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Bina Shah | Oct 28, 2016

KARACHI, Pakistan — In Pakistan today, it’s a sad reality that regressive societal attitudes toward women label us as commodities, second-class citizens and financial liabilities to our families. This leaves us open to abusive and violent traditions, dictated by tribal codes and enforced by social and religious conservatism: child marriages, forced marriages, bartering of women to appease feuds and the most egregious gender crime, honor killings. So when Parliament revised its laws this month to stiffen the punishment for honor killings, as well as for rape, it was a bold move away from a patriarchal system that has traditionally left the protection of women up to the arbitrary wishes of men who act as their guardians. But unless the regressive mind-set of those men undergoes a revolutionary transformation as well, the new laws will be ineffectual eyewash in the face of the misogyny that Pakistani women encounter every day…

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