level
    calls for a collaborative effort among states, civil society, and the international community. Each
    of these stakeholders, from lawmakers to activists to religious or traditional leaders and family
    members, can play a different role in addressing different challenges for women’s participation.
    Due to discriminatory laws, institutional and cultural barriers, and disproportionate access to
    quality education, healthcare, and resources, women worldwide continue to be marginalized in
    the political arena. The path forward needs to ensure and support women’s right to be involved
    in decision-making and political processes, and should be rooted in the following solutions:
     Introduce gender quotas as transitional mechanisms;
     Promote women’s rights, safety and participation during humanitarian crises, conflict
    prevention, and peace – building processes;
     Promote women’s rights and participation in conflict prevention, mitigation of
    humanitarian crises, and peace – building processes;
     Include young women and women within marginalized populations;
     Create training and leadership pathways that are gender-sensitive;
     Foster inclusivity in leadership, civic engagement, and decision-making in public and
    private spheres;
     Ensure political environments are free from discrimination and violence; and
     Ensure recognition of women in decision-making capacities
    Evidence suggests that when women are elected to political positions, they can make a difference
    for girls and women and strongly impact legislation. In many cases, women are more likely to
    pursue inclusive policies and respond to constituent concerns. they tend to push for positive

change around health, community wellbeing, poverty reduction, and family welfare, and are
more likely to strive to reach a consensus on policies.
When well-designed and properly implemented, quotas can be effective, temporary measures to
increase women’s access to decision-making positions while transitioning to the point where a
gender balance in political leadership can be achieved and sustained. Quotas can be adapted to fit
a variety of political system, structures and contexts, and while they may not work in every
situation, they can be particularly crucial within electoral systems that are not conducive to equal
participation. Quotas often address an institutional barrier, whether within political parties or at a
national level, and ideally, rather than placing the onus on individual women to succeed, they
demand action from institutional actors and power-holders. In the 46 countries where women
represented more than 30% of elected legislators as of June 2016, 40 countries had some form of
quota system—either a legislative candidate quota or reserved seats.
1.2. Are they any different from the challenges women face at the national level? At the micro
level, obstacles that hinder women’s political participation and representation at the local
governance (including in decision-making process) are same as which prevent their participation
at the national level. However, at the macro level, challenges may be different in view of
structure and type of political system, including legislative provisions.

  1. What are the good practices that help advance women’s political participation and
    representation at the local level? What is the role political parties in supporting women’s
    engagement in local politics?
    2.1. What are the good practices that help advance women’s political participation and
    representation at the local level? In many countries women remain particularly under-represented
    in local government and it is often the case that the stereotypes at the local community level are
    stronger. Action is needed to tackle this challenge and encourage more women to enter local
    politics. Mayoral and city council positions equip women with the skills necessary for higher
    levels of public office and serve to launch careers in regional and national politics. In view of
    this, initiatives focusing on the local level, mobilising women to take political mandates in their
    own cities are particularly relevant, like programmes developed in Germany and Portugal.
    2.2. What is the role political parties in supporting women’s engagement in local
    politics? Participation in electoral processes involves much more than just voting. Political
    participation derives from the freedom to speak out, assemble and associate; the ability to take
    part in the conduct of public affairs; and the opportunity to register as a candidate, to campaign,
    to be elected and to hold office at all levels of government. Under international standards, men
    and women have an equal right to participate fully in all aspects of the political process. In
    practice, however, it is often harder for women to exercise this right. In post-conflict countries
    there are frequently extra barriers to women’s participation, and special care is required to ensure
    their rights are respected in this regard.
    Political parties are among the most important institutions affecting women’s political
    participation. In most countries, parties determine which candidates are nominated and elected
    and which issues achieve national prominence. The role of women in political parties is therefore

a key determinant of their prospects for political empowerment, particularly at the national level.
Because political parties are so influential in shaping women’s political prospects, Governments
and international organizations seeking to advance the participation of women in elections
justifiably tend to focus on the role of political parties.
Political participation extends beyond parties, however. Women can also become involved in
certain aspects of the electoral process through independent action—particularly at the local
level—and by joining civil society organizations. Some women in post-conflict countries have
gained political experience by participating in non-elected transitional assemblies. Women’s
networks, trade unions, non-governmental organizations, and the media can all provide avenues
for women’s political participation.

