Pakistan: Women's human rights remain a dead letter
There is no progress by the authorities towards the realisation of women's rights one year after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in March 1996. Women continue to be subject to discriminatory legislation like the Zina Ordinance, which effectively provides for the imprisonment of women solely on grounds of gender and prescribes cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments for women. Women continue to be subject to torture, including rape, by police and other law enforcement officials who are acting with virtual impunity. Bonded labour, domestic violence and a tribal system of retribution which subject women to cruel treatment and even death have not been stopped due to the failure of successive governments to act. This document briefly surveys the areas in law and practice in Pakistan which violate provisions of the Women's Convention.