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Shahid Mehmood

13th January, 2014

Gender discrimination is the highlighted issue these days and is constantly
affecting both men and women; women being more exposed. It has diversely affected women
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development for a past couple of years. This report is written accordingly and highlights all the
facts and evidences, laws formulated to prevent discrimination, mentality of men towards
women, role of authorities and bias views of scholars. This report is based on the research work
the sources of whom are acknowledged.
This report answers all the questions about gender discrimination from past to
present. This report fully interprets the concepts and attitudes adopted towards women now days.
Many people have contributed to this report and have helped to prove this report. I hope to get a
positive feedback from the readers.

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I am highly indebted to Miss. Hira Shehzad for her guidance and constant supervision as
well as for providing necessary information regarding the project & also for her support in
completing the project. My thanks and appreciations also go to my friends in developing the
project and people who have willingly helped me out with their abilities.

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Summary ____________________________ 6


Gender Discrimination__________________ 8

________________________ 7
__________________ 8




How did it begin

_______________ 8

Types and Causes _____________________ 10







Country ranking on gender equality________



Some types of gender discrimination


Causes of gender discrimination


Few facts


Examples of Gender Discrimination

Gender Discrimination in Pakistan

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____ 14
_______ 16


Recommendations _____________________ 19


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________________________ 18
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Gender discrimination is discrimination based on gender. It has been a rising
issue mostly in Asian countries where people are bounded to their cultures and customs.
Religious traditions have also played part as many misinterpreted teachings have been given to
society by gender biased scholars. Women have been the prominent victims of gender
discrimination. Their fragile form has created a misconception among men that they can easily
be dominated as they are not physically stronger than men. Gender discrimination has immensely
increased as men have been given preference over women in countries. In some countries,
women have only been restricted to their houses and are not allowed to leave their houses
without the permission of men. Discrimination based on gender has cast a shadow over women
development as they are completely being deprived of their rights. They have become a subject
matter to fulfill lust of men and are living in severe conditions in countries like Afghanistan,
India, Pakistan and Bahrain.

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God created men and women not to subjugate each other bot to love, care, share
and help each other. He gave men a rough and tough physique while women were created with
soft and delicate form. He did justice by giving both equal qualities to both. But this concept has
been misinterpreted by others that possessing a tougher physique means having power. Men have
always felt that they are the one dominating and women should only be limited to their houses.
This mentality has led to discrimination based on gender. Women have always been more
exposed to gender discrimination. Their rights are being violated for a long period of time and
the authorities have not made any remarkable efforts in nullifying the effect of gender
discrimination until now.
Gender discrimination has become a serious issue in most countries as women are
completely being cut off from rights and facilities. They are provided less food, less education,
less pay grades as compared to boys and men. Even laws formulated are biased. They have
always proven to be beneficial to men than women. Women have become the victims now of this
aggressive attitude of men. In the late century, the literacy rate has shown some significant
decrease in most of the Asian Countries for women. They have now become the subjects of this
rigid behavior. Women do not have the freedom to make decisions. They are not allowed to get
education. They have always been discriminated in families, workplaces, courts, and houses.
As countries are making progress, gender discrimination still remains the top
issues of countries. Human rights organizations have made utmost efforts to eradicate the
rigidness of men towards women. They have made efforts to bring a sense of equality in society.
Women deserve the same status as men. They should be provided with all the facilities that men
are enjoying around the world. Legislation should be formulated to provide both social and
economic security to women. Women should be given the liberty of free will as most of the
western women are enjoying.
Hence, gender discrimination has been causing problems for women for past
many years and this should be tackled systematically. Women deserve a respectable position and
they should be given one. Serious actions must be taken against those who see women as their
victims and are violating women rights. Everyone has the right of freedom so women should also
be given one.

