There are various explanations that justifies the importance of Women March, which globally aims to advocate human rights, including the most important right, which is the right to equal and quality education, political power, reproductive health, freedom and healthy environment that both male and female need to have. But after the backlash against the Women March 2019 and since Women March 2020 preparation has already started in most parts of the country, few anti-women politics and anti-human rights attitude were also seen. A day before, a lawyer filed petition in Lahore High Court to ban Women March 2020. Besides this, few viral video clips against women’s voice, also targeted NGOs and considered women struggle as adopted culture and western think tank. This petition is also unjustifiable. It is still hurting enough that we are insecure and unstable in terms of protecting our rights. In a century, where world is globalized and thing are getting standard, we are badly stuck with the concept of honor or HAYA. It is alright to save your honor or Haya but naming and shamming, without knowing our issues would threaten the society more.
There is no doubt that women rights are human rights and violation of women rights is human rights violation. In addition to this, if raising voice against injustice and claiming rights is vulgarity, what about the uncountable number of rape cases, harassment and domestic violence that became the beauty of the news headlines? Unfortunately, we have become habitual of hearing all this occur in our surroundings. Where are the human senses, norms, culture and values of those when under-aged girls forcefully get married, when a pregnant women is stoned to death for marrying the man she loves, when women get murdered in the name of so-called honor, when women protest time and again for securing the life of their beloved, when women are sided away from their fundamental rights like getting education, doing jobs, inheriting property, taking part in democratic process and so on?
Along with 192 countries, Pakistan has also signed SDGs which contains 17 goals. Goal 5 particularly defines gender equality. Beside this, that Pakistan ranked 2nd from bottom among 145 countries in terms of Gender Gap Index 2015, it has remained a challenge to achieve other mentioned goals, since we are non-serious about the issues we are facing on daily basis. Gender equality and women empowerment has become a fancy word to be written or spoken by those who themselves feel insecure if women came to power. