What women should fight for? | All Round View

What women should fight for?

Hadi Paracha, Writer, Social & Political Analyst (All Round View File Photo)

The electronic and social media is flooded with the arguments related to recent women movements. It is not bad to raise voices for the equality between women and men but what is pertinent is, not to deteriorate the social fabric. Everyone whether it is men, women, or children, has been indulged into the arguments without having a sound knowledge of the rights of both men and women.

It is irony that, this time, Pakistani society has been cleaved into two groups. The one is supporting men, and the other is women.  People in homes, offices and streets are talking about it and throw controversial opinions and mould the topic wherever they want to. Taking the contemporary situation into account, would the prevailing issues be resolved?  NO! It would probably tear the societal fabric because of lack of knowledge about what people are actually demanding.

It was a western slogan (My Body, My Choice) which was purely demanding some medical and sexual rights of the women but it has wrongly been translated in ‘Mera jisam meri marzi’ in Pakistan which has unfortunately gained a momentum in an appalling way. The radicals have badly exaggerated its translation.

Instead of fighting for the unnecessary rights, what actually women need in this society is: security, employment opportunities, respect, education, and practical implementation of already existing laws which can secure them from harassment, acid attacks, torture and domestic violence, to name a few. They should fight against these brutalities to get the oppressed women out of this menace first.

A recent report by an NGO, Sahil, states that one women/child-girl experience sexual attack every 7 days. By exploring further, it says that, there are 729 and 575 boys who have suffered sexual abuse of some kind between January-June 2019. The numbers are highly discouraging. No one will halt them if they come out to march for these prevailing issues rather than walking on with awkward writings on the placards. Thoughts are hovering over my mind that where are they (the marchers) when Zainab and Farishta were raped and murdered? and where are they when girls are attacked with acid?

Astonishingly, they are seen openly marching and chanting for their superficial rights. What kind of independence they want? Is ‘mera jisam meri marzi’ the only issue left in the society to deal with?

It is apposite to mention that the women organizations were emerged in 1960s in Pakistan to bolster the oppressed women through education, and some political rights against the uncountable cases of acid attacks, domestic violence, dowry issues, honor killing, lack of education and employment opportunities and abductions.

There is no need to write biased axioms on the placards. It ignites counter attacks with higher intensity which mere drags the situation to verbal fights and the solution of it only postpone. The recent talk shows have proven it.

No doubt, women have the right to be an equal partner of men in every sphere of life. Take an example, in domestic life, if there is a biased relationship between men and women, the life becomes harder to live in and the result of it concludes in divorce. A study shows that the divorce rate in Pakistan was previously 15% and as the ill luck would have it, it increased to around 25%. Both man and woman should understand one another to make a prosper life for them and as well as for their children.

Without bogging down into the quagmire of hot arguments, I want to drag the attention of those, who are opposing such rights by quoting only two examples. The one is: Hazrat Khadija (RA) prior to her marriage with the last Prophet (PBUH) was a solo owner of her business. She even paid business visits by her own. Had the Prophet (PBUH) admonished her to be at home and quit the business? In fact, Islam allows women to be independent in their lives but not to forget some limitations. On the other hand, the sacred constitution of Pakistan also promises equality and no discrimination on the basis of sex. (Article 25A). Being Pakistani citizens, all should have to accept what has been included in the statute book.

To resolve these hindrances, a committee ought to be constituted wherein experienced members of human rights commission, women organizations, social workers and the representatives of the government should collectively work on the logical demands to raze violence against women. Marching and chanting slogan will not work. Serious issues need civilized way to resolve them.

In addition to it, the national assembly has taken a positive step of passing the bill of publically hanging the child molesters. Some political leaders stood against it and argued that the implementation of this bill will not limit bestial acts of the rapists. But it is worth adding here that, the punishments in the society strongly work to deter those who are addicted to molest children. It does not mean that, these barbaric acts would wither away from the society immediately but it will take time.

It is widely accepted that, there are more girls who suffered violence vis-à-vis boys. If these marchers start supporting this bill and the actual rights of the women, degree of gender discrimination and violence would probably go downwards sooner or later.

Hadi Paracha

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