THE INTERNATIONALNETWORK 
     FOR THE RIGHTS OF FEMALE VICTIMS 
     OF VIOLENCE IN PAKISTAN
  (INRFVVP)
 
The NEWS 03/01/2001
Dr. Riffat Calls for Gender-Equality in Society
By Our Correspondent

RENOWNED American scholar Dr Riffat Hassan has said no society can
claim to be Islamic unless it recognizes that men and women are equal  before Allah and each has equal rights to develop his or her God-given capabilities to the fullest.
        Dr Hassan was delivering a special lecture on ‘Islamic Society and
Civil Society: A Direction for Pakistan' here Wednesday, at Lahore Press
Club under the aegis of American Centre Lahore in collaboration with
Alternative Media Network.
        Responding to various queries at the end of her lecture, she said,
"Pakistan is an Islamic society keeping in view the faith of its absolute
majority.  However, it is not a society which has the foundation of a civil
society."
        She said irrespective of the fact that Pakistan was under a military
regime it was under the guidance of a person (Gen Musharraf) who had the
urge to build Pakistan as a modern and progressive state. She added, “He
(Musharraf) might have some detractors in the form of advisers and
bureaucrats, but he is in full agreement to her perception of an Islamic
society where there is no discrimination on the basis of gender or
religion.”
          To another question, she said election of Benazir Bhutto as the
prime minister of Pakistan twice did not mean that her assumption of power
was the empowerment of women. She was elected, she said, because she was the
daughter of a feudal, and she herself was a feudal.
        Earlier in her written lecture which she delivered to a selected
gathering comprising journalists and representatives of NGOS, Dr Hassan
said, "though there are Quranic teachings on the subject of how to maintain
justice in home preserving the rights of all members of the family, it is
deeply disturbing that even at the start of new millennium, many Muslim
women are subjected not only to physical and economic subjugation, but also
to moral, intellectual and spiritual degradation."
        She said the Pakistani society would have to make a strong
commitment that it would give highest priority to the issue of
gender-equality and gender justice.  She opined Muslims in general have
often focused more on rituals and dogmas rather than on Quranic ethics.

 

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