Women’s Rights and 21st Century:

Women’s Rights and 21st Century:
Making women subservient, ignites hatred in a society.
Special feature on women’s day:

By Sajjad Amin Bangash


I am very thankful to my friends who participated in this dialogue based discussion based on Women’s rights and common issues associated with women during her career span.

The participants are:

  1.  Sajjad Khan Bangash, Islamabad, Pakistan. (Myself)
  2. Dr Mairead Tagg, Registered Clinical Psychologist(Lives in Coatbridge, Scotland)
    Studied Psychology at University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  3. Jeanette Saxby,(Lives in Oxford, New Zealand)
    Studied Drugs and Alcohol Counseling at Welltech Institute of Technologies.
    Past: Canterbury University, New Zealand.
  4. Béatrice Balti, (Lives in Toulouse, France)
    Studied at Kingston University, Studied: Hérésie médiévale, École de hautes études- La Sorbonne, France.
  5. Loretta H. Murphy (Lives in Ashland, Pennsylvania, USA).
  6. Studied Clinical Nursing Specialist Community health Nursing at Bloomberg University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  7. Avril Douglas, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

It is said that if you ever have to measure and assess the socio-economical, cultural, civil and economic development of a society or a country, then you have to look deeply at the ‘equality, role and empowerment of a woman in that particular society or a country.

What obvious and prominent role a woman has?
How the women is being treated and what are the men’s perspective and attitude towards women?
Are the women being given equal economic, social, educational and political rights for which she deserves?


Women compose an equal contour of any society and without women, no society can grow and prosper. Women are mothers, sisters, wives and come in many relation to the men they exist in any society. God created men and women equal in all respect and it’s the human behaviors and attitudes towards women who kept the women either ignored or given less privileged and equal rights to demonstrate, participate and contribute in the development, prosperity and progress of any society and country. Woman is one of the best creatures of the universe. She has been equally endowed with in terms of intellect, prudence and rights as man has been.

Palestinian Woman being arrested by Israeli forces

Although, this notion is being widely advocated that the women is a mother, sister, daughter, wife and we often acclaim high of her dual presence in our societies but when it comes giving her own basic rights and when the women demand her equal humanitarian rights then all of these sacred relations convert immediately into ‘hatred’ and all the advocacy in favor of women, seem fade away and just become the ‘part of text books.’

The world has been transferred into ‘modern age’ full of technological advancements and brought heap of comforts to the human beings with tremendous technological as well as economical advancements and progress as compared to previous centuries, however; if we take a deeper look at the ‘women’s rights’ and the equality aspects the women had been given by our societies, then we come up with a very sad and disappointing statistical results. Even today, all our attitudes and behaviors towards women are still the same as they were back in ‘dark ages, stone ages’ full of ignorance and hateful towards women.

Every year, on 8th March, we advertisingly celebrate the ‘Women’s day’ both officially and semi-officially where we deliver ‘long written speeches’ full of acclaimed announcements of women’s rights and equal importance and etc. but the very moment, when we return home, we eagerly forget the obvious discourse as if we have seen a film scene or short documentary – ardently washes away from our memories of what we have just said till the next 8th March. This is in fact, a sheer conflict between ‘our utterance and spoken words with that of our practical behaviors and collective societal temperament towards women.


Dr Mairead Tagg, Registered Clinical Psychologist(Lives in Coatbridge, Scotland)
Studied Psychology at University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Dr. Mairead Tagg, Scotland

The challenges faced by women today are the same as they have been for millennia. We are still beset by patriarchal values and male hegemony such that women are still subordinate to men in most societies. It is of course much worse for women where subservience to men is enshrined culturally or religiously, where whole communities and institutions are complicit in the violence committed against women.

Women are increasingly challenging the old norms and mores that keep women from promoted posts and leadership roles, however; in spite of the success of a few, many women work long hours for little payment and are then expected to return home to care for their family – they are emotionally physically and spiritually exhausted. Women are still seen are the primary carers for children and a lack of affordable childcare stops many women from advancing themselves. There is no doubt that women’s human rights are all too often ignored and this results in oppressive treatment and practices -FGM being a significant example.

Many men have adopted a more egalitarian approach to women which is a blessing, and there are increasing numbers of men who speak out against rape, sexual assault and domestic violence, however; too many men, particularly men who have little access to education retain entirely unhelpful and repressive beliefs about the place of women in society. We should not forget that domestic abuse is the leading cause of death and serious injury experienced by women worldwide. It is endemic in every society and this must change.

Women’s rights have never been fully enacted, for example at a time when a rapist was terrorising Glasgow streets, women were told to take precautions and if possible to stay at home. It could equally be argued that since the rapist was a male, why were men not given a curfew and told to stay at home to protect women?
Again women’s freedom and women’s behaviour was expected to change to cope with the violences of male perpetrators.

