P for Pakistan, P for Patriarchy?


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In this space-age time of scientific marvels & human achievements, many of which have been a product of a woman’s hard work. It is almost impossible to think that women are “any less of a man”  than men especially considering the fact that nearly 50% of women contribute to the work force globally and are bread earners, seated at top positions in different spheres of the professional world.

What about the rest 50%? Well that is why I am writing this article. The reason why I mentioned almost impossible is because unfortunately there still exists a typical, misogynistic mindset that promotes dominance over women.

Now before I start, I’m not a liberal, I’m not a kafir and I definitely do not support the Westernisation of our beloved Islamic republic of Pakistan because apparently to some people, if you support the women movement in Pakistan, you are automatically all of the things mentioned above. In that case, maybe l am all those things. I am a man of a society; sadly most of which regard women as possessions. Truth be told, I am a humanitarian who knows what belongs where, and a girl certainly does not belong in the kitchen. She belongs in the school with the rest of us boys. She deserves no less of an opportunity than us boys to earn and support her lifestyle. But sadly the flawed concept of “ghairat” and misogyny is so deeply rooted in the society that those who stand against it are either made memes of or are labelled names.

If I had a penny for every time I saw a guy checking out a girl with lustful eyes because apparently, if she is into fashion, she must be looking to fool around. I’d build a school and educate these guys so that their children don’t carry this toxic mindset from them.

I’ve come to realize that being a girl in Pakistan is not easy. But being a guy? Piece of cake. Given the benefit of doubt, we can do anything we want, we get to live our lives to the max with no curfews, no boundaries. So where does the concept of equality stand? We all say we support equality but when it comes to practicing it, we sweep it under the mat until required next time to prove our broadness.

Now just because women happen to concern themselves with the household (because hey someone has to) it does not mean it is their obligation to cook food and take care of kitchen. We have conditioned our women to think they’re lower than us. Our society has conditioned women to cook food and support kitchen. Anything beyond that is not what “ghairat mand” women do. Why are women restricted from education? I know that times are changing and the women literacy rate is gradually increasing, but still in many parts of the country, education is a word unheard by girls. And those who enforce this sexist practice ironically end up visiting a female gynecologists’ when their wives are in labor. And so continues the circle of stupidity.

Girls in our society are immensely pressurized to be submissive and be decent as if there is a set standard fixed for those two terms. Mind you, oppression and decency are two very different things. This mindset has plagued our society to the point a girl does not feel safe amidst a crowd anymore, she can’t think beyond marriage. Imagine how different the society would have been if we had told our boys to respect girls instead of asking our girls not to stay away from home for too long. Or if we had told our girls to study for knowledge and not for good rishtas.

A Hope?

It is about time we realize the worth of our women. The success of any nation depends upon its women ultimately. An educated mother will raise decent, educated children and the circle will continue. It is time we stop thinking of women as sacred artefacts that have to be handed over to someone else as soon they turn 23. Rather refer to them as a beacon of light that will not only brighten up your house but also the house of the family she will call her home in the future and ultimately brighten up this beautiful country, we call home.

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Habib Rajput

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