I am the one you claimed to have fallen in love ,
But threw acid on me when you found out that I can’t be yours forever;
I am the one to whom you promised a companionship of here and above,
But when I turned down the implication of a huge dowry, your answer was never;
I am your dedicated office employee,
yes, the one who you sexually harassed;
I am your class fellow, your neighbour, your cousin,
yes, the one you got to gang-rape at long last;
I am your loving daughter,
yes, the one who you gave away to settle disputes;
I am your loyal wife,
yes, the one who you abuse before indulging into your pleasurable pursuits.
I am a woman!
Footage of a wedding scene, filmed on a mobile, recently reached the news stations a couple of days ago. The video depicted two boys dance as four women sing and clap while sitting. No frame shows the men and women together. Yet, it is claimed that the women who were shown were killed by the orders of the Jirga which constituted of 40-50 members.
I ask what is their sin? The only answer which comes to my mind is that they are women. Practicing religion is not bad but imposing it on others by harsh means is not how it’s supposed to be. All sorts of extremities lead to destruction. Every human being is entitled to make their own decisions and as for those who say that those women broke the laws of the tribe; let the court decide whether they broke an actual law or not! It’s not just about those women who are being hunted down, it’s about all those women who’ve suffered and who are still suffering just because they are too afraid to raise their voice against this domestic violence.
According to a 2011 poll of experts by the Thomson Reuters Foundation Poll, Pakistan is the third most unsafe country for women in the world. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says at least 943 women and girls were murdered last year after being accused of defaming their family’s honour and reported that 90 percent of Pakistani women suffer from domestic violence.
Acid is a readily available and inexpensive weapon; it costs less than a dollar a litre and is often used for household cleaning or for cotton processing in rural areas. A difficult irony for women in Pakistan is that, should a victim speak up about physical or sexual abuse, she is seen as having lost her and her family’s dignity. Many rapes go unreported as the victim worries she will become rubbish and a subject of gossip in Pakistani society. It is so easy for a young girl to lose her dignity and to stain her reputation because of some uncontrollable circumstances.
Each and every day, we’re so much engrossed with the electricity shortages, the rising inflation and the lack of employment that we forget about the violation of basic human rights. I bet that all of us have at least once heard about someone we know being subjected to domestic violence. All around us, these social evils exist and yet we hardly do anything to stop them. I wasn’t able to sleep last night, thinking of this social dilemma we’re facing!
Their existence is not worrying; the apathy of people towards these matters is what that worries me! Evil itself is not a problem but the indifference of intellectuals towards it is indeed the biggest problem (I think) we face.
So this is my question to everyone; For how long will we continue to ignore these issues? How many Mukhtara Mai’s and Fakhra Younus’s will it take for us to realize the cruciality of the situation? Is being a woman really a sin?