THE role of women in our society has changed significantly in the past few decades. A woman is considered equally important member of society. They have many more opportunities and face difficult challenges. She is not waiting for someone to ‘help’ her nor waiting for assistance. She is ready, prepared, even eager, to overcome whatever hurdles come in her way. She just wants to cross the road on her own. Women in Pakistan have continued to play a very important role in every aspect of life. In order to grow as nation, we need their actively involvement or presence in all fields as educationist, Politician, doctors, business women, bankers, managers, engineers, lawyers, diplomats, ambassadors, artists, teachers, writers, poets, workers, farmers, mothers, wives, students, and the list goes on and on. Gradually things are improving for a woman in Pakistan, which has been caused by their tremendous determination and courage. Today women are sitting on important positions and achieved great stature in various fields of education, business, army, health, engineering, IT and active participation is seen in the area of sports and politics. About 60% of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan run traditional business such as parlors, bakeries, boutiques and the largest number are employed in the Telecom and multinational companies.
Pakistani society usually adopts a hostile attitude towards the women, wants a woman to be a house wife, to just stay home to serve the whole family and take care of children. I have seen a lot of talented, highly educated ladies who could become very good entrepreneurs, are spending their time in managing the house and the family despite their strong urge to set up their own businesses. The reason comes out as usual “they are not allowed by their families or husbands”. I consider that this is violation of basic human rights that our religion gave the women 1400 years ago. The man’s ego won’t allow his life partner to earn equally or more than him. Why should they? It time for all women to stand up and speak for their basic rights and with their presence already in the national assembly, raise their voice to get his right to change the world around them which is wrongly dominated by the men. They have education, talent and a strong will to compete men in all fields of practical life. There presence should not be limited to certain agreed and determined fields by our society, they should be given a chance to pursue their dreams, earn their own livelihood, and become less dependent on men who always use women’s dependency as their weakness. We need a rapid growth to have a strong stance against the overall economic turmoil in the country and across the world and for that we should allow women to come forward and join hands with men to be part of the progress and growth of Pakistan in the days to come with in the limits prescribed by our religion. Our religion allows women to work and earn with certain limits and conditions which are not at all difficult to manage. We should develop a working environment where all parents and husbands send their daughters and wives with out any worry.
Economic indicators suggest that life will be very tough in the coming years, a single earning hand in a house hold won’t be sufficient to survive. Men and women have to work together to survive in the coming days. Our society has already seeing a change where kids now work and study at colleges at the parallel to cover their education expenses and the next step would be the partnership of men and women to carry the burden of expenses by equal sharing. Women can scarifies each and every second of their life for man’s comfort and ease. But males are currently trying to control each movement in their life like puppet masters controlling the moves and moods of a puppet but women are human beings not robots or puppets, they have likes and dislikes, ambitions and plans for themselves. They want to be treated well, to get fame of their work, business and to achieve success. They need an understanding life partner which provides comfort to her in life. They need their share in the progress and development of Pakistan, equal chances to earn their livelihoods. Most important they need a bunch of family members around them who show confidence in them and ensure their full support to let them success in life.
Pakistani society hates to see a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness, and individualism. They are dead against women liberation and they want to keep them under shackles. Women play role of daughter, wife, mother, and sister and yet she is considered inferior and her role is always downplayed. If girl tries to support herself or family, she is ridiculed and laughed away. Still, the “kamai” earning of the girl is considered shameful in many quarters of our society. At the end I want to say that women are considered as the architects of our society and the mothers of the world. No other creature on the surface of this earth is capable of that. So all Pakistani women be happy, be healthy and be confident to rule the world.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.