Saturday, 16 October 2010

Emotional slavery

The three tools that are the basis of human survival in the social enigma of Planet Earth are: freedom of choice, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.

Applying that to the women of Pakistan, you would be amazed that that specie still survives despite it being deprived of all three:

For instance, women are not given the choice of not wanting to cook or be a house maker. They are judged by the roundness of their rotis, rather than the soundness of their degrees. They are told to study a certain subjects because that will ultimately lead to respectable professions, which are not chosen by their earning value but by their ability to attract acceptable proposals for marriage. They have to get married at a certain age, have a baby before the first wedding anniversary and to keep deliberating until a male heir is produced.

A girl is often told off by her elders for being too loud or for dressing in any way that is not acceptable by the social norms. A tomboy-ish attitude is the bane of mothers. Girls are not allowed to express about what they want in their spouses. They are told to accept whatever is given to them, and to say yes to whatever their husbands tell them. Major household decisions, and at times, even the minor ones are not allowed to be taken by women, who are repeatedly told how dumb they are.

Lack of development in adequate public transport systems and harassment in public dealing due to high levels of illiteracy are some of the factors which add to the mental slavery of the women of our country.

They need to ask permission for stepping out of the house, from their parents, husband or the in-laws, till the last day of their existence in the country.  These authorities also have to approve the type and degree of clothing worn during the time spent outside the confines of their homes. In 95% of the cases, women are not allowed to venture out on their own, lest they be termed an awaragard. They need to be escorted by a male member, on in extreme cases, a trustworthy (read: married and older in relative age) woman or two.

Places like a car repair shop, a plumber’s workshop or a hardware shop is considered off limits for the fairer sex. They have to beg the male counterparts in their lives if anything is needed in that department.

This inhumane level of dependency of a woman, on the moods of a typical Pakistani man leads to high levels of non-productivity by a major chunk of the population. Not only do women find themselves invalid, it adds burden on the male section of the society who has to be available for their women and their homes at all times. With a whole lot of unskilled labor and brain drainage due to degrees only for dhang ka rishta, no wonder that the International Mental Health Day celebrated on 10th October 2010 emphasized upon the rising ratio of mental disorders in Pakistani women, denial and lack of treatment of which is another case study in itself.

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