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Women Status and Politics of Welfare in Pakistan: A Theoretical Debate
Defining women status in Pakistan is not an easy task as it is a blend of culture, religion and state policies. Hence the status, a Pakistani woman holds in the country can be observed within the structure of cultural practices, applied Islamic laws and state laws.Culturally, status of women in Pakistan is a product of centuries old traditions of the Indian Subcontinent. After spread of Islam, as a new religion was accepted by the masses of sub-continent, but the traditional make up of those was the fusion of Islamic and Indian culture. They adopted religion but Islamic traditions were not exercised by the state under Muslim rule. Women, in eyes of Islam, are not an inferior creature; rather she is given certain rights while living in a society which uplifts her status. But this is theoretical explanation of the Islamic Social Welfare model for women as it is hard to find in the policies and practices of the Islamic countries around the globe and same is the case of Pakistan. Pakistan after more than seven decades still has no selected framework of ideology for women welfare. All the women welfare and empowerment policies followed by national constitution promulgated so far are a document only. Now when the women violence issues in Pakistan are presented through global media, it is related with the religion of the country and pretending that it delegates women an inferior status in society. But the reality is opposite to it as laws in Pakistan are not in accordance with Islamic laws. Stratification and discrimination lies in these state laws; hence are unable to secure women's rights in Pakistan. Claiming of the governments regarding women protection in the country is just politics of welfare.
Dr. Beenish Ijaz Butt
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, University of Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan
Islamic Jurisprudence, Pakistan, Politics of Welfare, State Laws, Status, Women