Under Feminism, Women Find the Voice to Resist Misogyny

Mansoor Ali

If we study the history of woman and its contributions in the society, we will come to know that the role of woman in the evolution of society is far better and stronger than that of man. But the main problem is that this struggle of woman has been ignored and none of the men-historians highlighted this long struggle of woman in the society.

According to a German woman who is an active Feminist said “ the history and books of history is wrong about me and it has conveyed a wrong image of woman because this image in the books of history has been portrayed by men and there is no space for women in this framework of history”.

This mind-set against the woman has produced a man dominant society in the world, but the struggle and movements of women for their basic rights in the west have encouraged the women around the world to stand up for their rights and equality with men.

The exploitation of women traces back to the era when there was no concept of society and agriculture and people used to move from place to place for their survival. At that time whenever two or more tribes had some enmity over some issues they used to resolve the conflict by exchanging women with each other.

If we study the era of “MUGHAL” dynasty we can get some stunning facts about the exploitation of women for example when Zaheer Uddin Babar was in Samarqand and his arch rival Shebaani Khan deployed his army around the Samarqand so that to defeat the Babar.

When Babar realized that there was no way looking out so he ‘married’ his sister Khanzada Begum to Shebaani Khan and escaped from the Samarqand.

Despite the sacrifices of women in the society they remained neglected and nameless and the main beneficiary of these sacrifices was man and man in the society was encouraged to use woman for his own and personal benefits.

The most shocking fact about the exploitation of women was that in the past ages when the Rajpoot tribe of Asia had some doubts about failure in war they used to burn their women alive so that to save their honor and dignity.

History has given birth to women like “Razia Sultana” and “Chand BiBi” in India, “Elizabeth” in England, and “Treesa” in Austria who have played a very important role in the history but the historian of that time had greatly criticized all of them and also held them responsible of any flaws in political system.

According to a Pakistani historian, Mubarak Ali, “it was woman who put man, in animal, in the shape of man on the right track”.

Centuries ago when Church was very powerful, it had control over all the administrative activities of state and at that time the status of woman was completely destroyed because the woman was considered as a sign of weakness and helplessness.

According to a Bishop “woman should serve the man silently and she does not need to read or write, the main duty of woman is to produce more and more children”.

According to the ancient history books, “Saint Paul” the spiritual leader of Christianity had advised the woman not to speak among the men and always keep their heads and faces covered. History reveals that no other institution more than church has exploited the woman.

Like all the other religions and communities the woman in Muslim community was also confined and was never allowed to get education, equal rights and take part in the politics even woman was forced for early age marriage which is the exploitation of the woman rights and also a sin against woman.

But the things have been changed now and as the urbanization took place the women stood up for their rights and they raised voice for the equal rights.

In early 1960s Feminism was introduced in USA and under this movement women stood up for equal rights in society and their main slogan was the slogan of equality and justice.

This was the movement, which gave women the courage to speak for their rights and they chanted full-throat slogans against those who had exploited them in different segments of lives.

In addition to many other demands, this movement also asked the governments from around the world for providing the right to vote to women and equal opportunities in every field of life.

As these movements got momentum in 1975, UN announced 8th March as international women’s day worldwide and since then it is observed around the world.

Like the rest of the world women in different cities of Pakistan also gathered at different places to celebrate the international women’s day.

The women of Pakistan have also struggled a lot to get equal rights in the society and consequently attained a strong position in civil society. The feminism in Pakistan traces back to the Zia’s era when in 1981 women stood up for their rights for the first time in history of Pakistan and launched protests against the anti-women Zia regime.

Since then there has been much awareness in women for their equal rights in every walk of life in Pakistan and the impact of this movement can be seen in progressive policies of the country.

In 2010, Pakistan passed a bill, called “ the protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act” and behind this bill there were strong women of civil society who along with progressive politicians drafted, lobbied and passed it from the parliament. This act is applicable on four provinces of Pakistan. In addition to it, the Sindh province also passed the “Child Marriage Restrain Act” in 2014 in which the age of marriage was increased to 18 years. The Punjab province passed the “Protection of Women against Violence Act in 2016.

But despite of these legislations the numbers of acid attacks and honor killings have increased over a period of time, which needs to be address on urgent basis.

There are some loopholes, which need to be covered until all forms of misogyny are rooted out, and until all the women, men and transgendered people enjoy complete equality before law and until that law is implemented in letter and spirit, this struggle for equal rights shall continue.

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The views expressed by the writer doesn’t reflect views and policies of TNN.