  1. Do you know of any programmes or structures that support women elected at the local level to
    become leaders at the national level? Please share examples.
    3.1. Do you know of any programmes or structures that support women elected at the local level
    to become leaders at the national level? Although women can vote and run for public office in
    nearly every country, in 2013, they accounted for only 21 percent of parliamentarians
    worldwide and served as head of state or head of government in twenty-four countries. Talented
    women who would make effective public leaders are excluded from the pool of available
    candidates due to financial, social and legal barriers, to the detriment of their communities.
    When women hold public office, they prioritize public goods that are of concern to women,
    including water, infrastructure, sanitation, roads, education and health.
    With female political leaders present, female citizens engage more in civic discussion, women
    and minorities are more likely to report crimes committed against them, and adolescent girls’
    career aspirations and educational attainment increase while their time spent on household chores
    decreases. Because of gendered behavioral expectations, women face different political
    challenges and opportunities than men. When they perceive female politicians as power-seeking,
    voters react negatively with feelings of moral outrage. Although women’s leadership is
    imperative for their communities, particularly for other women and adolescent girls, some norms
    inhibit women’s political participation.
    Current research posits numerous explanations for the lack of women in leadership roles,
    including gender discrimination, lack of female role models, aversion to competitive
    environments, family responsibilities and social norms. We can address these challenges through
    structural changes to political frameworks and social changes in how we expect women and
    leaders to behave, which can give way to increasing women’s political aspirations. Following
    interventions will specifically support women elected at the local level to become leaders at the
    national level.
     Gender Quotas: Power-seeking behavior, even when unintentional, hurts female political
    candidates but helps male candidates. Seat reservations for female elected officials make
    communities more likely to associate women with leadership and vote for women in the
    future. Reserving political seats for women increases female electoral participation and
    improves governments’ responsiveness to women’s policy concerns. Yet, in the corporate

