By Sajjad Amin Bangash.
Over 50% of Pakistan’s population consists of women which makes the total demographic contours equal to men. It’s said that during the “time of ignorance”, woman was the prime victim of societal hatred and atrocities. Woman was faced with multiple condemnation and treated badly in domestic environments. She was deprived of rights of self determination, expression of opinion and were kept deprived of her basic rights of inherited shares in properties. There wasn’t any limit to the number of wives to get married with and her opinion or witnesses weren’t considered valuable in any field of life. The ugly reality was that, woman was buried just just after her birth.
However, today’s time is a modern time with heap of cultural, social, economical, political and demographic development and emancipation free from ignorance and darkness. Today’s time is full of light, freedom of speech and end to modern day slavery of all kinds. Now woman has the equal liberty to cast her vote, participate in the political process parallel to men, get education and pursue the career of her choice, interest and capabilities.
Woman has now been given an equal constitutional right of expressing her opinion, witness, criticism, plebiscite and she’s entitled to all religious and legal rights of inheritance. For women, the shades of ignorance age are still hovering over even in today’s time. Today’s enslavement has brought several edifices of its kind. Still now, the sanctity and rights of women are confiscated and tortured as well. Even now, the family expresses disappointment and doesn’t celebrate the happiness on girl’s birth and she’s considered to be a burden for entire life.
Our society believes that boy is a beacon of light for the entire family, however; we immediately forget to accept the obvious reality that without a girl, the continuity of human generations is absolutely impossible.
We intentionally forget to realize that the women who we are going to inflict and torture, are indeed our mother, sister, wife etc. in our domestic environments. The moment you realize it, you won’t raise your hands at women. In today’s time, woman is looked down upon especially in the villages and rural atmosphere and mindsets. Failure to provide adequate dowry, the parent of the girl decides her fate and weds her with elderly man or she’s sold out. Such are the ugly truths of modern times. Witnessing such horrific incidents of ignorance, our hearts start to cry but those who are suffering under such traumatic circumstances, we can’t extend any help to stop it.
Should we stay silent and keep watching the atrocities and tortures being faced by women?
Our government is said to be bringing radical improvements in the performance of several sectors, can’t our government look at the protection of women’s rights?
Isn’t it the government’s responsibility to provide equal opportunity and basic amenities of life to every citizen, be it to a man or woman?
Therefore, the dual importance and contributory social, economical and political role of a woman should be realized and her sanctity and respect should be taken care of.
Of all the laws promulgated in regards to women, seem to be less practical and not properly implemented in any sphere of life and the ground realities are very deteriorating and disturbing.
Therefore, every incumbent government needs to effectively take care of women’s rights and protection and the laws in the dual protection of women, need to be correctly implemented and executed effectively.
If we take a deeper look at the manifestos of every political party, there’s no apparent place is seen for the reproductive health and population, whilst every direction of development is filled with population issue. Hence, every coming government has to focus more on this peculiar issue of importance.
The mystery behind the success of development and progress of Islamic countries, is that an equal importance has been given to the women’s rights and protection. There should stringent laws to prevent and control the atrocities and torture on the women since; without this – we can’t stimulate the 50% population of Pakistan.
Underage marriages is another big issue confronted by our society which causes massive number of deaths in the recent times. Similarly, the laws on underage marriages have several loopholes as well; this also needs to be rectified. Those men who do second marriages and concentrate more on newly wed wives, this badly impacts their children and first wives. The husbands have to be enforced by law to care for the livelihood and upbringing of their children and first wives. There’s another grave issue which is crippling our society is that; although, the inherited rights of property share of women is recognised but hardly any woman is given her entitled share of her legally and religiously prescribed share and for this, strenuous efforts must be taken forth.
In the making of ‘New Pakistan’, the contributory role of women must be leveled equal to men. Women should be entitled and given equal rights, facilities, liberty parallel to men while the dual standards and attitudes towards women should be abolished.
We have a lot in the papers but nothing for implementation. Therefore, it’s our primary responsibility and obligation to raise a voice for the protection of women, her rights and the prevention of torture on the women. We’re ever ready at forefront protests against price hikes, load shedding, rigging etc. and immediately took to streets, however; parallel to this, should we raise our voice for the protection, rights and empowerment of women, then certainly our governments will be forced to take immediate steps and woman will be given fair justice for which she deserves.