Approach of Pakistani society toward status of woman
June 27, 2011 11 Comments
Pakistani society has variety of cultures and same diversity is found in norms, laws, ethics and social impressions about status of women in all over multiple cultures of Pakistan .Commonly in rural areas woman status as a mother is considered most respectable place in families but this level of respect varies depending upon the social and financial status of family.In urban areas strong woman regarding money, education level and link with influential men can naturally raise her status in social circles.Here tag of masculine identity plays an important role to save her from unexpected attacks of evil like character living in angel ‘s robe.
Being follower of Islamic ideology, Pakistanis are more influenced with their inherent cultural norms like following, patterns of joint and extended family system waiting for men’ approval for final decisions, avoiding giving inheritance to females, different code of conduct and values for men and woman etc., than decrees of Islamic laws.Here extended family system is linked to typical social etiquette and don’t present the picture of Islamic society .Pakistan majority has suppressive way of living under poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, drug dependence and psychological problems, and that traditional pressures and gender discrimination play a major role in producing psychological, physical and sexual violence.
Like other over populated and underdeveloped areas the South Asian region has high tendency of crime against weak genders . In Pakistan, women are not only subjected to financial discrimination, but they are also victims of inhuman customs and laws such as Karo Kari, Hadood ordinance, Qasas and marriage to the Quran and half witnesses according to the state law.
In the rural areas, lower class living women are like slaves to their men or influential men of their areas. They have to obey their fathers, brothers and husbands. Being considered as foolish creatures according to the dominant social and cultural norms men highly involve women in decision-making and tried best to impose their wills to design life styles . Likewise marriage is also a sort of trade between different families both in the rural areas. They are highly vulnerable to violation of their rights to life.
In the Punjab brothers, fathers and husbands subject 82% of women to domestic violence. The incidence of wife-beating is so common that no one consider it as a pernicious form of violence against women. Even in the cases where women receive serious injuries and want to file complaints, they are advised by the police /lawyers/relatives to reconcile with their husbands, as any matrimonial dispute would bring dishonor to them.
This violence against women begins in their childhood. Maximum social pressures are inserted on girl child that reduces her speedy mental and physical development. Another practice common in Pakistan, is cutting off her nose if she is suspected of having an extra-marital relationship. Sexual assault on women, including rape, remains one of the most common crimes. The Human Rights Commission estimated that rape occurs every three hours.
Basic needs in rural areas such as education, health water supply and transport are insufficient or in poor shape. But on the other side it is the influx of all forms of the latest technology, like satellite television and mobile phones have deranged the patterns of social and cultural development of these areas. In villages or underdeveloped areas one can see forms of combined and uneven development i.e T.V ,satellite,mobile phones are available but way of living,their tools and methods of farming are obsolete. These abnormal patterns of development have further aggravated the lives of women in the rural areas. Social life in the countryside and the urban centers has actually worsened which further increasing intense social crisis giving sharp rise in the molestation of girls, gang rape and violent crimes against women.This in interesting phenomenon observed in our underdeveloped areas that one side f females are considered as high-profile insignia of family ‘s honor but for keeping this honor under ordeal of male members all kind of dishonor actions are taken to preserve this egoistic man-made pride.
In Pakistani society women in labor forces is high in demand because this way less paid labor is available to raise profit margin of business minds.Midwives, sweepers, house maids all are low paid but long duration jobs without giving them any kind of respectable social status.
Urban women also face many unjustified response from so called Islamic society. Secretaries, nurses and air hostess like jobs are imperative services of any society which suit to females due to their god gifted housekeeping and caring nature but it is seen that these status is considered as lowest category where large number of lady workers have to please their dominating male bosses to resume their job in good financial position.
Exploitation of females on single status or from weak backgrounds is so common in our society that respectable woman has to think many times before going out in search of job when no male member is available to her due to some unlucky circumstances.This insecurity many time lead ladies to opt for unethical ways like to be 2nd or 3rd wife, having extramarital affairs with influential men or to cross all limits of decency to get high-profile status in the society.It is one of difficult task for single woman to attain some kind of respectable position where she can save her from vulture like nature of men who change their skin and temperament after seeing her unprotected status i.e where tag of male partner in form of brother, father ,husband or son has been detached by some mishap .
So Pakistani society from all sides need serious kind of modification in which individuality and identity of woman should be respected in the same way as this society encourage the influence of men.Muslims have to adopt the evolutionary process through which the mothers by being independent of religion, caste or creed can instill in their children from the very beginning that both the genders are important and ‘honorable’ and have a key role to play in the society. This is only possible when women will get empowerment through proper education and support of their male members and legal backup of the government to contribute efficiently to the country’s uplift as genuine sharing with their male partners.
Allah has given clear message to all Muslim community through example of Prophet Mohammed(pbuh) where his focus of love was kept toward his daughter Fatima(a.S) .He could had been awarded by sons but it is the divine message to His people through this strong example that girl child’s importance is equal in a society as male hold it and same was granted to Super human being of Allah The Prophet(pbuh).
It was his exemplary love for his daughter, his moral teaching for securing and grooming girl child and his dependency on his mature wife that should be considered as light house for giving up orthodox living of subcontinent.Now it is experimentally proved in developed areas that those societies who encouraged woman to come forward and shared goals have less tendency of declining toward corruption, wrong scandals and crook political maneuvering.
In these societies Parents prefer a girl child if choice of gender is asked to them. But these societies are either follower of Christianity or secular but follower of Holy prophet and Fatima(a.s )who even ready to die or killed someone for dishonoring His name hardly seem following the high rated norms toward woman rights prescribed by his teachings.
In civilized society secured men in their own conscious who are grown-ups under liberal mothers, or who are the best husbands, corporate fellow workers, loving brothers always encourage the role of feminism in their lives and society.
Islamic societies is badly in need of practicing,restructuring the real values laws of Islam in which all genders irrespective of their financial, married or gender basis should get proper respectable place either by their choice or boundaries set to them by Allah through His verses and teaching of His Prophet.