Inheritance & investments


Pakistani women protesting lack of women’s rights

My brain is not functioning. I can only hear car horns in the traffic and want to have a big meal and then proceed with Benjamin Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor which I bought recently in response to a very thoughtful article in TIME magazine that I came across over a nice cool glass of Moccacchino at the Variety Books Cafe. Before continuing to read what I have to write, please read the article.

Pakistan is an Islamic state or Pakistan is a state with Muslim majority or Pakistan is a secular state with an over-whelming Muslim majority. I’ve just made these statements and they all apply to our country according to the law which clearly states Islam is the religion of the State.

However, it is difficult to make sense of the Islamic social system here when you see women in the “backward” Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states being drooled upon by the likes of International Finance Organization and Merril Lynch. It is ironic that a major chunk of these talented women are still victimized by gender segregation. Here, we are still victimized by honour killings and hudood laws – the Shariah of evil. It is obvious the primary capital for most of these women comes from inheritance but what good is such an inheritance of assets when you are not taught how to use it or to invest? What is so good about this money that is useless without the skill to invest? The good news is many women in the Gulf are picking up on it. My face went blush at the thought of a story I did for NGO World magazine last year that business incubation services for women – is a new arrival in Pakistan – who are “starting off to be independent” according to the project director at the Small & Medium Enterprise Development Auhtority (SMEDA). There are thousands of such women here who want to be on their own, have their own business and invest their money on something profitable while their husbands/spouse/boyfriends/brothers/father spend on the household. This is called collective participation in economic development

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