Struggling for the rights of women
By: Anis Haroon
KARACHI: The Women’s Action Forum (WAF) considers the cowardly attempt to assassinate Malala Yousufzai as the ultimate symbol of the male militants’ pogrom to murder any and all women’s and girls’ basic rights in the country.
It is significant that the female victims of such designs range from Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to the working women of Swat. The myth of ‘honourable’ tribal codes, that supposedly ‘protect’ women and follow the religious belief of peaceful coexistence, has been convincingly shattered time and again. Yet, sympathisers and patrons of anti-women, anti-minority policies continue to direct their anger at foreign sources and abstractions, rather than local actors and actual brutalities.
While WAF considers the government to be responsible for any violations of citizens’ rights, it stresses the need to understand that anti-state actors have no constitution against which we can measure their crimes or hold them accountable for. The attack on Malala is not a violation in the eyes of the militants and until they are answerable to the laws and constitution of Pakistan, the span of violence against women will continue to grow horrifically and brutalise our society further. Brave girls and women are the militants’ biggest threats and our best tools of resistance. On behalf of Malala, WAF vows to continue the struggle for the rights of women and the marginalised of Pakistan.