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Nature has divided human beings into two halves and both are given responsibilities

which suit them, along with assigning the responsibilities, nature has very clearly stated the
rights of both on each other. Gender discrimination is a practice which we face when both the
genders show the desire of substituting their duties without giving a due credit to each other. In
such scenario the powerful became aggressor and other the victim of aggression. Discrimination
always remained hot topic and since industrial revolution the human race improved his intellect
level. Customs acceptable previously were challenged and new frontiers were drawn. Fresh
manifesto for the betterment of mankind was formulated. Sympathetic and intellectual heads got
together to review the changes which could directly impact human`s life and act accordingly.
When everyone thought that human race is enjoying its deserving prestige then there came a new
issue, this time term used was GENDER DISCRIMINATION. In brief this issue dealt with the
fact that people living on green planet got into habit of giving preference on the basis of sex.
Feminine half felt that they were not given the equal importance. In every field and culture they
complained. To address this issue and find out its appropriate solution humans are still struggling
even in developed countries like America or Britain. Humans learn almost everything from its
environment; chip in his brain is programmed by the culture, society and religion. When he
becomes powerful, he always decides according to that programming e.g. People living in west
can have different opinion and solution for a certain problem than the ones living in east. But one
thing is unanimously accepted that Men do take advantage of the powers blessed to them by
nature. Women have always been more exposed to this discrimination. Basically when we think
that women (may be because of their fragile outlook) are not equal to men and are not capable of
doing anything good then gender discrimination comes into play. Gender discrimination has been
a rising issue in most of the Asian countries.
This report highlights the favoritism that is being given to men over women for a long
period of time and the violation of women rights as a rising issue. Moreover this report throws
light upon the facts that the government is not playing its roll in reducing gender discrimination
and the laws made for this purpose are being violated. Women have struggled a lot to acquire a
respectable status in society. The report argues that gender discrimination should be reduced to
minimum extent as women have the right to stand head to head with men in development and
progress of a nation. Following on from this, the overall aims of the report are to accentuate the
criticism that women are facing now and then, underscoring the reasons behind gender
discrimination and giving an overall view about the types of discrimination women are facing in
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Gender Discrimination

2.1 Definition

Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.

Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on

Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of the opposite sex.

Discrimination (usually in employment) that excludes one sex (usually women) to the
benefit of the other sex.

2.2 How did it begin?

Gender discrimination has been a part of our societies for past many years.
Discrimination based on gender is increasing lately in backwards area where people still have the
mentality of feminine being weak. Organizations have worked a lot for this purpose but still it
has not been eradicated from our societies. Discrimination is due to the rigid attitude of men
towards women. They think that being the fragile one woman must obey them in everything.
Their views have become dull and they believe that possessing a stronger body and more stamina
men are the ones superior to women. For past many years women have been facing this problem.
Gender discrimination rose as an important issue in the last century and has taken over many
areas where violation of women rights has become just a daily life issue.
The human rights of women throughout the Middle East and North Africa are
systematically denied by each of the countries in the region, despite the diversity of their political
systems. Many governments routinely suppress civil society by restricting freedom of the press,
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expression, and assembly. These restrictions adversely affect both men and women; however,
women are subject to a host of additional gender-specific human rights violations. For example,
family, penal, and citizenship laws throughout the region relegate women to a subordinate status
compared to their male counterparts. This legal discrimination undermines womens full
personhood and equal participation in society and puts women at an increased risk for violence.
Family matters in countries as diverse as Iran, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia are
governed by religion based personal status codes. Many of these laws treat women essentially as
legal minors under the eternal guardianship of their male family members. Family decisionmaking is thought to be the exclusive domain of men, who enjoy by default the legal status of
head of household. These notions are supported by family courts in the region that often
reinforce the primacy of male decision-making power.

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Types and Cause

The Universal Declaration and the human right treaties forbid discrimination on the grounds
of gender. According to Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without
distinction of any kind.
Article 7 states
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation
of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

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This means that there can be no law which discriminates anyone if everyone is entitled to
equal protection by the law. Every law which offers unequal protection to men and women is a
violation of the Universal Declaration, whether or not this law seeks to protect human rights.

3.1 Some Types of Gender Discrimination


Discrimination in family law

Article 16 in the Universal Declaration is about the equality in marriage.

Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or
religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as
to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
In many cultures, forced and arranged marriages are very common, often resulting
in sexual abuse. Women often lack rights regarding inheritance or divorce. Polygamy is
also a cause of discrimination.

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Discrimination at Work

Article 23 gives everyone the right to have equal pay for equal work. But in
companies and industries there is salary discrimination. Moreover there are promotion
obstacles for women as well.
In some countries, women do not possess the right to work according to their
choice. They are restricted. This is mainly due to cultural mentalities and educational
discrimination. Often women are not allowed to work and are confined to just
housekeeping or raising children. This becomes a hurdle in their path of development.


