It is rightly said that the position of women in a society is the index of its civilization. A society that maltreats its women, disrespects them and considers them as unequal members, is certainly living in a cesspool of backwardness and immorality. The same can be said about Pakistan, keeping in view the abysmal state many women live in here. The recent immolation of a 19-year old girl in Murree by a group of rogue men, symbolises the way male chauvinism victimizes women.
Such men whose minds are inflated with false sense of superiority and dominance, try to treat women as chattels and dictate their terms on the hapless souls. They rob a woman off her very basic rights, and silence her voice if she ever stands for her freedom and rights. The perpetuation of this chauvinistic mentality in many men stems from the support of religious clergy. If not all, many religious hardliners justify unequal treatment with women. Twisting the injunctions of the Holy Book for their own vested interests, they espouse injustice with women. Besides, the laxity in the criminal justice system allows unscathed escape of many criminals. Having no fear of law or punishment, they commit heinous crimes against women with impunity.
The brutal killing of the innocent girl in Murree is reprehensible, to say the least. The criminals deserve punishment befitting their crime. As a society, we need to break free from the mindset which allows degradation of women into second class citizens. We need reformation, awareness and education in society about women rights. Laws need stringent implementation so that no criminal escapes scot-free. And, society needs to stop stigmatization of a woman after a crime has been committed against her. For us to be categorized as a civilized society, an overhaul of the system and change in the societal mindset about women, are sine qua none.