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Gender Discriminationthe News, Opinion

  • Date Submitted: 12/27/2010 06:09 AM
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Gender DiscriminationThe News, Opinion - July 27, 2002
Rasul Bakhsh Rais No other issue is so contentious and well-debated in the politics of contemporary societies as the question of gender and politics. Women activists all over the world have begun to question political inequality among the sexes. They have raised fundamental questions about the essence of male-dominated democratic system in which women find themselves formally or informally excluded from political power. In recent decades, they have focused on the vital issues of empowerment, rights, social and political equality and discrimination in its all forms. The feminist movement even in a male dominated, socially conservative society like Pakistan has brought into sharp focus more or less the same issues about the social status of the women and their inadequate representation in the political power and participation in politics. The feminist movement around the world reach startlingly the same conclusions on the issue of gender and political power. Although women in different parts of the world face different problems and confront different challenges and the feminist movement has many shades and strands, all of them, irrespective of the nature of societies they live in, strike a common tone: a) All modern societies are governed by males; b) Women in all societies have subordinate roles; c) Male dominance is not a natural but cultural phenomenon that must change. Change in gender relationships, self-empowerment of women and getting the first principle of democracy and equality accepted are some of the themes that are at the centre of women's political movement. Pakistan is no exception. But the women in Pakistan mainly due to the social and cultural conditions are more disadvantaged than the women in modern western democratic societies. Their struggle, perhaps as old as the country itself, has not evoked the same responses and has not achieved the same results either. What is heartening is that women...

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