Women certainly face gender discrimination for example it is usually women who are expected to take time off work if their child is sick, not her male partner. Women face a glass ceiling in terms of promotion and often face significant levels of sexual harassment at work. In the UK parliament I gender discrimination is evident with the overwhelming majority of MPs being male. I’m happy to say in Scotland the SNP under our First Lady Nicola Sturgeon is actively addressing this gender discrimination and there is an active drive to recruit women in important political roles.

In my view women can and should apply for any career that she wishes to pursue. There are very few jobs that require a male worker, most jobs can be carried out successfully by either gender.

Women in Western societies are as exploited and harmed by patriarchy as our sisters elsewhere in the world. Younger and younger girls are exposed to premature sexualisation in terms of their clothes, behaviours and experience and this is just as damaging to their dignity and well-being as being heavily repressed and controlled by male relatives. To be honest, when I hear the furore about women wearing the hijjab, I look at thirteen years old in the UK dressed in sexually provocative clothing with fake tans and a kilo of make-up and I ask myself “What is more damaging to young women?” I’m afraid for me premature sexualisation is far more damaging to girls than wearing a hijjab.

Women who live with repression, abuse and harm due to patriarchy are living in a kind of hell. There is no doubt that emotional and psychological abuse is more damaging to women than any other kind of violence and being constantly on the receiving end of the message that we are fundamentally worth less than a man is unhelpful and damaging, where women are blamed for being raped where domestic violence is tolerated in communities, where sexual harassment and gender discrimination at work reinforces this assertion women suffer.

Education of women is a human right. It is also important to educate men and boys about the importance of treating all women as equals and ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect and given equal opportunities with men.

Political engagement for women is essential in order to affect decisions and to ensure that women’s agendas are given proper consideration.

For more than 20 years, I have worked to address violence against women both in terms of working with survivors of domestic abuse and more recently in terms of women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Evidence that I have given in Scottish criminal court has been cited in a change to Scots Law on diminished responsibility, such that a woman who kills an abusive partner will not be convicted of murder but of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, thereby recognising the impact of the abuse on her ability to function at the time of the killing.

I regularly deliver training to a wide range of professionals on the topic of violence against women and I have contributed two chapters to a book on Scots Law and domestic violence. My whole life is dedicated to ending violence against women. It’s my passion. Women are certainly more aware of their rights now in Scotland and are reporting violence and abuse to the police in increasing numbers because they now expect protection in law. This is not the case in other parts of the world and a huge amount of work remains to be done.
My advice to women is to speak out, to remain strong and to stand with other women and those men who support us to send a message to the world that are here and we’re not going away! The days of oppression and silence are drawing to a close and we demand better.

Violence and gender inequality is not a women’s issue. It’s EVERYONE”S issue. Societies that enshrine gender equality are happier, less violent and more economically productive than those that allow women to be harmed, marginalized and silenced. It’s obvious that working together is better than hurting each other. A more proactive approach in terms of women’s rights at national and international levels would also be extremely helpful as would be a Zero tolerance approach to violence towards women and girls worldwide.

Jeanette Saxby’s Oxford, New Zealand.

Studied Drugs and Alcohol Counseling at Welltech Institute of Technologies.
Past: Canterbury University, New Zealand.

Jeanett Saxby, New Zealand

I think the first answer to the many questions is ‘What major role does education play in the awareness and empowerment of women in modern times’.
Education is one of the key determinants of a girls future. The difference of an education is the difference between reading and being illiterate. No written skills mean less representation for the individual through less participation .
Reading and further education is the first rung up the ladder. The key to success in education is the role the parents or guardians play.
Respect for knowledge and education at home means less conflict for the student. The more support the greater the success. The more belief in the daughter the higher the achievement . Nothing occurs in isolation.

To the original question what major challenges do I face ?
Well! there is now the global phenomenon of people in precarious employment situations. The job market is shrinking and more people with a university education face accepting service jobs with far lower pay rates. I think the education employment market is shrinking as more education goes online. Global internet business is the way many goods will be sold and shop workers will shrink in number.

When a women pursues a career path -she must also balance the time she wants to give to her career and the time she spends in her relationship with partner and children. Careers tend to come to screaming halts when children arrive. Either work places must adapt to accommodate mothers with children or force women out of the work force. When a man becomes a father he can still go to work the next day and perform his job.

When a women becomes a mother she is seldom able to pop into work the next day , week or even month. So unless a work place can negotiate a proper appreciation of a new born and end the enormous pressure, new mothers face when returning to work. The alternative to returning to work is a life at home of unpaid work and undetermined hours. Generally, all day seven days a week is the role of a new mother. Perhaps globally recognition of what each and every mother gives for free to her child in terms of unpaid work.
To the aspiring women pursuing a career path: Do what you love as in life you situation is likely to change. Most change is beyond your control so again do what you love but be flexible and always have a plan B if not A plan C and D.
I think that women deserve more humanitarian rights and be given gender equality as we are entitled to. Well , yes and no. Men need to not see women as less and men need to learn that women make good and fair leaders and are more just when going to battle. Women would be willing to spend any amount of time to resolve conflict .

