In 2011 Pakistan was ranked as world’s third most dangerous country for women, and as usual rather than accepting our mistake or short coming, people stormed social media by saying it is super power countries’ efforts to malign our Nation, though it was a UN report. We, as a nation, has a history of brushing things off under the carpet in the name of dignity rather than correcting the wrong. When Sharmeen Obaid won Oscar for burnt victims’ documentary, when Malala raised voice against Taliban terror in Swat, rather than accepting that these were true incidents happening in our society and needed immediate collective and effective measures to fix we blamed these women of being international agents of foreign powers.
Though this report came in 2011 but still it does not seem that things have gotten any better. Just the data of big cities show that things are getting worse for female empowerment and independence, no clue what and how worse things are getting in smaller cities and rural areas where women do not have access to social media to talk about their plight. Though there are many many incidents and events that prove the depreciation in women rights uplifting but I will just over view the three most recent and heart breaking events to reflect we are getting rotten as society in terms of morale values and ethical standards.
1-Farishta Rape Case
The first incident to mention is of a young girl, Farishta, aged 10 who was removed from the front of her house from unknown men,gang raped and afterwards brutally murdered. These incidents of young girls to be victimized in such inhuman ways is increasing day by day. Though the police and law order institutions were moved to action as social media was jolted by people to ask for justice for this little girl but this action is not enough, why? Because even the accused person in Zainab, rape and murder case, was hanged, but nothing happened afterwards, and incidents like these kept happening. One predator hanged is not the solution, what message this one person caught and tried in court sends to society is that if you are unfortunate criminal you would get caught otherwise this society is heaven to do predatory acts. After Zainab there were number of reports from Faisalabad, Hyderabad and many other cities about young girls being raped and killed by educated people in hospitals or outside universities and nothing was done against their accusers. As long as social media does not creates pressure, many victims and their families just bear the burden of pain, disgrace and fear.
2-Alkaram studio firing female employee for reporting harrasment
Second incident is even more frustrating, why? because this happened in a renowned brand company with huge revenue and countrywide set up. A girl named Sanober Ali, who worked in company’s Lahore office as CRO accused the head of Sales department at Alkaram AK studio of harassment, rather than her accusations were properly listened and dealt with she was fired from her job. Sanober Ali took to social media to mention her ordeal of how mentally and emotionally company’s top management further harassed her to take back her reporting of the matter, she also mentioned that even her family was reached to scare her of dire consequences if she mentioned anything on social media. Sanober also categorically mentioned that she had clear proofs against her harasser yet all her efforts to get things right were ignored. This is one of the few incidents where a girl was brave enough to take all the heat of social media critics and judgmental people to bring the incident to light otherwise there are hundreds of women who keep suffering this in silence because they know that things would not go in their favor if they speak up
3-Baluchistan assembly asked female assembly member to leave session for bringing sick son along with her
Mahjabeen Sheran, a member of of Balochistan assembly reported that it is was tormenting for her to choose between taking care of sick son at home or attending the assembly session, she decided to do both. She brought her son along with her in the assembly. She mentioned that she was smirked at and made fun of by male members of assembly for bringing her son, and later notified to leave the session. She was heartbroken over the whole incident and mentioned that I wanted someone to stand up for me at that moment but no one did. Mahjabeen said women should be enabled and provided atmosphere where they can carry on both their careers and families and should not be made to choose between the two. Pakistan national assembly established a day care center two years ago, in a country which is 75 years old and provincial assemblies still do not have the facility of day care centers. This incident is severely criticized by educated class of the country for disempowering more than half population of country by not providing congenial environment for work
Though in all these three events, people from common society took stand and protested about getting them their due right, which is a positive sign of society that is still alive morally to some degree but the problem is that these are not few incidents and not every time such incidents get social media hype, therefore a proper mechanism needs to be implemented to permanently fix these matters to make sure that 52% female population of this country can effectively take part in running the country at its full capacity.
To make sure that rape gets minimized in this society we not only need strict legislation but also should make sure implementation of this law religiously and with iron hand. We need to ensure that no incident goes unnoticed and the penalties and people involved should be made public, the more powerful involved should be more powerfully dealt with to set the mightiest and rightest example.
Secondly, at work places, educational institutions and every organization there should be ethical committees with equal number of representation of male and female members, where people can report their harassment matters with confidence.
Thirdly, taking care of your children by a female should not be considered a domestic low job but a mighty effort towards ones family, society and nation, and how can this be done? By normalizing the idea of women being accompanied by their kids at work place, organizations and institutions. There should be mandatory day care center at every work place, and more ease should be established for maternity related facilities.
In psychology when a person needs to get treated they say that first he/she has to accept that he/she has a problem, than they should accept that they need fixing of this problem and only then a correct path for recovery can be ensured similarly as a society we need to accept and agree that we are a nation and society where our women are neither safe nor provided an environment to thrive, we also vehemently need to support this idea that things need to get better for women and only than we can transform gradually into a society where all its stake holders will work and provide for the society efficiently.