The never-ending misery of Pakistani Women!

I received quite different opinions about my recent blog . Few agreed to that cruel reality, while few outwardly rejected the notion and some people even called me unpatriotic for writing on such topic. Some even challenged the authenticity of my arguments and called them fallacious. I was also accused for spreading negativity in the environment. Well, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and I respect everyone else’s views, but I do have the right to defend myself.
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women but please answer me, all of you living in your self-made utopian Pakistan, how much time did each of your spare today from you busy lives to think about the miseries of women of Pakistan. Did you come up with any solution to tackle this problem or this terribility doesn’t exist in your Pakistan?
How about we all pretend that there is no problem in Pakistan and we all are living as happy as one could be? What a great way to end the countless tyrannies faced by the women of Pakistan? How easy it is for you to say that Pakistan is The Land of Pure. Go ask those 3500+ women victim of acid burns; go ask the 13-year-old girl who became the victim of abduction and gang rape; go ask the non-Muslim women who were physically harassed or forcibly converted to Muslim in the land of pure; go ask the teenage girl who was flogged publicly in Swat, and go ask those innumerable women who become the victim of domestic violence but choose to remain silent for the sake of their families. Isn’t it their Pakistan too? Don’t they have a say in this matter? If writing about all the good things out there in Pakistan can make the life of these women better then I would be the first one to start such blog. At least I am acting as their voice and telling the world about their miseries. If writing about these women and other issues of Pakistan make me unpatriotic then so be it.
Every year we condemn the violence against women and vow to put an end to it but unfortunately these vows never materialize. Violence against women is not a random event due an individual’s misconduct but it’s due to the ingrained gender inequality in our society. Women need to have equal rights as men. Women need to be empowered and treated with respect. Do I need to quote the hackneyed quotation of Quaid about women empowerment when obviously we aren’t going to act by it?
However there are few people who recognize the problems faced by the women of Pakistan and do something to make a difference. Musarat Misbah, an incredible women, who brought hope, who inspired many around the world to contribute to her foundation; Depilex Smile Again Foundation. The foundation was set up to help women disfigured by acid burns. It would find them a new life and help pay for expensive reconstructive surgery. She is the inspiration for all Pakistani women who can get inspiration from her outstanding career and the on going social work which this dedicated lady is doing for saving lives of many.
We need to accept the cruel reality of violence against women and as Huma Iqbal puts in her blog,

For those of us who are ready to stop playing hide and seek and instead slash the empire of misrepresented notions on the falsehood of distorted definitions, there is an urgent need to address the problem. There is a need to let go of our silence because understanding comes with acceptance.

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19 Responses to The never-ending misery of Pakistani Women!

  1. Nadia says:

    It is a very honest depiction of Pakistani women. I also want to add that we as women also need to fight against victimization. How many women amongst us eductae our brothers or sons to consider women your equal? Do we discuss with our sons and brothers what a women expects from a man? How many female teachers raise this issue of gender equality or equity in mixed sex classrooms?
    I believe women need to educate men from there homes. But unfortunately, the beginning of this vicious cycle is from home. A mother beaten and harrassed by father or other male members cannot be a role model.

  2. Mel Stewart says:

    Shahzaib, thank you for an exceptionally enlightened article about a very sad, real issue. Violence against women, domestic violence, family violence & child abuse are all social issues which are reaching plague proportions in our society. Unfortunately, in some cultures the issue is worse, and the problems more deeply entrenched.

    There are many ways to contribute towards the fight for change. Individual participation can take place at many levels, and through many mediums. Anybody can make a difference! Each of us can participate at many levels, from getting involved through our personal associations, right through to being active in global wide networks.

    Individually we can support and inspire victims, as well as enlighten others by raising awareness. In our immediate social circles and family groups, we can offer emotional support, spread awareness, and most importantly, model the right way to behave.

    In our local communities, we can participate in awareness and education campaigns, apply for government funding to set up resource points that provide access to information, practical aid and financial support for victims who seek help.

    Online, we can work together in social networks such as facebook to raise awareness by providing easily accessible educational and practical information, and much needed inspiration and emotional support.

    In our cultural, religious and/or ethnic groups, we can inspire, enlighten, advocate tolerance and equality, and most importantly, we can lead by example. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

    At a political level we can form groups to conduct campaigns and lobby our local councils, state and federal governments and members of parliament for changes in laws, social policies and resource allocation.

    Many think that they will not be able to make a difference, despite wishing they could, so they never really look into activism. The reality is, however, that there are many things we can all do to become active in the fight to end violence and abuse. Please read my article on activism for more ideas and inspiration:

    And last but not least, thank you for your contribution to the world. Never give up. Remember, that one drop raises the ocean. Organize to resist! Together we can make a difference! Break the Silence to end the Violence! It is time to say “Enough is enough!”, and if a hundred people say it together, their voices will combine into a resounding SHOUT! Peace!

