Plunging into dark abyss?
IN present scenario, the militants’ resurgence to North and West of Pakistan lashes out fear in region and demands a counterinsurgency campaign by the state.
Taliban took over the neighboring country Afghanistan last year and brought an overall haphazard situation including a tyranny in free speech, political activities and social and economic conditions.
In the same stream, they shaped a gloomy environment for women making their survival deplorable.
It is pretty impartial to mention that women under Taliban regime are living in a gender apartheid system.
Taliban are creating problems for women by blocking them from getting education, dropping them from working sectors, and putting them in forced confinements.
Moreover, they are forced to marry in their childhood. Their education, mobility, and employment all have been banned and over violating Mullah’s rules they are punished publicly.
They are living without identity and experience helplessness and a sense of loss over shattering their dreams of getting advanced education and going high in life.
Overall, the Taliban’s regime brings a humanitarian crisis depriving people of their rights and financial crisis due to their recessive policies.
In fact, by depriving women of their rights they are depriving the nation of the precious skills and talent that women reside in them.
Taliban’s return to power and rule with terror is vulnerable to ethnic and religious minorities as well, who are always at the stake of their fierce power, and to avoid their wrath they are always at their beck and call.
Their exploitation and violence go behind the curtain of religion.However, no religion, constitution, or charter do support such ridiculous decisions.
The same menaces are hovering in Pakistan with their return which is no more endurable as the people have been living with the trauma that Talibanisation had brought in their previous hold.
Within these throbbing incidents, the whole region is also getting suffocated for women. Every new day adds breaking news against the exploitation of women’s rights making the situation uglier in Pakistan and the rest of the continent.
Recently, in Punjab, a student of dentistry was sexually assaulted, humiliated while forcing her to lick shoes, and later gravely tortured over refusing the marriage proposal of an older businessman.
These patriarchal mindsets not only exploit the women but their families as well to redress the situation by paying indemnity to the grieved family along with the threat that in case of denial the whole family will be slayed.
Subsequently, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, women were abused and threatened to leave the park calling it an indecent act against the local customs and honor.
On one side, these recreational activities are being taken against honor, while on the other side, three more women in the suburbs of Peshawar have been killed quoting honor as the motive for the killing.
Double standards of the governments are impeding the way toward real transformation in the whole geographic belt.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Independence Day knotted the progress of the country with women’s respect and gender equality.
The other side of the picture shows the remission in sentences for the culprits involved in woman’s gang rape during the Gujrat riots in India.
Bilkis Bano was not only gang-raped but the seven members of her family were also brutally killed.
Against which she speaks to BBC, “How can justice for any woman end like this? I trusted the highest courts in our land.
I trusted the system, and I was learning slowly to live with my trauma. The release of these convicts has taken from me my peace and shaken my faith in justice,” she wrote, appealing to the Gujarat government to “undo this harm” and “give me back my right to live without fear and in peace”.
These proceedings show that the whole social fabric is being knitted on the extreme, as somewhere, Hindu fundamentalists set their own courts, and somewhere the Mullah mindset shows psychotic decisions like 34 years in prison and a travel ban against the woman educationist over retweeting the tweets of Saudi feminist activists living in exile.
Maybe this extremism is the reason that even in developed nations the racial riots have not been settled for a long time.
Women, everywhere, are not allowed to speak against gender gap, sexism and noticeable discrimination.
Sadly, the situation is not only grimmer for women but the transgenders also are not out of danger of this exploitation.
In this stream, Dr.Mehrub Moiz Awan, a prominent voice in transgender community, very much expressive, and a well-known speaker was barred from speaker’s panel of International School Lahore for being a trans.
She was told that her presence in the talk was not approved by some parents. It shows the insincerity of society, which on one side, showers love and respect for transgender (in words), but on the other side, their presence brings stigma to them and hurts their ego.
There is a thoughtful need to accept them members of mainstream society instead of confining them to certain places.
Hence, women’s freedom is chained and in this situation, societies get stagnant only. We must stand against gender inequality, gender-based violence, and extremism.
Instead of plunging into dark abyss, women should be educated and empowered. It is time to think about whether we want to see strap lashes on our women’s backs or bags with books.
The writer is a Lecturer in English Literature at Government College University Faisalabad.