Discrimination in Education

The rate of literacy and enrollment in schools for girls and women is much lower
than for boys and men. Girls are often forced to stay at home and do housekeeping,
which is many countries, is considered as hard labor. Hence when at later stages they
apply for jobs, due to lack of education they are rejected from the good ones and are
given jobs in which salary are less.


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Physical Abuse

Because of the anatomy of their bodies and their relative physical weakness
compared to men, women are often the victim of rape, female genital mutilation or other
kinds of sexual abuses (such as the sex industry).


Causes of Gender Discrimination

The causes of gender discrimination vary widely and include:

Religious traditions and sacred texts

Custom and Culture

Education and up-bringing



Religious Traditions and Sacred Texts

Some religions contain many discriminatory injunctions, which moreover are interpreted
very literally.

(2) Custom and Culture

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Culture shapes the way things are done and the thinking of people who believe that
things should be done in a certain way. In many cultures we still witness male misogyny and

Education and Upbringing


Mothers (but also fathers) often perpetuate involuntarily the inferior social position of
their daughters by raising them according to traditional gender roles.



The law often reinforces other causes of discrimination.

3.3 Few


More than 80 percent of the worlds 35 million refugees are

women and children.
More than 110 million of the worlds children, two-thirds of them
girls, are not in school.
At least one in every three women is a survivor of some form of
gender-based violence, frequently inflicted by a family member.
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Women represent, on average, less than 10 percent of the seats

in national parliaments.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 58 percent of persons infected with
HIV/AIDS are women.

3.4 Country Ranking on Gender Equality

(1) Sweden
(2) Norway
(3) Finland
(4) New Zealand
(5) Philippines
(6) Germany
(11) Britain
(13) Latvia
(20) South Africa
(22) Cuba
(31) United States

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(73) China
(84) Italy
(91) Japan
(121) Turkey
(126) Pakistan




Here are some of the most extreme examples of gender inequality you can find currently
practiced, often state-sanctioned, in the world today.

(1) Female Infanticide

Chinas one child policy has intensified the scorn for female infants. Most of the
female infants are neglected and abandoned. Abortion and infanticide are known to occur to
female infants. This has transfigured the ratio of male and female. Normally 105 males are
naturally born for 100 females.
Similarly, the number of girls born in India is significantly less as compared to
the number of boys, due to disproportionate number of female fetuses being aborted and baby
girls deliberately neglected and left to die. Normal ratio of births should be of 950 girls for
every 1000 boys. However, in some regions the number is as low as 300.

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(2) Sexual Subjugation

Many countries criminalize adult, consensual sex outside of marriage. In
Morocco, women are much more likely to be charged with having violated penal code
prohibitions on sexual relations outside of marriage than men. Unmarried pregnant women are
particularly at risk of prosecution. The Moroccan penal code also considers the rape of a virgin
as an aggravating circumstance of assault. The message is clear: the degree of punishment of the
perpetrator is determined by the sexual experience of the victim.

(3) Citizenship
Most countries in the region-with the exception of Iran, Tunisia, Israel, and to a
limited extent Egypt-have permitted only fathers to pass citizenship on to their children. Women
married to non-nationals are denied this fundamental right.

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(4) Custody Rights

In Bahrain, where family law is not codified, judges have complete power to
deny women custody of their children for the most arbitrary reasons. Bahraini women who have
been courageous enough to expose and challenge these violations in 2003 were sued for slander
by eleven family court judges.


Right to Travel

Husbands in Egypt and Bahrain can file an official complaint against their wives
at the airport to forbid them from leaving the country for any reason. In Syria, husbands can
prevent their wives from leaving the country. In Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and
Yemen, married women must have their husbands written permission to travel abroad, and they
may be prevented from doing so for any reason. In Saudi Arabia, women must obtain written
permission from their closest male relative to leave the country or travel on public transportation
between different parts of the kingdom.

(6) Access to Education

In many areas of Afghanistan, girls are taken out of school when they hit puberty.
While progress has been made since the fall of Taliban, women are still struggling to see their
rights fulfilled. Rate of literacy among Afghan women are low.

