Kommentar

President Musharraf har vært i New Zealand, og der plaget pressen ham med spørsmål om Mukhtaran Mai, slik at han til slutt nektet å møte journalister.

Hennes eksempel er bare et vindu inn i en virkelighet som heter Pakistans behandling av kvinner, skriver Nicholas Kristof.

Early this year, for example, a doctor named Shazia Khalid reported that she had been gang-raped in a government-owned natural-gas plant. Instead of treating her medically, officials drugged her into unconsciousness for three days to keep her quiet and then shipped her to a psychiatric hospital.

When she persisted in trying to report the rape, she was held under house arrest in Karachi. The police suggested that since she had cash, she must have been working as a prostitute. Dr. Shazia’s husband has stood by her, but his grandfather was quoted as suggesting that Dr. Shazia had disgraced the family and should be killed.

Det er vanskelig å fatte at en lege kan bli behandlet på denne måten. Tenk da hvordan en fattig bondejente blir behandlet av myndighetene, skriver Kristof. I gjennomsnitt regner man med at det drepes to kvinner i æresdrap hver eneste dag.

Det er denne bakgrunnen som ikke kommer frem i saken om den druknede Rahila. Hva slags samfunn er Pakistan?

I Norge fører Karita Bekkemellom Orheims forslag om gifteforbud mellom fettre og kusiner til debatt. Tallene fra 1997 som viste 50 prosent inngifte (og ikke 30 prosent som Ane Håbjørg skrev i VG), er for gamle ifølge forståsegpåere. De vil ha mer forskning og nyere tall.

Hva med å interessere seg litt for virkeligheten disse menneskene kommer fra?

Earlier this year, for example, police reported that a village council had punished a man for having an affair by ordering his 2-year-old niece to be given in marriage to a 40-year-old man.

In another case this year, an 11-year-girl named Nazan was rescued from her husband’s family, which beat her, broke her arm and strung her from the ceiling because she didn’t work hard enough.

Then there are Pakistan’s hudood laws, which have been used to imprison thousands of women who report rapes. If rape victims cannot provide four male witnesses to the crime, they risk being whipped for adultery, since they acknowledge illicit sex and cannot prove rape.

Musharraf har et noenlunde rykte i Vesten, akkurat som Hosni Mubarak. Det forhindrer ikke at politiet kan gå meget hardhendt frem mot avvikende meninger. I begge land har politiet gått meget brutalt til verks mot demonstrerende kvinner. Det tåles åpenbart ikke.

When a group of middle-class Pakistani women demonstrated last month for equal rights in Lahore, police clubbed them and dragged them to police stations. They particularly targeted Asma Jahangir, a U.N. special rapporteur who is also the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Ms. Jahangir says the directions to the police about her, coming from an intelligence official close to General Musharraf, were: «Teach the [expletive] a lesson. Strip her in public.» Sure enough, the police ripped her shirt off and tried to pull her trousers off. If that’s how General Musharraf’s government treats one of the country’s most distinguished lawyers, imagine what happens to a peasant challenging injustice.

En ting er pene ord om kvinner og likestilling. Men når det kommer til stykket blir man voldsomt provosert av kvinner som vil delta i den politiske prosessen, og sier fra. Det er uhørt.