Written by: Fatima Khursheed
Many young women are baffled by the violent events taking place in Pakistan occurring every day and question exactly which elements are fully culpable. Has violence been long embedded since the institution of patriarchy society, and is that why the silent injustice of the system has legitimized these actions? Do the individuals who commit these atrocious acts fail to sympathize with the victims, or have their expectations of gender roles superseded them?
A deep frustration entangles the mind of a female citizen. Does my existence mean my weakness? Have I been born as a liability for my parents – since any act committed against me would never be enforced by law, regardless of the circumstances? How does the world preach fairness and religious ideology when hypocrisy dominates all such events? Moreover, is a female supposed to even argue for her rights, as it goes against religious teaching? Or is religion used as a mere instrument to establish control over women?
Current events have observed that no woman is safe, regardless of her class, be it an education-deprived female of rural belonging or an affluent daughter of a minister. Yes, it is absolutely true – that the one who is not aware of her human rights overlooks and complies with injustices as she is helpless – but how does the privileged have the same fate? How is it that despite the discrepancies in standing, multitudes of men hold the mindset that they are all powerful and can assume any action without consequence? The legal system must call for a tightening of justice and should hold the accused accountable without a flinch of doubt. Furthermore, the societal system requires a cleansing of mindsets.
The youth have contributed greatly to awakening this need, advocating for change time and time again. But the authority to influence change resides with the lawmakers. However, one cannot assign to them the full accountability for the current circumstances and crime; it’s the prevalent Islamic laws instituted by Islamic extremist leaders like Zia ul Haq, which have become a hindrance for women to even ask for justice.
We as a nation are big hypocrites, modeling things on international standards and yet fail to contrast and compare how thick the difference is between our narrow-minded citizens and those foreigners who still use rationality and logic to conclude their decisions.
“The country was ranked sixth most dangerous for women in a Thomson Reuters Foundation a survey of global experts last year.” – news.trust.org (2019)
Have we always been conditioned to believe that we are dependent on our male counterparts? That any action taken by these men should be acceptable just because society sets the norm? Even with the transitioning of many women into the workforce and having bigger pay scales than their partners, does it not make them question if they are really needed? Has their existence become moot if they are no longer the providers? And will they then perceive that they are being emasculated in some way? Yes, it sure does. Incidentally, men are intimidated by strong women. You can no longer buy into such conventions set in place since antiquated times.