Feminism in Pakistan refers to the set of movements that aim to define, establish, and defend the rights of women in Pakistan. This may involve the pursuit of equal political, economic, and social rights alongside equal opportunity. These movements have historically been shaped in response to national and global reconfigurations of power, including Colonialism, Nationalism, Islamization, Dictatorship, Democracy, and the War on Terror. The relationship between the women’s movement and the Pakistani government has changed a lot. At first, they worked together, but now they are at odds with each other.
Feminism Phases in Pakistan:

The time period of first phase of feminism was 1947-1952. 75,000 Muslim women were kidnapped and raped during Partition in 1947. Fatima Jinnah created the Women’s Relief Committee, which became the All Pakistan Women’s Association. Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan aided Indian refugees during the partition and founded the All Pakistan Women’s Association in 1949. Both visionary ladies empowered women in every possible way; through providing medical education inclusiveness and via organizations to empower women at grass root level.
Second phase of feminism was in 1980’s:
Adultery and fornication became crimes, and lashing, excision, and stoning to death were introduced during the dictatorship of Zia ul-Haq. The feminist movement in Pakistan criticized this application of Islam, which they claimed was based on an antiquated view of Islamic literature. The 2006 Women’s Protection Bill changed the law after debate and criticism.
1981 saw the formation of the Women’s Action Forum. According to Madihah Akhter, General Zia tried to ethically police women’s roles in public. Many Pakistani women opposed Zia’s Islamization. Akhter argues that the younger generation of 1980s activists were more feminist in their outlook and approach; the Women’s Action Forum used “progressive interpretations of Islam” to counter the state’s implementation of religiously interpreted morality and gained the unexpected support of right-wing Islamic women’s organization too.
Third wave 1988–2008

Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, was elected after General Zia’s dictatorship. Some feminist legislative proposals included all-female police stations and the first female judges. General Zia’s anti-feminist legislation continues.
After 2008, private media and social media boosted Pakistan’s feminist movement. As women became more vocal, the movement grew. Numerous cities have Aurat Marches. The marches call for more political involvement by women, gender and sexual minorities, religious minorities, and other oppressed groups in Pakistan. The campaign has requested safer public places for women and transgender people and an end to violence against them. Left-leaning political parties like PPP support liberal feminism. It values freedom, liberty, human rights, and secularism.

Nisaism advocates women’s rights through an Islamic prism. Pakistani centrists and right-wing parties support the initiative. Nisaism derives from Surah Nisa, a Qur’an chapter, showing its Islamic origins.
Since 2018, a younger generation of women and others have flooded Pakistan with feminism. The new, modern activism from the 1950s through the 1990s concentrated on opposing the state. The current fourth wave signifies a seismic change in the feminist landscape in Pakistan by confronting and deconstructing the family, community, and society’s private sphere. Non-binary, non-reproductive, and alternative sexual expressions became mainstream.
Pakistan’s current generation of feminists is diverse. It’s different from earlier waves of feminism since new activists are challenging patriarchy in private spaces. These feminists distribute their thoughts quickly on social media, but they must also interact with mainstream media. They must also engage with the state, where political power rests.