sector, quotas have demonstrated mixed outcomes. In Norway, quotas for corporate
boards increased gender diversity, but imposed costs on firms and shareholders, while
another study found that quotas, or affirmative action, increased women’s willingness to
compete in competitive mixed-gender environments, closing the gender gap and resulting
in the more qualified candidates, men and women alike, applying for competitive
 Modeling Female Leadership: Women in leadership positions have a multiplying effect:
Repeated exposure to female elected officials improves perceptions of female leaders and
leads to future electoral gains for women. Female role models in leadership positions help
adolescent girls to aspire to leadership.
 Political Training Programs: Mentorship, confidence building, media training
and political campaign education are all effective tools to increase adolescent girls’ and
women’s political aspirations and efficacy despite structural obstacles.
There are programmes or structures that support women elected at the local level to become
leaders at the national level. There is one programme example of Women in Power (WiP)
project. The Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center)
of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the WiP project
to better understand its women’s political empowerment programming; to improve upon existing
measures of women’s political leadership; and to bring donors, practitioners and academics
together for mutual learning to advance work in this field.
The WiP project generated substantial insights and best-practice strategies to increase the supply
of women with the skills, experience and will to run for and serve in public office; strengthen the
demand for women politicians and leaders; or both. Supply-side strategies provide insights on
how USAID and its partners can more effectively support women leaders and candidates, close
campaign finance gaps and enhance elected women’s leadership and policymaking skills.
Demand-side strategies highlight practices that support the inclusion of women participants in
political transitions and foster women’s access to institutions that include political parties,
electoral management bodies and legislatures. Dual supply-and-demand strategies propose ways
that USAID and its partners can address deep-rooted sociocultural barriers to women’s political
empowerment by mainstreaming gender in civic and voter education, using the media as a force
for change and combating violence against women in politics.
The WiP project also piloted a new tool for measuring women’s political empowerment: the
Diamond Leadership Model (DLM). It adds to existing measures of women’s political
leadership, most of which focus only on the percentage of women in a national legislature or
executive cabinet, but do not capture variation in women’s representation across government
sectors. The DLM closes this data gap by measuring women’s political leadership horizontally
(legislative, executive, judicial and security sectors) and vertically (leadership positions at high,
middle and low levels) to create a country’s Women’s Power Score (WPS). The project piloted
the new model in 40 developing countries where USAID works. The DLM pilot study found that
women’s political leadership is often highly uneven across government sectors; representation in
one sector does not guarantee women’s leadership in other parts of the government. It also
demonstrated that while much of this data was relatively easy to access, security sector data was
not often publicly available and was the most challenging to collect.
The WiP project led to comprehensive and cutting-edge learning related to women’s political
empowerment and identified multiple areas for improvement. A key starting point for USAID
and its partners is to develop a clearer definition of women’s political empowerment that goes
beyond the physical representation of women in government and includes their ability to
influence public policy development and implementation. The project proposes a new working
definition of women’s political empowerment, which includes: the equal participation,
representation and leadership of women within government institutions, political parties and
civically engaged organizations; women’s free exercise of the authority inherent in those
positions; and the regular creation, implementation and enforcement of laws and policies that
address women’s rights, positions and priorities.
Clarifying the meaning of women’s political empowerment is a necessary first step to advancing
a more holistic approach to programming. The WiP project also highlighted a clear need for
development practitioners to adopt longer-term and context-specific programming focused on
increasing women’s political empowerment during all phases of the electoral and governance
cycle. This includes looking at other government sectors beyond the legislature and paying closer
attention to sub-national as well as national levels of government. It also requires allocating
dedicated resources to support women’s political empowerment programming and developing
better indicators and reporting systems to measure their impact. Finally, the project identifies
areas where more robust and intentional collaboration among donors, implementing partners and
academics could foster better data collection, improve shared learning, contribute to more
successful programming and ultimately lead to more women empowered to serve in public
office. Example – 1: Doubling the Proportion of Women Parliamentarians in Senegal: In 2010,
after long-term efforts by civil society and the national cross-party women’s network, Senegal
adopted legislation calling for women to be guaranteed seats in all elective bodies at every level
of government. It set mandatory stipulations for absolute gender parity by requiring political
parties to alternate one man and one women on the lists of candidates they submitted, or risk
having their candidates rejected outright. In preparation for the 2012 elections, the government,
along with civil society and UN Women, launched an awareness campaign and a training
program on the electoral process to educate and encourage female candidates. The outcome of
the 2012 elections resulted in a near balance between men and women in the National
Assembly—a tangible shift toward gender parity and democracy. Example – 2: The Peace Table
Project: As the Asia-Pacific focus of the Women at the Peace Table project, Indonesia has made
great efforts to attain gender balance in peace negotiations through a participatory process.
Through convening actors from government and civil society, the project has yielded positive
dialogue around ways to develop sounder and more gender-inclusive policies for peace –
building. From these meetings, a report, Women at the Indonesian Peace Table: Enhancing the
Contributions of Women to Conflict Resolution, was released, outlining the positive effects of
women in leadership roles. As a follow-up, training sessions were conducted to address the
relationship between women, peace, and security.


Q no# 4

Discuss the honor killing in Pakistan? Also suggest some steps to eliminate this practice.

