More woman power

Southasia - - CONTENTS -

I am no fan of the PTI or the PAT and did not support their decision to take thou­sands of fol­low­ers to Is­lam­abad where they have camped for sev­eral weeks. But I am im­pressed with the re­silience shown by the fe­male sup­port­ers of the PAT who toiled ev­ery imag­in­able dif­fi­culty – liv­ing on the roads, in­clement weather con­di­tions, lack of var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties, etc – but re­mained stead­fast. In fact, they tried their best to ad­just to their new sit­u­a­tion by cook­ing and clean­ing in the open. I find th­ese acts par­tic­u­larly dar­ing be­cause in our so­ci­ety, the

chard­e­wari is con­sid­ered the most and per­haps the only, suit­able place for a woman. She is not sup­posed to go out un­less it is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary and the mere con­cept of a woman ‘from a re­spectable fam­ily’ liv­ing on the street is ab­hor­rent to the majority. And yet, the protest­ing women proved that they could chal­lenge such no­tions.

At the same time, it was dis­gust­ing to see the com­ments of some po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­ers who ei­ther made fun of the fe­male pro­test­ers or crit­i­cized them for spread­ing vul­gar­ity. There is a fa­mous say­ing that beauty lies in the eyes of the be­holder. I’d like to make a lit­tle amend­ment to it to make it rel­e­vant for Pak­istan: vul­gar­ity lies in the eyes of the be­holder. I sug­gest the lead­ers who made such de­grad­ing com­ments should try to open up their minds and see women as more than just dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects.

Sabreena Imam

Karachi, Pak­istan

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