What is wrong with Aurat Azadi March?
Women demanding rights is not a new phenomenon. Several protests and numerous march have been held during the last 100 years in the whole world. Women remained successful in acquiring vote rights and equal wages, their slogans and demands were justified.
While women always remained as a minority but they also faced discrimination and injustice because they were from the middle class or lower middle class, or because they were women of color.
It’s the incident of last year when women in Pakistan came out to protest for their rights. However, it got a more negative response than the positive one. Where there are always negative responses in history too, but this is not what the problem was.
The problem was many women or at least those who were in Limelight holding those play cards that have nothing to do with rights. Maybe their context would be something positive but it only received backlash and this is the reason, many people have concerns regarding Aurat Azadi March/ women protest of this year.
I believe somethings have to do with morals and dignity and there is nothing wrong if we sit proper or our parents teach us to sit in some dignified way. There is nothing wrong if we cook food for our family. I mean it can be a matter of choice. When women raise the slogan of equal rights, they could rather narrate it that we want men equal share in household chores too.
But is Pakistan already on the verge where the only problem or discrimination is left in the term of sharing equal household chores or because someone does not allow us to sit as we like?
I dare to say that this is not the true representative of women that they are facing in Pakistani society. If you belong to a privileged part of society, it does not mean that every woman in Pakistan enjoying an equal state.
Issues that Pakistani Women are facing in general that needs to be addressed:
It is true that many women like me are enjoying the rights of education and respect by the men of our families however there are many women who do not know anything about it.
- There is a countless number of women whose husbands beat them mercilessly but they are forced to stay with them willingly or unwillingly or because they know they do not have any other choice.
- There are girls who are unable to get any education because men of their families think education spoil the mind and girl become immoral after getting it.
- There are people who disrespect and humiliate a woman because she is unable to produce a child.
- There are people who humiliate a woman because she is unable to bore a male child and unable to give an heir to the family.
- There are women who are unable to get any share in property because they get threats to disown from the family. They do not get any share in the first place or if they get it, family break ties with them.
- There are women who are unable to marry because their parents cannot afford to give them dowry and without dowry, our society does not accept them. https://dribblingthoughts.com/the-curse-of-dowry/
- There are women who are judged on their physical appearance and are rejected because of their brown skin, weight or height.
- There are women who are harassed by their fellow men at the workplace or at education institutions in a way that they cannot even complain.
These are the main issues and problems of Pakistani women. I have no problem with protests but in my opinion, these kinds of protests cannot do any good and cannot solve the issue of Pakistani women.
I remember a book that I read Working with Sharks by Fouzia Saeed who shared her long journey of harassment at the workplace and finally after lots of struggle and effort succeeded in passing a bill. With the help of that bill, women could file a report and there would be strict punishment against men who do this heinous crime.
Aurat Azadi March should Highlight issues that common Pakistani women is afraid to speak:
- Firstly, many girls even they are getting the education they do not dare to complain to even guards of university because they know all blame will be on them. There will be questions regarding their dressing, regarding what they were doing at that time. In the end that they should not proceed and focus on their study and leave. As boys are capable of throwing acid or they can kidnap them, the consequences will be horrifying. So its better to avoid these things.
- Secondly, if they are doing the job and facing sexist jokes, sexual advances or even advances in terms of friendship that they do not like. They will counter with these answers that if you do not want to do it why you do not sit at home. Discrimination starts against that woman who denies any sort of unnecessary mingling and who wants to focus on her job.
- Thirdly, women do not complain against the husband who beat her because she has no place to go else wise. Especially if she is having children, for the future of her children, she is unable to leave her husband. Divorce is a stigma, a black stigma that considers humiliation in our society. After divorce, society sees these women as good opportunity who is available to fulfill their wishes. Secondly, all blame is on women that she was incapable of taking care of her house or husband.
The problem is the thinking and attitude towards women that need to change. This is not even about Pakistan, every woman in the world is just seen as a sexual object. Some people say that it is because women are going naked, I would say then it means men morality, his character is bound to women. So who is more strong and powerful then.
I guess more than the training and teaching to women, there is dire need to train and teach a male child.
Things that Men should be taught since Childhood:
- A man should be taught since childhood how to treat a woman and how to behave in a women company.
- How to share the responsibilities of the household too and there is no shame in it.
- How to treat a woman on street, or in education institutions.
- A “No” means no and and a no cannot hurt his manly Ego.
- A woman is respectable even if she is in veil or even she is naked.
- His morality and etiquette are not bound with women dressing.
- He has to play his own role and part and his existence is not to keep an eye on the woman.
- If he thinks he is superior he has to take care of the women whether she is in the house or on the street.
- Beating or abusing a woman do not show his superiority.
Both men and women should distinguish between decency and between injustice:
The women should protest in Aurat Azadi March but they should take it seriously and bring forth those points and issues that are really a problem. Secondly, why we do not start without homes. Why we do not start by teaching our sons. I have seen numerous times that a male child is treated like a king right after he is born.
If he beats his sisters, there are more who keep their mouth shut. If his mother dares to speak, her husband or even sometimes it’s the grandparents who say there is nothing wrong with it and sometimes its the mother herself who keeps a difference between a male and female children.
The mindset should change what we can do, boys are like that. No, they are not, it is more the training, the mindset and the surrounding that allows them to think that whatever they like they can do. Whatever they do, there will be support.
Girls start learning manners, etiquette since childhood. Girls are advised to mind their own business when going out. However, boys are not taught like lower your gaze or respect women. Where girls learn the lesson that what will people say or that if you will do this you will lose your dignity. Why no one teaches men that they also have dignity and respect, that is not bound to women and that can also lose if you will do these certain things.
Where there is a dire need that men learn many things and his parents focus on his behavior too. It is equally important for these protestant women to learn that there is a battle that they have to fight and it is more difficult than these funny slogans.
It is a dire need that these women should also take seriously the issues that women of Pakistan, in general, are facing. Protest focus should on general issues that every woman of Pakistan faces. Who do not have problem with cooking or sitting in proper manner, but who wants to breath, get education without sexual offers or sexist jokes, wants to see as respectable member of society and not as a machine or robot.https://dribblingthoughts.com/invite-khalil-ur-rehman/
Moreover, there is no need to spread hate against men or women. Everyone should fight for their rights without degrading each other. For me, society and even household can be better only if both men and women start taking each other as partners and not some competitions.