Before we talk of equal pay, we need to talk about some basic human rights for women in Pakistan. Ever heard a woman addressing her husband “Mera Maalik”?
Well, I have; not obviously from educated circles but from rural or domestic help group where patriarchy still booms. We may be past that stage where patriarchy or its offshoots reign but it does echo in our lives one way or the other.
It’s not dead yet.
Here is where it still asserts its authority.
1. Is education really for all?
Hypocritically speaking education is the right of every female child but I will quote here my experience where people shamelessly focus more on the male child by:
- Admitting them in better, expensive private educational institutes.
- Focusing more on their careers like they have to be doctors or engineers.
- while a girl will need only sixteen years of education no matter whether it assures a better career prospect or not.
This all is because the parents assume that the daughter will be dependent upon her husband for financial needs so she does not need to pursue a career whereas the husband assumes the woman need a roof above her head and two meals a day. Anything demanded more than this is considered sheer extravagance.
The result is that female literacy rate is 49% as against males which is 69% in Pakistan. Mere shame!
2. Can I choose my partner?
Good daughters yield to family pressure while those who don’t are slut-shamed. Period.
If a girl does assert her right to choice in marriage as is granted in Islam she is ostracized from the family.
If by chance the man turns out to be a cheater which can happen even if her spouse was chosen by her elders, she is refused any help as she was warned in advance to which she paid no heed.
Well, does she deserve all this?
3. Who will decide my dower?
The dower (Mehar) which Islam imposed to safeguard the rights of a woman in marriage is decided by the elders. They decide the amount of dower to be written in Nikah Nama but as soon as one is nikahfied the groom pays the dower and the bride gives it back right them as a token of goodwill that she trusts him and does not need these few bucks.
Alright; who are you to decide that you don’t need it? Allah decided it for HER and HER safety.
4. Am I not enough on my own? Why dowry?
Trust me; dowry demand is not only set by poorer sections of society, there exist some people who don’t shop items for their home thinking their daughter-in-law will be bringing them next year.
While there are some who think it is better to tell the girl’s parents what exactly they want in dowry. After all this, these people still look into mirror everyday with little or no guilt.
Above all mothers start collecting dowry the moment a girl is born. Hell ;why? Isn’t she enough on her own? Do you need to bribe someone to just keep her with him for the rest of her life so you can flaunt
“Mashallah beti apnay ghar main hai? (Roz maar khati hai)
5. Right to alimony and sustenance for children
Parents normally don’t go through Nikah Nama clauses which ensure the safety and well being of their daughter.
No conditions are set by parents in case a divorce happens with or without kids. If some parents do this they are criticized for being greedy which discourages this culture.
6. Legality of abortions?
No mother would ever want to kill her child but only under dire circumstances. Therefore judging her should be left with God.
I personally believe that the mother should be given the choice to keep the baby or not whether he is conceived with or without wed-lock.
Mother is the only person a child turns to in all situations;
therefore forcing her to have a child she is not ready
to give birth to results in bad parenting and a
7. Right to divorce
We are a millennium and a half past inception of Islam and literally women are unaware of any such clause in Nikah Nama. That clause is very conveniently “NOT ENTERTAINED” at all.
The logic given is that as women are fickle minded, they cannot decide for themselves; therefore they need a shepherd to guide them to right path.
Umm sorry the slave path.
Sadly, we are a society where women feed thier sons like they are going to menstruate every month or give birth to kids whereas their own daughters die while delivering their babies due to malnutrition.