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Karo Karl: A social curse?

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Karo-Kari, the myth and the reality: 3 How bad is Karo-Kari? 4 The position of women in society: 5 Women, victims of economic degradation: 5 Women as a device of honour: 6 The Law: 7 The colonial influence: 7 The Hadood Laws: 8 Qasas Law: 9 Marriage to the Holy Quran: 9 The Police, Recourse to law: 9 Conclusion: 9 Karo-Kari, the myth and the reality: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunal for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. - Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 8 Violence, especially on women has been a consistent feature of human history. Regardless of what culture, cast or creed man has been part of, his machismo has always lead to a sad state of affairs for women. While articles on paper protect the rights of both man and women, and religion i.e. Islam has guaranteed the position of women as an effective player of society, sadly instances of violence against women still continue unabated. The word Karo literally means "black male" and Kari "black female". The term Karo-Kari though not new is in many ways unique to the rural areas of Pakistan. In the rural areas of Sind and Baluchistan it signifies an instance of homicide when an individual murders his spouse, son or daughter in an act of rage to protect his or her honor. ...read more.


Hence this condition whereby women do not get back the product of their labour develops a psychology of alienation. Women are therefore expected to work as hard as possible without getting there monetary or financial rewards. This economic system perpetuates the need for patriarchal support for women in the rural or even urban centres. By controlling the wallet the men affectively make the women subservient to their wishes. Women as a device of honour: In the rural areas, women are like slaves subject to drudgery. They are there just to obey their fathers, brothers and husbands. They do not have the right to decide about themselves because women are considered as foolish creatures according to the dominant social and cultural norms. Likewise marriage is also a sort of trade between different families both in the rural and urban areas. They are highly vulnerable to violation of their rights to life. A woman's right to liberty is restricted in the name of modesty, protection and prevention of immoral activity. In rural areas 90% of women work in the fields. They work for the whole day with their male family members, but they still have to face their wrath. Male family members keep a strict eye on the female family members in the name of "honour". But one must understand the meaning of honour because in our society honour does not have the meaning of its true sense. ...read more.


In-fact colonial era laws were successful in perpetuating the status quo. After partition the situation did not improve. Indeed the Hadood Laws of the Zia era may be considered a step backwards. Laws that required females to produce witnesses of alleged rapes have lead to thousands of women lying in prison with an uncertain judicial future. The patriarchal nature of the economic order further perpetuates the system. While women remain economically subjugated and reliant on there male partners for support, little hope remains for the eventual emancipation of women. Historical facts also support this hypothesis. It wasn't until World War One and the entrance of women into the industrial arena that women received the right to vote and economic freedom. In Pakistan's case, karo-kari remains a social curse as it not only leads to violence against women; however it also leads to an alienation of women from the social sphere. Women, which make up 50% of the population, are thus excluded from the economic order that is essential for the betterment of our nation. Thus practices such as Karo-Kari essentially alienate women, leave them with little faith in the institutions of the judiciary and exclude them from there important role in the economic well being of our nation. Thus Karo-Kari and its effects go beyond killings. It's destroying our social fabric. Through means such as reversal of biased laws, education, land reform women may be emancipated from there sorry state and offered hope for their futures. 1 ...read more.

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