  3. Navid says:

    Kudos to the author for elaborating the post in such a great way. Loved it.
    Best of Luck with blogging.

  4. rich05 says:

    good post,

    need more such article to wake the sleeping and very ultra patriotic citizen of not inly pakistn, but india too
    in many a cse we sail in the same boat of male chauvnism, though in india sometimes i feel we may have improved a bit, but will not bet any money on it

  5. mubashir says:

    good job.someone should stand against these violent wishes for you

  6. Comprehensive post. I agree with you.

    The apathetic attitude towards women rights in our society is a core case of denial. And the main reason for that is that women rights buds from feminism, which is the product of western society, so its our duty to loathe it.

    However, I wonder, those proponents of women are living far better life here than the west, have ever read the first work on feminism– the vindication of the rights of woman by Mary Wollstonecraft? Have actually researched on the three waves of feminism? AND have bothered to study thoroughly about the movements for women rights in Pakistan? If they had, there would surely have been a tad of difference in their take.

  7. Hassan says:

    Good article shehbaz
    @ nadia i totally agree with you.

    id like to add something here if we compare our present with past i think we have made some improvements.I think this is not only happening in pakistan its happening even in developed country ( Incidents can be verried in numbers) its not only happening here, shehzab shouldnt be that much pessimistic, i agree with u its a bitter reality but they way u presented this it feel like its happening everywhere in pakistan which gives wrong perception of our motherland.

    Everyone should do some thing about this issue within his or her capacity.

  8. Rooha Tariq says:

    A great post indeed Shahzaib!

  9. soban17 says:

    I must admit that you are mostly right,brother,but this scenario of abuse on women is not just limited to our land.You know as well as I do that many of the top pornsites on the internet can be traced to United States.I have information by names,but that would be inappropriate for a public blog such as this.
    So what is happening on those porn sites? We know…….Females are being used as a business item,aren’t they? Why aren’t the admins of such websites ever the target of your criticism? Ladies are being robbed of their physical,moral and spiritual virginity to earn money.I know of a porn site (I can’t mention name here) that is one of the 50 most visited web addresses on the internet worldwide……..You criticize those who visit it but NOT THOSE WHO OPERATE IT…
    Now,is USA free of these crimes?Is there no gang-rape there? There are thousands of reports daily of fathers sexually harassing their own daughters.I mean to say that,whatever,women have more respect here than the Europeanized world you get inspired from……
    It’s just the way our nation is projected via the media……Man,you want women to roam around with a freedom like that in those countries?OK,you are welcome,Shahzaib,BUT be prepared for the surge in rapes and fornication level in our country,which as yet is considerably less compared to that in the countries you idealized……..I will be eager for your reply

  10. @author…thanks for raising this issue. its high time to break this tradition of silence. Men in our society are brought up by feeding them with superiority complex since they are the “Gift of God”. They grow up bullying their mothers and their sisters which adds to their already inflated ego. How can we expect from such an individual to respect other women and esp his spouse?

  11. shahzebnajam says:

    Great post, my friend. Keep it up!

    By not acknowledging problems and keeping by our heads buried in the sand, we only excaberate the situation.

    Pakistan needs constructive criticsism if we are ever to truly become the Land of the Pure.

    Pakistan Zindabad.

  12. Armaghan-e-Rehman Mansoor says:

    Nice post overall.
    This certainly speaks more of your individuality rather than your first post, which seemed me to me like a rehash (albeit a good one) of what we continually hear/see on the internet on Pakistani blogs and forums.

