By Musa Khan.
In today’s modern world, men and women are equal in terms of social political and economic spheres of life; but in letter not in spirit. Followers of almost every religion advocate that both man and woman are enjoying equal opportunities of life, yet, ground realities present quite a different picture where woman is inferior to man and facing all types of discrimination. Somewhere, she is empowered to talk about cruelty and injustice while somewhere she is considered impure, evil and even bird of ill omen if she opens her mouth against the ill treatment that she faces.
The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights 1948 forbids any discrimination against any race on the basis of sex, language, color and religion. Similarly, Convention on Elimination of all types of Discrimination against women passed by the UN general assembly in 1979 states that; To incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women and to establish tribunals and public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination and to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons ,organizations and enterprises.
In much higher regard, Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran that “O Mankind! We created thee from a male and a female and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other”. Again Allah says “And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women”.
The aforementioned arguments show that concrete bases are available to protect women rights but still a woman lives in state of terror, fear and far away from real life. Women are socially persecuted in almost every nook and cranny of the world. They are treated inferior to man. A woman either has no or least say in family matters because the overall society is patriarchal. Women education presents a very bleak picture. Honor killing, acid throwing and torture are day to day businesses. Women have poor health conditions all around the world.
2016 Honor killing Acid throwing women/man literacy rate
Pakistan 1100 50 49/70
India 1000 251 58/77
Bangladesh 279 59 51/68
US 60 85/95
Africa 700 175 31/50
Apart from these, economic state of women is also very poor. Many women are getting aged without being married because neither she nor her parents can afford her dowry demands. Somewhere, particularly in Pakistan, people do not let their sisters and daughters marry because of the fear that they might demand their share in property. They have least opportunities of jobs, face harassment and have no job security. Moreover, political state of women also presents a dismal picture. Though, in developed countries, she is altogether empowered politically, yet, in Asia, Africa and Latin America women are deprived of casting their vote. Women face a lot of difficulties if they intend to contest in elections. They have the least say in political matters and the law making process and even the law making process for women is also carried out by men.
A question may arises here; could we protect women from ill treatment? Indeed, it is a hard nut to crack, yet hope exists if we are committed and sincere in encouraging women because where there is a will, there is a way. In this regard, – Social and economic justice should be meted to women.
– Stipends in income support funds should be increased for her.
– Women’s education to be given attention with priority.
– An effective legislation against honor killing, acid throwing and torture is the need of day.
– Women need to be empowered politically so that they have a high hand in law making process regarding them.
– And last but not the least is to provide better health facilities to woman at her doorstep.