Women and minors rights in Pakistan and Afghanistan
In Pakistan, the next elections will be held in February 2024. Women constitute only 58,5 million of the 127 million voters registered in the country. Pakistani women are less likely to vote in elections, also in large cities such as Lahore or Karachi. During the last election 2018, all five constituencies with the highest female turnout were in remote rural areas with lower living standards. The biggest number of women – over 70% – voted in two constituencies of the desert Tharparkar district – for them, it is one of the few opportunities to improve the quality of life and escape poverty.
In neighbouring Afghanistan, parents sell their teenage daughters as wives to survive – 2,000 dollars for a bride is enough to feed a family for a whole year. In Shahrak-e-Sabz alone, a settlement of makeshift homes, Too Young To Wed activists counted 118 girls sold as child brides and 116 families with girls waiting for buyers. Sold girls, burdened with household responsibilities, often fall victim to verbal, physical and sexual violence – slavery under the guise of marriage. At the same time, suicides and depression cases are increasing among Afghan teenagers.
According to South Korean intelligence, Kim Jong Un’s daughter Kim Ju-ae, now ten years old, may be the successor to the leader of North Korea. Elevating her to the highest position in the country would be a surprising move in a highly patriarchal country. However, it will not improve the situation of Korean women, who have been disproportionately affected by international sanctions and subsequent repression due to the pandemic.