Feminism first arose in the west after the critical examination of inequality between women and men in European and American society. However, feminist ideals can be seen in chapter five of Plato’s ‘The Republic’ in which he discusses the social and political status of women. It is considered by many to be the first feminist work in the history of philosophy Feminism is the advocacy of equal rights for men and women in different spheres of life. It seeks to put women on equal footing with men economically, socially and legally. It first arose in the west after the critical examination of inequality between women and men in European and American society. However, feminist ideals can be seen in chapter five of Plato’s ‘The Republic’ in which he discusses the social and political status of women. It is considered by many to be the first feminist work in the history of philosophy.In pre-Islamic Arabia, the rights of women were even more limited than they are today. According to historians, burying newborn girls alive was common practice since people didn’t see any worth in daughters. The advent of Islam improved the situation a great deal. Islam gave women the right to divorce, the right to inherit property and limited the number of wives a man could have. Modern feminism has it’s roots in the women’s suffrage movements of Europe and America in the early twentieth century. The suffrage movements demanded that women be given the right to vote. Women in the United Kingdom didn’t gain voting rights until the ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act’ was passed in 1928! The 1970’s saw an explosion of different schools of feminism such as Freudian feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, liberal feminism, black feminism and postmodern feminism. These schools differed in what they thought would constitute gender equality as well on how equality with men in society should be pursued. But all were driven by the belief that men and women are equal. Pakistani women have been struggling for their rights since the country was founded. They were led by figures like Fatima Jinnah and Begum Ra’ana Liaqat Ali Khan. Begum Ra’ana founded the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) in 1949, aiming to further the social and economic standing of women across the country.In today’s Pakistan one can find two schools of feminist thought. One of them is modern, Islamic feminism. Modern Islamic feminists include individuals like Riffat Hassan, Amina Wadud and Asma Barlas who attempt to reconcile Islam with feminist values. It is a form of feminism which appeals to all sectors of Pakistani society. The other school of feminism which can be found in Pakistan is modern secular feminism. Secular feminists like Shahnaz Rouse and Fouzia Saeed consider feminism to be an extension of basic, essential human rights, regardless of any religious principles. But since Pakistani society is very religious and conservative, secular feminists are often labeled ‘western agents’ and heretics. Pakistani society will be very gradual in its acceptance of feminist ideas. After all, it took a long time for women in the west to be as emancipated as they are today. Furthermore, things are already better in Pakistan than they were in the west at the time of the suffrage movements in the west. Apart from already having the right to vote, women have reserved seats in the Pakistani parliament. It is my hope that the situation for women in Pakistan will improve. Rafiuddin Mehsud hails from South Waziristan Agency, FATA and has graduated in social sciences from GC University, Lahore. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.orgFaiza Arooj Qureshi is a M.Phil Scholar at Punjab University at the Department of Philosophy. She can be reached at Faizaarooj962@yahoo.com Published in Daily Times, October 1st 2017.