School of Public Policy Capstones

Publication Date



This paper will begin with a historical analysis of Pakistan with a particular focus on the pro-equality vision that Pakistan's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had. The paper then moves on to Zia-ul-Haq's regime and the rise of Islamization under his military dictatorship. The prerequisites that allowed for Islamization to take place are also highlighted. Zia's dictatorship utilized Islam and Sharia law as a tool to introduce gender-discriminatory laws into the nation. Particular focus is paid to the Zina Ordinance and the loopholes within the ordinance that have been devastating to women's rights in the country. The paper then transcends to the legal ratification that occurred after Zia's regime where several bills including CEDAW and Women's Protection Bill of 2006 are analyzed. Violence Against Women (VAW) statistics are then assessed to gauge whether the bills have truly been successful. The paper presents recommendations, 'the Four Es,' that stakeholders can invest upon to enhance the rights of women in Pakistan.