He banned women from participating and from being spectators of sports and promoted purdah.
He suspended all fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution that had been adopted in 1973, including the right to be free of discrimination on the basis of sex.
Even rape victims have not been allowed to use DNA evidence to prove their cases, Even with these improvements, rampant domestic abuse and a high rate of child marriages and forced marriages still remain.
Pakistan has a dual system of civil and sharia law.
Women were sometimes organised into large-scale public demonstrations.
Before 1947 there was a tendency for the Muslim women in Punjab to vote for the Muslim League while their menfolk supported the Unionist Party.
In 1985, the National Assembly elected through nonparty elections doubled women's reserved quota (20 percent).
However, Zia-ul-Haq initiated a process of Islamization by introducing discriminatory legislation against women such as the set of Hudood Ordinances and the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order (Law of Evidence Order).
General Zia ul-Haq, then Army Chief of Staff, overthrew the democratically elected Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government in a military coup on 5 July 1977.
The Sixth Plan during the martial law régime of General Zia-ul-Haq (1977–1986) was full of policy contradictions.