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Gender Discrimination in

Gender discrimination has become an issue in Pakistan as well. Both

government and private organizations are working day and night to resolve this issue. Male and
female are two broad categories of human beings. Society assigns different responsibilities and
duties according to their gender. Those duties are socially constructed and are not given by
Gender discrimination a common practice when both men and women are trying
to show their sovereignty and show the desire of alternating their duties without giving
importance to each other. When people think that, some peculiar assignments are do-able by
men but cannot be by female then gender discrimination comes into play.
Men and women both can face gender discrimination but women are more
vulnerable due to their delicacy and fragile looks. Examples of gender discrimination include

Discrimination in family law

Discrimination at workplace

Discrimination in education

Physical or psychological abuse

Social restrictions

In Pakistan gender discrimination is mainly due to the misinterpretations of

religious traditions or customs. It is due to the bias attitude of religious scholars. They are mostly
men and gender biased, so their interpretations are also gender biased and against feminism thus
creating gender discrimination.
Secondly, culture and customs are other important reasons or causes of gender
discrimination in Pakistan. There are different cultures and traditions in a Pakistani society,
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which is the actual cause of gender discrimination because different cultures have different
norms and traditions. In a Pakistani society, women have just few typical roles and duties
assigned by the society, which are socially. People consider women as weak and emotional and
hence encourage them to stay and work at home, and take care of family. There is a huge wall
between public and private spheres for women. They do not have permission to work in public,
sphere to generate income. People force them to carry out daily household chores. That is a
discrimination faced by majority of women.

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Gender discrimination is the rising issue of most the countries in which men are given
priorities over women in case of jobs, salary, rights, security etc. women being the weaker one
physically are the victims of gender discrimination. Laws are being violated more than before.
Gender discrimination is the basic reason that is preventing women from progressing, from
having a respectable status in society.
Women have lately been more vulnerable to gender discrimination and the reason behind
this are the misinterpretations of religious traditions, customs and cultures of areas, laws formed
which clearly favor men over women, rigid attitude of men toward women as if they are a fragile
creature and less dominating, lack of freedom. Men have taken the right from women to choose
their own future and they are continuously imposing their views and decisions.
This discrimination has increased greatly in countries like Pakistan, India, Afghanistan,
Bahrain, Kabul and Syria where men adopted the mentality of being superior to women.
Women are completely being deprived of their rights. Gender inequality, discrimination, and
violence are anathema to human existence, healthy relationships, and development. Ignorance
contributes to gender discrimination and violation of rights.

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Gender discrimination has come up as a problem in developing countries and laws and
rules must be formulated to tackle this problem. Men must change their view of being the
superior one to women and instead co-operate with women in progressing economically as well
as structurally. Women should be given all the rights that they deserve and strict actions should
be taken against those who violate the laws. Women must have the freedom to make their own
decisions, to get education, to travel, to have kids and all that which would be helpful in making
their future better.
Government organizations and those which are working in public sectors should
formulate strict laws to ensure safety and security of women in country. Legislation must be
made keeping in mind that they must not be beneficial to only men but also to women.
Legislation should also recognize that women are entitled to freedom of movement, to access to
social, educational or health services, to choose her residence, diet, attire and lifestyle, as well
as equality with men in terms of citizenship. Laws formulated should not be biased; rather they
must guarantee women equal rights and responsibilities with men. Legislation should ensure
that women enjoy the same right to own, manage, use and dispose of property. Legislation
should ensure that wives and husbands are entitled to inherit on an equal basis, including in
equal shares and equal rank in the line of succession, upon the death of the spouse. Laws should
state that both parents, regardless of marital status, share equal rights and responsibilities for
their children, including with regard to their guardianship, ward ship and trusteeship.
Legislation should address and prohibit discrimination in all of these areas to promote and
protect the rights of widows.
Gender discrimination should be highlighted as one of the major problems of the country
and given required attention to nullify it as much as possible. Thus women must have the right
to study, work, travel, marry, divorce and custody rights,
Women should be given the same status that men enjoy without being partial at any point.

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Chan, M. (2010). D-General, WHO, Equal rights and opportunities for women and girls
essential for better health, International Womens Day, March 8, 2010.
Barbara Ehrenreich, What Abu Ghraib Taught Me, Alternet, May 20, 2004
Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, (Allyn and Bacon,
1999), p. 354
UNICEF, State of the Worlds Children, 2007, p.36
Rufshan, November 20, 2008, 10 Extreme Examples of Gender Inequality, Litverse,
December 28, 2013,
Reducing Gender Discrimination and Violence against Women through Library and
Information Services, Unllib, December 28, 2013,
Jamil, Farah. December25, 2013, more can be done to dismantle gender discrimination:
WB Report, AAJ TV, December29, 2013,

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