Abysmal at­ti­tude to­wards women

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - — The writer is free­lance colum­nist based in Islamabad. Taj Nabi Khan Email: tnkhan672@gmail.com

IN the last few years, the rise in tragic episodes of women killing – burn­ing, hang­ing, ston­ing, and bury­ing to death, has not only stunned the civ­i­lized world but also grieved the sen­si­ble souls of the coun­try. From top to bot­tom, re­spect for women, seems to have lost its scope.

In­stead of re­solv­ing the gen­uine is­sues which come un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the re­spec­tive in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions, they started haunt­ing women - the al­ready ig­nored seg­ment of the so­ci­ety. Firstly, the at­ti­tude of the Coun­cil of Is­lamic Ide­ol­ogy (CII) could be held re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing women more vul­ner­a­ble in the al­ready un­fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­ment of male­dom­i­nated so­ci­ety, which gives but very lit­tle so­cial space to them.

Sec­ondly, the re­cent episode of a PML-N Fed­eral Min­is­ter who made deroga­tory re­marks while speak­ing on the floor of the House about a woman Par­lia­men­tar­ian. Thirdly, the JUI-F Sen­a­tor’s abu­sive re­marks, who was speak­ing in a live talk show on a pri­vate TV chan­nel about a fe­male an­a­lyst and hu­man rights ac­tivist who was speak­ing about the rise in cases of hon­our killing in Pak­istan.

The un­just treat­ment of women folk has made them a laugh­ing stuff both on me­dia and in Par­lia­ment. If this is the at­ti­tude of elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Con­sti­tu­tional bod­ies to­wards women, any­body can imag­ine about the treat­ment of the ma­jor­ity un­e­d­u­cated and il­lit­er­ate men in Pak­istani so­ci­ety? The cases of un­just treat­ment to­wards Pak­istani women have in­creased more than ever be­fore. Whether it is re­lated to forced mar­riages, mar­riages of mi­nors (un­der­age girls), beat­ing of wives, acid throw­ing at­tacks, phys­i­cal and men­tal tor­ture of do­mes­tic women, un­just treat­ment in prop­erty distri­bu­tion, de­priv­ing them of ed­u­ca­tion or giv­ing them no per­mis­sion for jobs – the folk is be­ing treated more as sub-hu­man and their bod­ies as men’s col­o­nized ter­ri­to­ries. Each com­ing gen­er­a­tion in­stead of fol­low­ing ad­vice and ver­bal say­ings, is act­ing upon the ex­am­ples left by their fore­fa­thers. And our so­ci­ety has demon­strated less tol­er­ance and more vi­o­lence to­wards women. How can the so­ci­ety suc­ceed when half of its pop­u­la­tion is held back, cap­ti­vated, dis­crim­i­nated and ig­nored in get­ting ac­cess even to ba­sic hu­man rights? Dur­ing quar­rels on petty mat­ters, it is very of­ten wit­nessed that most of men call­ing names and abus­ing women. It is the level of re­spect given to women in our so­ci­ety.

First an un­wel­com­ing at­ti­tude is shown to­wards the new guest of baby girls who are con­sid­ered more a stigma and a so­cial taboo. And later, mothers are held re­spon­si­ble for their births. This is the level of ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness among the ma­jor­ity of com­mon peo­ple.

Women usu­ally be­come vic­tims of the vic­tims – the el­derly women do vic­tim­ize the younger ones in dif­fer­ent ways. They are also vic­tim­ized in the light of col­lec­tive de­ci­sion of the male mem­bers. Their for­tune and des­tiny lies in the hands of men. They are forced to do what they are told. They are raped, sold, en­slaved, threat­ened, and di­vorced. Why only women are be­ing tar­geted, pun­ished, and vic­tim­ized for elope­ment – their only crime is to live their life as per their choice.

Khan Ab­dul Ghaf­far Khan once said, ‘If you want to know how civ­i­lized a cul­ture is, look at how they treat its women’. Pri­mar­ily, all hu­man be­ings are born with dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ment, likes, dis­likes and choices in life. But one of the great­est hu­man qual­i­ties is to show re­spect, tol­er­ance and com­pas­sion to­wards other gen­ders for en­sur­ing peace­ful co-ex­is­tence and pros­per­ous fam­ily life. Thus, re­la­tion­ships should be based on in­tegrity and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. What makes us hu­man is ac­tu­ally the sense of re­spect for other fel­low hu­man be­ings, es­pe­cially to­wards women. Very of­ten it is for­got­ten that the hu­man race share more com­mon­al­i­ties than dif­fer­ences.

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