Ranked 153rd out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2021 global gender inequality index, Pakistan remains a profoundly "macho" society, laments Rubia Naz New, a young Pakistani law and political science student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), still in shock after learning of the brutal murder of two of their compatriots living in Tarrasa (Barcelona) at the hands of their family for refusing to continue with a forced marriage.
Rubia Naz, a member of the Pakmir association and the Collective of Catalan Students of Pakistani Origin (ECOP), expresses to ABC her dismay at an event that she fears will once again be the pretext to "stigmatize" a community that, unfortunately, claims , it is only news for tragic events.
The young student, an example of the contrast between the reality of young Pakistanis raised in societies like the Spanish one and what continues to happen in certain areas of her country, wants to make it clear that only an archaic vision of Islam can lead to events such as those known Yesterday.
"Islam recognizes divorce and forced marriages are illegal in Pakistan," explains Rubia Naz to this newspaper, at the head of an association created to, fundamentally, advise Pakistani women who have just arrived so that they are self-sufficient and do not depend on the men of the family, who usually arrive earlier in our country and have more resources, mainly languages, to socialize.
Determined to break preconceptions, Rubia Naz insists on differentiating between "forced" and "arranged" marriages. The latter, in a common practice, the family suggests and points candidates, but always with consent. The forced and illegal ones continue to be practiced, especially in rural areas, he acknowledges, in a practice that, given the difficulties of establishing themselves legally in Western countries, has degenerated into what he defines as "marriages by visa", marriage agreements that in they are actually an exchange to get residence papers.