Wrote and shared with friends on Women’s Day - posting it here a little late :$
So, Women’s Day was celebrated again today with much zeal and fervor. Since yesterday I have been hearing speeches, discussions on “How” to improve the overall situation of women rights in Pakistan. I was sitting in my air-conditioned office, when I started getting Women Day wishes - i surely felt great and HAPPY! Life is good Alhamdulilah, I got to study from one of the prestigious private institutions of Pakistan, have been working at a well-known company, get three meals a day and snacks to munch on in between, wear nice and expensive clothes, travel by car, party out with friends when I feel like and so life’s beautiful. I’m privileged, educated and hence empowered so yay HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY but yes there’s a huge BUT! I decided to work for this campaign TakeBackTheTech a few months ago. As part of the campaign, I keep researching on women issues on a regular basis and specially before speaking at any event or writing on the topic for any publication. Without exaggerating I would say that what I get to read about women issues does not let me sleep properly at night. I traveled to Lahore to deliver a presentation to the legal community there, the presentation was witty but least did people know how much stress I had to undergo in trying to prepare that presentation - stress that followed reading about how women suffer, how they r brutally raped, tortured and murdered. Call me sensitive or altruistic but yes I DO feel the pain of those women even when I don’t even know them.
Days before my travel young maid Shazia was brutally murdered in Lahore and the alleged murderer belongs to the legal community of Lahore. After the incident I traveled with another agenda in mind that perhaps I’d be able to change mindsets of a few after talking to them on women issues and they in turn will do something about girls/women like Shazia.. The presentation also went great and I was hopeful ( may be I still ‘am) that something would happen. Little Shazia will get justice! I remember mentioning in my presentation at Lahore that we ALL empowered CJP because we wanted justice for ALL. I had this faith that now after freedom of judiciary, anyone irrespective of his class/creed can get justice but I was WRONG! Weeks later, it was announced that Shazia died because of anemia and malnutrition ( yes anemia can fracture your ribs, your skull, your arm and your nails can get plucked out because of malnutrition) It was a clear enough sign that the alleged murderer will be freed and poor Shazia won’t get justice. However, i still had this little hope that CJP will intervene, I remember him saying in several speeches that once restored, he’ll ensure justice for EVERY Pakistani. Shazia was also a Pakistani and I knew CJP wud keep his word but ahh I was wrong. With due respect, CJP Sb has been restored and now he probably has forgotten his promises or perhaps a death of a poor maid is not even worth his attention. I really don’t know what’s going on except that Shazia died a painful death and nothing was done about it.
Similarly, several Shazias suffer regularly and while in all speeches we say “We SHOULD”, we seldom say “WE WILL ” (I’m no different either) Everyday I see a new NGO forming up in the name of Women Rights, yet I know it’s not even safe for me to walk half a mile alone - eve teasing is fun for many and I haven’t seen any NGO doing anything about it (Please enlighten me if any NGO has - I’m ignorant!) may be because they SHOULD but they WON’T…any way I digress! So, I was saying there are many Shazia’s around us and in presence of them, I really don’t know if I can be HAPPY!
Oh I know I know….women have MashAllah progressed a lot too in different fields and there’s certainly something to be Happy about it but yet what cancels the effect is that very few out of those *successful* women are doing something for the betterment of other women around them. I’m not Happy because I cudn’t do anything about Shazia and many other Shazias, I’m not Happy because I didn’t do even a single thing today to bring a smile on the face of one such Shazia but one day, yes one day I WILL InshAllah and that day I’ll proudly stand and say Happy Women’s Day.
Till that day, I keep it in the brackets (duh my software engineering background, which tells me that anything in square brackets is optional) So, if u think you have done something practically for even a single Shazia today, be Happy and celebrate else think again and maybe do something before you become another Shazia (God Forbid)!
Stay safe! -|-