In April of 2000, Pakistan’s military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared 2000 to be the Year of Human Rights in Pakistan. This week, a new national task force has started work on Musharraf’s pledge to end gender discrimination and protect women’s rights.
Women in Pakistan suffer terrible human rights abuses, including so-called “honor killings” which end over 1,000 Pakistani women’s lives each year. These women die at the hands of their relatives when they ïshame’ their families by marrying against the families’ wishes or speaking to men who are unrelated. Musharraf insists his military-led administration will not tolerate the “honor killings,” saying, “Unlike past governments, we will take a firm stand against the honor killings.”
The task force has also pledged to raise the literacy rate among Pakistani women, currently at 24 percent, compared to the national literacy average of 38 percent.