‘Honor’ – an undefined concept in a patriarchal society – has long been used to justify the
criminality of murder. Women are considered as the most oppressed group in the Pakistani
society. Almost every day there are stories in newspapers reporting horrible crimes against
women, such as acid throwing, Vani, domestic violence, child marriages, bride burning, rape,
human trafficking, and even killing in the name of honor.
Women emancipation corresponds to complete independence of women to exercise her free will.
This becomes a reality only when women are liberated from the shackles of the patriarchal
society. What resist this emancipation are the myopic customs and traditions which are basically
the bedrock of this male-controlled society. Therefore most of the crimes have been committed
against women in the name of customs. In a society such as Pakistan, honor killing is a cultural
reality where women are killed for tarnishing the family’s honor. Many killings have been
committed against women who marry against their family wishes after exercising their ‘inherent’
right to choose. Not only this, women are also brutally murdered by their family members on
issues such as seeking education, separation from an abusive husband, property related issues,
vengeance for rejection or insult, and extra-marital affairs. These customs and traditions become
more violent in tribal societies where male-dominated informal mechanisms of dispute
resolutions are still intact. As a matter of fact, in the tribal areas of Pakistan where such practices
are not even recognized as crimes, honor killing is a punishment for those who break the tribal
codes. Majority of the victims in these cases are women and the punishment meted out against
the perpetrators of this violent act is very lenient.
Honor killings are one of the most psychologically complex, legally challenging and socially
distressing crimes against humanity. Reports of women being burned to death, stoned, stabbed,
electrocuted and strangled to death are as barbaric as they are shameful. It is however hard to get
true statistics on these incidents since the acts are usually concealed by the family elders, and so
they rarely make it to the formal justice system of the country. Surprisingly, the accused male or
offender is often pardoned by the family elders for committing the horrific act since he has acted
just to protect the family’s honor.
Each and every case that makes through the headlines proves that the issue of honor killing
cannot be eliminated until the loopholes in the law are plugged to punish the offenders for their
heinous acts. Under the formal Pakistani legal system, honor killing is defined as ‘a murder
committed in the name of honor’. Before 1990, honor killing was a non-compoundable offense,
but it was later made compoundable in view of the opinion of religious scholars and
recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology. The interpretation is that Islam allows a
compromise in murder cases. Murder laws in Pakistan are adjudicated according to the criminal
laws of Qisas and Diyat, which entails that the victim or his/her legal heirs retain control over the
matter including the crime and criminal. They may choose to report the crime and prosecute the
criminals or they may agree to a compromise according to the law. Minimum penalty for honor
killing has been laid down to be 10 years (or a maximum of 14 years) when awarding of the
penalty has been left at the discretion of the court where the right of Qisas has been waived. This
however proves to be a major loophole for the offenders to get away with minimum or no
penalty. This lenient punishment amounts to infringement of constitutional rights of women,
which the state is obliged to guarantee under all circumstances irrespective of the gender. Legal
practitioners are of the view that though the amendment made to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)
and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrCP) in 2004, which declared honor killings as murder, the
existing laws leave ample space for judicial gender biases to intervene and result in lenient
sentences to murder, and to make room for compromises which allow the perpetrators to get
away from the crime after minimal or no penalties. This in turn dodges the entire process to
effectively deal with the issue of honor killings. To add more, women in Pakistan are generally
unaware of not only their basic human and legal rights, but also the entire process and
mechanisms they could access for their protection and wellbeing. The impunity with which the
perpetrators commit the crime certainly makes the state accountable under national and
international law.
The complex nature and causes of honor killing makes it harder to be addressed, however steps
have to be taken from where it is socially acceptable. Reshaping what the society perceives as
‘honour’ is something critically required in this battle against honor killing. Naming and shaming
the perpetrators of violence and bringing them to scrutiny are crucially important. Accountability
of state for not effectively implementing the law should also be brought under the ambit of
collective shaming to make government heedful of its responsibilities. Time and again women
rights organizations have stressed that the state must act as a guardian in all such cases to prevent
women from being murdered in the name of honor, thereby effectively turning the matter into a
private wrong rather than a crime against the state. There is a need to exclude partial defense in
terms of provisions of Qisas and Diyat laws, plea of grave and sudden provocation and cultural
norms which are routinely accepted by court in cases of honor killing.
Given the importance of religion in Pakistani society and its constitution, it is equally important
to iterate its teachings in true perspective. Islam in no way tolerates honor killing and violence
against women to protect a family’s honor has not been recommended by Islam as just. The
practice instead stems from socially constructed notions of patriarchy. Likewise, misogyny is an
issue prevalent not only in Pakistan but it is a global nuisance which exhibits its worst form
through honor killing. Fight against this irritant shall continue along with massive attitudinal
transformations towards women. Civil society, media and other important stakeholders must
challenge elements and cultural dogmas which deny women their basic human rights.
Honor killing in Pakistan results as an interplay of cultural practices and inadequate judicial
administration which protects the abettor. Under such circumstances there is no doubt that
struggle for women rights is to be waged on several fronts with agenda to transform connections
between societal norms and gender. It is to be realized that honor is upheld by respecting lives
and not taking them.



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