Today, respect for women no longer exists

From Price of Honor by Jan Goodwin, pp 69-70.

“A typical case was related to me by Deputy Police Superintendent Farkander Iqbal…the chief of an all-female police station in Lahore, which was set up to handle only crimes against women.”

Iqbal tells about a sixteen-year-old girl, Rahina Jasnin, who was married to an unemployed laborer and whose in-laws complained that her dowry was too small. They beat her; she screamed; the neighbours heard the screams, but did nothing. Rahina gave birth to a daughter, and was beaten because it wasn’t a son. One night she woke up to find her mother-in-law holding her down.

“Her husband poured kerosene over her and then ignited it…When it was over, Rahina’s in-laws, thinking she was dead, took her to the local hospital and reported she had killed herself. But the young woman, who was burned over ninety percent of her body, lived for two more days. Before she died, she spoke about what had happened to her…’The local police dropped the case,’ Iqbal told me…’You find male police officers siding with the men under suspicion…We see ten to fifteen wife burnings a month at this location alone.'”

“Pakistan is very different today from what it was twenty years ago, according to Iqbal. ‘Before, crimes against women were relatively rare. If a man misbehaved himself toward a woman, he was promptly dealt with legally and society ostracized him. Today, in Pakistan, respect for women no longer exists, and crimes against them have increased dramatically. They claim to have “Islamized” us,’ she says derisively. ‘How can you Islamize people who are already Muslim? Ever since Zia gave power to the mullahs, it seems as though every man feels he can get hold of any female and tear her apart.'”

14 Responses to “Today, respect for women no longer exists”