Re­store women’s sta­tus

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - FAKEHA FAIZ

It is rightly said that the po­si­tion of women in a so­ci­ety is the in­dex of its civ­i­liza­tion. A so­ci­ety that mal­treats its women, dis­re­spects them and con­sid­ers them as un­equal mem­bers, is cer­tainly liv­ing in a cesspool of back­ward­ness and im­moral­ity. The same can be said about Pak­istan, keep­ing in view the abysmal state many women live in here. The re­cent im­mo­la­tion of a 19-year old girl in Mur­ree by a group of rogue men, sym­bol­ises the way male chau­vin­ism vic­tim­izes women.

Such men whose minds are in­flated with false sense of su­pe­ri­or­ity and dom­i­nance, try to treat women as chat­tels and dic­tate their terms on the hap­less souls. They rob a woman off her very ba­sic rights, and si­lence her voice if she ever stands for her free­dom and rights. The per­pet­u­a­tion of this chau­vin­is­tic men­tal­ity in many men stems from the sup­port of re­li­gious clergy. If not all, many re­li­gious hard­lin­ers jus­tify un­equal treat­ment with women. Twist­ing the in­junc­tions of the Holy Book for their own vested in­ter­ests, they es­pouse in­jus­tice with women. Be­sides, the lax­ity in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem al­lows un­scathed es­cape of many crim­i­nals. Hav­ing no fear of law or pun­ish­ment, they com­mit heinous crimes against women with im­punity.

The bru­tal killing of the in­no­cent girl in Mur­ree is rep­re­hen­si­ble, to say the least. The crim­i­nals de­serve pun­ish­ment be­fit­ting their crime. As a so­ci­ety, we need to break free from the mind­set which al­lows degra­da­tion of women into se­cond class cit­i­zens. We need re­for­ma­tion, aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion in so­ci­ety about women rights. Laws need strin­gent im­ple­men­ta­tion so that no crim­i­nal es­capes scot-free. And, so­ci­ety needs to stop stigma­ti­za­tion of a woman af­ter a crime has been com­mit­ted against her. For us to be cat­e­go­rized as a civ­i­lized so­ci­ety, an over­haul of the sys­tem and change in the so­ci­etal mind­set about women, are sine qua none. —Via email

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