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Pakistan, like many other countries, has been grappling with issues of women’s protection and empowerment for decades. Despite some progress in recent years, there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed.

In terms of progress, Pakistan has taken some important steps to protect women’s rights. In 2006, for instance, the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act was passed, which made domestic violence a criminal offense. In 2010, the National Commission on the Status of Women was established to promote and protect women’s rights, and the same year saw the passage of the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill, which made acid attacks punishable by life imprisonment. More recently, the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act was passed in 2016, which provides legal and institutional mechanisms for protection, relief and rehabilitation of women against all forms of violence.

However, despite these efforts, there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed. Gender-based violence continues to be a pervasive problem in Pakistan, with many cases going unreported and perpetrators often escaping punishment. Moreover, the cultural and societal norms that perpetuate gender inequality and discrimination remain deeply entrenched.

One of the key challenges in addressing these issues is changing the mindset of Pakistani society. There is a need to promote gender equality and challenge the patriarchal attitudes that underpin many forms of violence and discrimination against women. This requires a multi-pronged approach that involves education, awareness-raising, and legal and institutional reforms.

Another challenge is the lack of access to justice for many women. The justice system in Pakistan is often slow and cumbersome, and many women face obstacles in accessing legal remedies for violence and discrimination. This is particularly true for women from marginalized communities, who may face additional barriers such as poverty, illiteracy, and lack of legal awareness.

In conclusion, while Pakistan has made some progress in protecting and empowering women, there is still much work to be done. Addressing the challenges of gender-based violence, changing societal attitudes towards women, and improving access to justice are all critical components of a comprehensive approach to promoting women’s rights in Pakistan.

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