One the biggest tragedy in human history is the origin of patriarchy. Since then, woman has remained de jure slave for the centuries in past and is now de facto slave in most parts of the world. Nowhere in the world is a woman completely free and independent. Every attempt is made by man to regulate her body, soul, choices and even her breath. I was deeply shocked to read a news report couple of weeks ago that even in a European country Sweden, a model faced rape threats when she appeared in an ad with her unshaven legs. Unshaven legs of women are considered by men against the public morality and established social norms attached with women’s body.All this mess continue to surface globally despite United Nation Law, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) coming into force in 1981 has promised to eliminate discrimination against women. The title of law which involves use of word ‘elimination’ raises questions on the effectiveness of this international human rights law against the existing global social status of women that remains at bottom in general. Women in Sindh like elsewhere in world and Pakistan are living life that is by and large set, structured and regulated by men. Especially women in rural areas are living life of de facto slavery. Their every act is meant to meet the direct and indirect needs of male dominated families. Despite their every effort to meet the needs and demands of males, both legitimate and illegitimate, in their families, they are subject to perpetual domestic violence and gender-based discrimination.Thanks to the provincial and federal governments that various laws meant to emancipate women are put in place. But, such pro-women laws, their social legitimacy and social reality of women’s status are marred with wider gaps. During a research on pro-women laws in Sindh for a civil society organisation, I was shocked to know that just single case of domestic violence under Sindh Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) act, 2013 is reportedly under trial in Sindh, despite the fact that domestic violence against women is routine business in the province and the law was passed four years ago. Since women are subjected to domestic violence mainly at the hands of their family members, on whom they are economically dependant, they remain reluctant to raise voice out of fear of losing financial support or matrimonial bond as the case may beThe wider dichotomy between the law and its application or utilisation might involve various factors, but economic dependency of women on men seems major cause behind this phenomenon. Since women are subjected to the domestic violence mainly at the hands of their family members, whom they economically depend on, they remain reluctant to raise voice against them out of fear of losing financial support or matrimonial bond as the case may be.In this backdrop, the argument of socialist feminists seems right that women subjugation is embedded in and is perpetuated through the structures of class-based society. Unless class system is abolished, various social wrongs including subjugation of women cannot be corrected. However, beyond doctrine of socialist change, women can be emancipated to large extent and can be enabled to exercise their rights to possible level, once they are economically empowered. Unfortunately, status of women’s economic empowerment in Sindh especially in rural areas is depressing which needs to be improved. First and foremost, equal property and succession rights of women have to be established and ensured. Her rights over property are not accepted on the basis of principle of equality that is ensured in the constitution of Pakistan and all other international human rights norms and laws including in CEDAW ratified by Pakistan in 1996. Secondly, even her cut down property rights are not completely provided to her.Depriving women from her property has been criminalised in Pakistan through Criminal law (Third Amendment) Act, 2011, commonly known Anti-women practices law. Through this amendment Section 498-A was, inter alia, inserted in Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which reads that “Whoever by deceitful or illegal means deprives any woman from inheriting any movable or immovable property at the time of opening of succession shall be punished with imprisonment for either description for a term which may extend to ten years but not be less than five years or with a fine of one million rupees or both”. However, the law has failed to completely provide women rights to their property. This is because; women in Sindh generally withdraw from share of their property due to established social norms of submission and their ‘love’ for their brothers and other shareholders in their families. Although these decisions are their own, but they remain faulty and are inadmissible in principle on the grounds that these are shaped by patriarchal gender norms which deprive women from their free consent. Thus, amendment needs to brought in the law so as to ensure that no woman, despite her consent, is deprived of her property and succession rights. Once such rights are ensured and she owns her property including agricultural land, she will feel much empowered and comfortable to take decisions of her choice in her life and to legally challenge domestic violence practiced against her.Further, the government should launch extensive skills development and entrepreneurship programs for women especially in rural areas. These programs could potentially empower women to resist and challenge the gender-based violence and other forms of domestic injustice. To conclude, economic position of women has greater role in determining her ability to exercise her human rights and to resist their violations. The writer holds Masters degree in Human Rights and Democratisation from the University of Sydney. He can be reached at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, October 23rd 2017.