    P.S. My complaint about negativity remains as such 😛

  13. Aslam o Alikum Shahzaib.
    It’s very nice to see such a mature article and a good quality effort to smack against the women violence in Pakistan.
    I would like to add up some of personnel observations about Pakistani society in order to divulge the basic reasons for the violence against women.
    Lap of a mother is the very first ritual that provides underlying education to setup the character building of budding infant. But I sorry to say bigotry starts from here. A mother will be happier on the birth of a boy than a girl. A mother will order the daughter to fetch water for his brother when ever he will come from work but will never say to son to do the same for his sister. While on dinning table best piece of chicken will always be served to son instead of daughter by mother who is perceptibly herself a woman. In tiff between a brother and sister mother will always scold daughter weather she is at fault or not. So the men are brought up by feeding them the superiority complex by a woman.
    Now come towards the domestic sadism such as torture of a woman by husband or in-laws. We often go through the news from daily newspapers that mother in law set alight the daughter in-law or sisters in laws did this (Sas bahu or Nand Bhawaj). And it is the utmost desire of a mother of a son for huge dowry but not mostly of son. Mostly the star plus dramas comprises such stories that reflects the behavior of this sub continent people as violence against women is mostly common problem of the two neighboring countries. If husband did this, when we go through the roots of crime story we find again a woman either mother/sister in-law or a woman contender the original Villon in this anecdote.
    Let me to share with you some more for me observed women behavior against women.
    In last days i was coming back to university by train. There was huge rush because of eid holidays. Luckily I was successful to have a seat confirmation in economy class. From khanewal city a feeble and old woman boarded the train. I felt courtesy for woman and vacate my seat for her. She thanked me and applauds my spirit. At next station another passenger got his destination and vacates a seat next to the woman. Now the woman was with enough place to adjust another passenger but she did not allow any other women to sit with her while there were too many in problem. I have travelled a lot and have a lot of such observations where men show courtesy to women but women themselves don’t.
    In my engineering class we the male students share what ever the assignments or notes we have even with the female students but female students only show this consideration to only male students not to their fellow females.
    Most of the NGO’s headed by the women are fighting for the liberalism of women following the European social set up which is ultimately an abuse for women.
    Wrapping up, in 80% of the women violence women themselves are engrossed or in charge.

  14. rich05 says:

    well said sajid,

    it is a fact in almost 80% of the case in domistic violence reported by a women mother in law are accused, rarely a father in law accused, even sister in law are acuused more then brother in law

    let the abuse be bec of dowry, or not giving birth to male child, cant cook proper food ect

  15. hearandlearn says:

    Greetings from America! I am Don, a first time reader of your blog! Let me first respectfully say, Soban17, you have pretty much missed the mark on your comments. Not a big deal, and if everyone understood everything, we would be an awfully boring lot! ShahZaib, your comments are well written, with excellent thought put into your words! It’s no news flash that women are victimzed and not respected all over the world, and I know I have many thoughts on why that is. One of the most patriotic things you can do is question your government, wanting to ensure they do their jobs! That is one of the most important parts of free speech here. We have an obligation to do so! I definitely am going to continue to read your blog, hoping it educates me, informs me of views in other countries, by people of a different age. So I say, write more and write often! As time allows, I will share more of my thoughts with you, and though your focus is Pakistan, maybe you and your readers will like the information. For your readers who want to compare your country with the U.S., that is not a proper comparison at all! We have twice the people, ten times the land area, totally different cultures and religions, differences in education availability, languages, climates, and darn near everything else! But I can tell you , regardless of our infamous porn industry, in general here women are much more respected than from what I can tell in your country. No, we’re no angels, so far from it that it hurts, but we don’t have the Talliban, nor as many people mis-interpreting Muslim beliefs. Women still have a long way to go here, but I sincerely believe your women might consider America to be their, Hog Heaven, as we Americans might say. I look forward to reading more of your posts! Thank you and take care! Don

    • Soban17 says:

      Well,my friend,you can hurl as much criticism on me as you like,but lets talk about the truth:
      Its true that women are mistreated throughout the world….Noone can deny this…..but,mind me,I guess there are many other issues facing the world that are much more important than this…Poverty and illiteracy need more attention…And child abuse is also one big menace….
      I know this will anger you,but,the world has its rules….life would be a piece of cake if everyone always received their fair share of justice…..Women are the weaker gender,and therefore they have always been mistreated….It has always happened,and it always will happen….Noone can stop it,neither me nor you,or anyone else……So why waste our time repeatedly voicing these stupid concerns for women?
      You are not the first one who has risen to defend women’s rights,nor you are the last….But those who actually mistreat those women,those people who you criticise,they won’t stop….keep trying

  16. hearandlearn says:

    Greetings Again From America! It was last March when I first read your blog, and posted my comment. Now checking in four months later, I have noticed a definite problem. You are not making any new posts! Have the men of your country kidnapped you and slowly shown their hate for you by making you watch old soap operas 24 hours a day? Or maybe did you get married and your new blushing bride not agree with you so she kicked your butt, and flushed you down the commode? Or may Allah struck you silent for daring to think of women as something good? Or maybe it was like me, you are getting old and keep forgetting things? Please let me which it is, and remember, your topic should have no end to it. And of course, forget your detractors. They are always around regardless. As is a typical statement here in America, people are never satisfied, so the saying goes, “People Bitch Regardless, If You Would Give Them A Million Dollars They Will Bitch Because It Is In Big Bills.” So my friend, write, and write, and write! Take Care! Don

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