Béatrice Balti, (Lives in Toulouse, France)
Studied at Kingston University, Studied: Hérésie médiévale, École de hautes études- La Sorbonne, France.

Beatrice Balti, France

Hi, Sajjad… I haven’t got much time but here are my thoughts.

I am living in the Western world, a place where it is easier for a woman to live in so I haven’t got many problems. I can dress the way I like, walk on my own and go anywhere. But, of course, I tell my family where I go so that they don’t worry.

In private companies, the wages are often less high for a woman and some of them fight to have equal wages. The reason is that a woman will stop her job to have a baby, about 6 months and often much more,, then she may stop when her children are ill etc. But more and more, the wages tend to be more or less the same.
About education : I believe in the power of education for the women. They will discover very quickly that they succeed as well as their male mates, and they will have a better self-esteem. Education is very important for boys too : they will see intelligent girls, and they will respect them more.

Loretta H. Murphy (Lives in Ashland, Pennsylvania, USA).

Studied Clinical Nursing Specialist Community health Nursing at Bloomberg University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Loretta A. Murphy, USA

Yes! More civilly and personally disobedient than ever before across the globe in even countries where there continues to be a clear male female division of equality.

The Battle for Equality between the sexes didn’t end the war. But things will never go backwards.

There continues to be a wide economic crack between how men’s and women’s salaries are computed and delivered in the real world even when it is hidden behind policies that insist they are non-discriminatory.

The world’s eyes see many atrocities and wrong doings but they do not necessarily turn away nor do they always choose to do something about it.

Women’s rights globally continue to lag but they will catch up over time.  Women around the world refuse to continue to be second class. It will take more time but eventually we will reach a state of true equality.

Avril Douglas, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Avril Douglas, Scotland

Being a woman, the major challenges I face is that it largely depends on what I am doing and where and with whom. I tend to do lots of things on my own and don’t feel a threat from being a woman.

In my opinion, we often make challenges for ourselves. Anything is achievable in times when our society is progressively moving forward. Women have always been the backbone of the working race.

In Dundee where I live, the factory Mills were full of women, only a few men in charge but it was women who did the work and if you look around the world there are many women doing men’s jobs even laying roads, as a friend of mine seen recently on his travels, he was astounded when he noticed that it was women doing it and just as good a job if not better.

I do thing that women as a race are superior as if it wasn’t for women there would be no population at all to carry forward a new generation. Men do tend to have some top jobs and they make it clear they are in charge, however; behind every great man there is a greater woman. In businesses, now there are many women running companies and having their won business. I think women have more compassion and empathy than a man.

Men are afraid of  a powerful woman, a woman who has her own business, house, family, women have to work much harder to prove there place in the workforce at the top, as it is them who normally also run the house and take care of family matters. The man leaves it to the women to take care of it and still expects her to do all the other jobs.

This [trend] is changing with the younger generation as women are demanding equal rights for the man to take his share in the house as  well as the workplace and children.

Being positive, having a goal and being focused sets us apart from some men as well as women. Women admire other women who can have a top job or business; having determination to go out there and get what it is you want.

Women take top jobs for less money as they want to do it and it should not be like this. With changing women in government things will change slowly and equal rights for all young old men women as it should be .If the same job is getting done who should there be a pay difference. I take my hat off to people who are actively doing something for the good of all and not just for themselves.

The more women who are going out there and doing it for themselves and getting involved with other women in business , coming together and learning from each other is a good things.

Never give up on what you want in life the dream is there, find that goal and make it happen I say. I have been self employed all my life, employing men and women all being paid the same for the same job .You pay for a skill that someone can do be it a man or women if the job is getting done then the pay should be the same.

Perhaps asking your mother what her views are on it comparing how it was when she was younger and the difference now. Every culture is different as some culture don’t let women work while in others men who don’t work and the women do everything. Britain is ruled by a woman, the Queen she does a brilliant job has to put up with some idiots of Prime ministers now and in the past and has out lived lots of them.

Margaret Thatcher was another strong women politician and hated. Lots of women have help a great deal of power in the past in history all being feared be men. The women are the superior race in my opinion.

Women's rights



  1. Susan Geraghty, University of Rhode Island.
    From Bronx, New York, USA.

    “I am so happy you did this Sajjad..I seems that there are so many places where women should have the same rights as men and the don’t congragulaions on this outstanding piece of work.”

    Liked by 1 person

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