The "Source of Solutions" in Pakistan - Trans World Radio Canada

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  • Sep29Fri

    The "Source of Solutions" in Pakistan

    September 29, 2017 by the TWR Women of Hope Ministry Team
    Filed Under:
    Testimonies

    Female believers in Pakistan face double jeopardy:  Their country sits near the top of worldwide lists for the negative treatment of both women and those whose faith is outside the dominant religion. This dubious distinction highlights the critical importance of Women of Hope broadcasts in Pakistani Punjabi.

    By far the largest of the country’s heart languages, Pakistani Punjabi was the obvious choice for the first Women of Hope broadcasts into this nation of over 200 million people. The once weekly broadcasts, divided into practical “life” and spiritual “soul” components, often address difficult issues facing women.

    Although reports indicate that “female empowerment is coming” gradually to Pakistan, more than 1,000 honor killings of women and girls are estimated every year, and 90 percent of Pakistani women are said to suffer from domestic violence. Rape frequently isn’t reported for fear that the publicity will devastate the dignity of the victim and her family.

    “The first time I listened to Women of Hope, I thought, ‘This is a source of solution for problems that women have to face day by day, and it’s also needed by our society,’” one listener wrote to the production team. “This program is also for those who beat their wives and don’t respect them. Presenters also discuss social problems that are facing both men and women…It really can be a hope for women.”

    Believing women are doubly beleaguered in this society, where every year an estimated 1,000 women are forced to marry men belonging to the dominant religion and then to convert to the religion of their husband. In two other incidents, Christian couples were accused of blasphemy against the dominant religion, with one couple being killed by a mob and the other sentenced to death.

    A letter from a listener reveals how the radio program manages to touch lives despite the rigorous social and cultural barriers. Amal’s husband tried to introduce her to the gospel, but she was an atheist and, like her children, wasn’t interested. Then her husband brought home a radio because he heard that God worked through TWR’s programming.

    “When I listened to Women of Hope, the conversation not only changed me but also motivated me to reach out to women who are living in darkness like me,” Amal wrote. “It is a source of solutions for the basic problems of women, whether they are young, old, literate or illiterate.”

    Today, Amal (not her real name), calls herself “a little evangelist of God” as she witnesses alongside her husband and gathers neighborhood women to listen to Women of Hope.

     (adapted from article originally published in “The Heartbeat,” Volume 20, Number 2)