After gaining more recognition in 1983, Pakistani women have continued to demonstrate that women are agents for change. Women of the country have increased political presence, formed strong civil organisations and contributed to academic programs at universities.
Some of the discrimination against women in law has been repealed. However, there is still a long way to go. Among other issues, enrolment of girls in primary and secondary school is low and child marriages are an issue. There is still much to be done in Pakistan for gender equality.
On February, 12,1983, around 100 women marched on the Lahore High Court to protest against dictator General Ziaul Haq’s repressive and discriminatory Law of Evidence. Pursuant to this legislation, a woman’s testimony was considered half as valuable as a man’s. Police arrested up to 50 female protesters, using tear gas and batons. Defying laws against public assembly, the women’s protest marks an important event in Pakistan’s recent history.
Gender Concerns International is committed to women’s rights in Pakistan. Last year, Gender Concerns International established its office in Islamabad and monitored the May 2013 elections from a gender perspective, in partnership with Aurat Foundation. Through this mission, the democratic inclusion of women as voters, candidates, and administrators in the elections were observed with non-interference in Pakistan’s electoral process and in full compliance with Pakistan’s national laws and international norms and regulations.