The fangs against feminism | By Farkhanda Shahid Khan

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The fangs against feminism


FUNDAMENTAL rights of every citizen are guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan, but the psychopathy of women killing is strengthening terrifyingly.

Women are killed in the name of honour, asking for their rights in inheritance, raising consciousness to speak against patriarchy, favouring gender equality and women empowerment.

Moreover, they are victim of acid throwing, abduction, rape, domestic violence, early marriage and induced abortions in different parts of the country.

The woman is taken as a commodity, an object when she is given in marriage to a grieved family against some wrongdoing of her father or brother (Vani).

To support the rights of women and to stop femicide, various NGOs, and feminist voices started working. ‘Aurat March’ also laid its foundations in different cities of the country to endure the same cause.

Women came out claiming public spaces, fundamental human rights, dignity and an end to discrimination.

While, there were some of the slogans which were taken as a transgression against the conservative values of the society and an anti-Islamic or liberal agenda.

Yes, I must say, not the slogans, but, their pictorial depiction impaired the real cause of feminism and incapacitated the concrete demands of each chapter of the March.

It also authorized the other side of extremists to speak against, on television and live. ‘Haya March’ was also observed to counter this ‘Aurat March’ along with hurling stones. This sort of extreme level on each side brought more desolation.

Further, there is little support from the state and authorities to organize the March in favor of women’s rights and the backlash leaves their efforts undone.

Sometimes, they are not protected and on others, they are refused to take any action by making security concerns a daring excuse.

The problem is that there is petite redress for these victims, and the image of the state is taken as misogynist on the global index. Furthermore, fear of stigma is the foremost hitch in reporting the violence against women.

Blaming the victims, or making them silenced by some social powers is also an upsurge, and the perpetrators are not brought in the ambit of the law.

There is not much practical training in institutes. Discussing sexual health is taken in a sinful connotation and the laws are not made clear to law graduates leading towards a total downfall of the society.

Religious tempering against women by Mullah and other religious contractors who consistently shook their fists against feminists and human rights activists is another component that needed to be curbed.

Adding further, blind following of some renowned characters who are mentally sick also makes the youngsters mentally infertile increasing the number of cases of violence against women.

Moreover, Patriarchy does not support ‘argument making’. They want to see women as subjugated and hate them if they speak up against oppression.

If a woman forwards her lucid argument against their ideology, either she is blamed as indecent or simply killed, so, what happens commonly, women just internalize patriarchal ideology as a prevalent norm of the society.

This is the worst exploitation. Social media is another thing where rating, likes, or viewership is maddening our young generation. Unfortunately, society could not follow the ethics and protocols of social media.

It is a fact that social media applications are necessary for financial and official purposes, so it is not a blame on social media, rather a pathetic misuse, like sending personal photos in official groups is not rational, but a misuse, because personal photos do not carry any official message or news.

Likewise, the spamming of irrelevant and unnecessary messages in official groups is another type of extensive harassment. Such harassment, in due course, leads towards sharing ‘Me Too’ experiences.

Indisputably, it can be said that a society where women are not respected is in downfall. Psychotherapy of the sick minds is the first solution to this big hindrance in the way of women’s equal rights and progress.

Equal opportunities in every field along with dialogue and consciousness-raising is another dimension that can be opted to bring change in society.

The state needs to bring institutional reforms to support women and to keep their dignity intact. The office of the Ombudsman Against Harassment of Women needs to be more empowered for the successful completion of the cases.

Moreover, there is also a need to discuss legal rights, social and social media ethics and sex education with the students without any discrimination. Patriarchy and other misogynists need modification to end bigotry against women and to accept them as equal members of society for the progress of the nation.

It can only be possible if they are impartial and tolerant to accept plural views. Let women wake up, they are unshakable integrity and responsible enough to bring a healthy change in society.

—The writer is Lecturer in English Literature at GC University Faisalabad.

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