In Pakistan, women represent one of the most vulnerable social groups in terms of security as well as availability of basic human rights. Ideally, on all levels, women should be treated with the same respect and understanding as men – but that is rarely the case.
A history of violence against the female gender and a perpetual negation of their rights have made women more exposed and prone to abuse than ever before.
It is time that we, as citizens, changed that and made amends to the other 51% of our population. And this change starts at home.
A few days back, I came across an incident where a high-school boy refused to make tea for his family members because he thought the chore was below him and that it was only a woman’s job to do such chores. Similarly, in another case, a teenage boy manhandled his sister because she was standing outside and enjoying the fresh air – irrespective of the fact that the boy had spent most of his evening playing cricket outside. Why such a stark dichotomy? Why have we raised our men to believe that womenfolk are below them and cannot enjoy the same luxuries as they do?
And what’s more is that these instances did not occur in conservative, backward households. I witnessed them in my own circle of liberal, progressive families, and both of these events left me stunned.
The research reports and media reports of 2012 and 2013 have made it clear that brutality against women is a major issue in Pakistan, and that there is an expanding pattern of savagery against females. As indicated by Thomas Reuters Foundation, around 90% of the females of Pakistan encounter domestic abuse while a large number of women get slaughtered for the sake of honor every year.
However, in an overview of a survey for the opinion of individuals towards brutality against women in Pakistan, 20.65% of the survey applicants reacted that viciousness against women is not a critical issue for Pakistan. It mirrors the general patriarchal idea of the public that sidelines females; the same disposition is replicated in programming, choice making and peace building practice where women are shelved.
As specified, 90% of the women face domestic abuse, yet a large portion of the culprits appreciate exemption, 35.87% of the respondents said it’s OK for the spouse to beat their wives, 10.87% said it is the right of men to beat their wives, while 25% reacted that men can irregularly beat their wives.
Different types of abusive behavior at home in the nation incorporate physical, mental and psychological abuse. Some regular sorts comprise of honor killing, spousal manhandling including marital rape, acid attacks and being smoldered by relatives. Spousal abuse is infrequently viewed as a wrongdoing socially unless it takes a life-threatening type of homicide or endeavored homicide which could extend from pushing a woman to suicide or designing a mishap (every now and then the blasting of a kitchen stove, for example).
As indicated by a survey conducted on a 1000 women in Punjab, 35% of the subjects ended up in hospitals due to domestic abuse by their spouses. The review reported that on a normal, no less than two women were tortured at home for petty issues and pretty much nearly 70% to 90% of the women have a familiarity to domestic violence.
In 1998, 282 cases of female burn-victims were accounted for in one sole territory of the nation. Out of the reported cases, 65% succumbed to their injuries. The official figures recounted for murder of women amid the year 1998 were 1,974, including 885 homicide cases reported in just a single province. A study led in Karachi stated that a huge number of women are exposed to physical abuse in the metropolitan, which has led to severe physical and psychological consequences.
This ongoing violence against women, which is backed by ludicrous reasons over and over again, needs to have a dead end. And you can help in curbing this culture.
What role can you play to prevent this from happening to women around you, you ask? Well, it is quite simple: you take charge. Today, it is someone else’s mother, sister, wife or daughter, tomorrow it could be yours. You hold yourself responsible to protect these victims from the vicious preys that roam so freely calling themselves “real men”.
You report and preach to whatever corner of people you can find in stopping such incidents such as domestic abuse, acid attacks, and rape and honor killings. A major impact can be made if the silence towards pretending to have this as a set common norm in society diminishes for good.