Conflict & Justice

'My Daughter is a Blessing Not a Curse'

My daughter is a blessing not a curse.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

If you have to state that, there might be something wrong. And yes, there is something wrong in Pakistan with daughters. But with Friday prayers at the mosques this week, the tag line "my daughter is a blessing, not a curse," is the official message that Imams across Pakistan have been preaching.

It's part of a wider campaign. Pakistanis are confronting the widespread mistreatment of girls in the country. The preference for male children has already led to a huge gender imbalance. One statistic is all you need to know here: just in the city of Karachi, around 300 bodies of newborn female babies are found.

So is there a real hope that the plight of women and girls might be improving?

Host Marco Werman speaks with Pakistani author Binah Shah in Karachi.

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