Despite legal restrictions, child marriages are prevalent in Pakistan. The rate of abductions, forced conversions and marriages of underage girls has significantly increased in the last few years. This article will illustrate through selected cases the vulnerability of Hindu girls in Sindh to this morbid practice and outline the most common patterns of abductions, forced conversions and marriages, while simultaneously demonstrating the legal and social barriers for the families to access justice.
Despite many global initiatives, the situation of women rights is still dire in numerous countries. Realisation of women's rights and gender equality is an ongoing struggle in Bangladesh. Recent attacks on women human rights defenders demonstrate the dangers associated with human rights work for women. These women are often viewed as a threat to social stability because they are defying cultural, religious or social norms on femininity and the role of women in society.
The pattern of abductions, forced conversions and marriages of young children in Pakistan often gets lost under the general “forced marriages” label, yet has a distinctively different nature to it. Despite the presence of several protective laws, many girls fall victim to this horrible practice, suffer from unjustifiably prolonged legal process that is more often that not likely to end in defeat. Read more to find out about the stories of the victims and understand the obstacles they face in their fight for freedom.
Last week the Government withdrew the controversial CHT-travel restrictions. These discriminatory directives were in place for over a month and restricted foreigners’ travel to CHT and meetings with the indigenous community. Whether the lift of restrictions will be indeed implemented, however, remains to be seen.
In the first 3 months of 2015 alone, Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) has monitored 10 attacks on religious places of minorities around the country. As if this wasn't enough, religious minorities in Pakistan have to also deal with land grabbing, desecration and the constant threat of being accused of blasphemy.