Cross Post from Pak Tea House By Ghazala Akbar: Hundreds of lives lost, homes destroyed and we are not even in the first quarter of the year. In other countries this would constitute a national emergency. Heads would roll, governments might fall but in Pakistan, it’s just another bad day at the office. We are as they say a very resilient people. Very. There is no other option. When you are down, the only way is up. That’s what an optimist like the late Parveen Rahman might have said. Parveen who? Exactly. In the recent tsunami of violence, it’s easy to forget. Coming hard on the heels of back to back bombings of Shia neighbourhoods in Karachi and Quetta plus the burning of homes belonging to Christian families in Lahore, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep count or remember names.
THERE’S good news and bad news for advocates of women’s rights in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia has announced that women in the country would for the first time be able to vote and stand in municipal elections in 2015. The bad news is that they would probably have to walk to the polling stations. Only hours after a motley crew of Saudi princesses and western governments applauded King Abdullah’s “revolutionary and historic” decision, a Saudi court sentenced a woman to 10 lashes for challenging a ban on women driving in the kingdom.
by Ahmad Ali Khalid on August 6th, 2011 Be not content with stories of those who went before you. Go forth and create your own story. —Rumi It’s difficult to have a sensible discussion about gender in Pakistan. We become too apologetic and run to the latest tapes by preachers and televangelists seeking cheap assurances. Let us be blunt, Islam or no Islam – Pakistan has a problem when it comes to women – this is the reality on the ground, and so questions have to be asked.
Asghar Ali Engineer Often people object to the term ‘feminism’ as being a western terminology. One Maulana, when invited to speak in a workshop of this title refused to come as feminism is un-Islamic. Is the use of this terminology objectionable from Islamic viewpoint? Not at all. In fact Islam is the first religion which systematically empowered women when women was considered as totally subservient to man. There was no concept of her being an independent entity and enjoying equal right with dignity.
By Vision21 We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want…. The fourth is freedom from fear.” Franklin D. Roosevelt We still have a long way to go… Freedom, despite all the liberties for human experience in modern era, continues to evade us. It’s tricky and perhaps even a utopian idea that is not only difficult to comprehend but much harder to practice. Yet, it is one of the most persistent characteristic of our human age. In the current times of market economy where everything comes with a price tag, freedom too has its cost. And a high one at that…READ MORE
Governments and international organizations recognize that empowering women in the developing world is a catalyst for achieving a range of policy and development goals. It is time for multinational corporations to come to the same realization — funding education and training female business leaders is good for business. ISOBEL COLEMAN is Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East.
Some innovations help women more than others From The Economist online TWO recent innovations have garnered a lot of attention for the way they empower women. One is microcredit, a system of lending to very poor people, the majority of whom are female microentrepreneurs who are thus helped to climb out of poverty. The other is the mobile phone, which among other things has led to the emergence of an army of “telephone ladies” in countries such as Bangladesh, who earn a decent living by buying a phone and renting it out to other villagers.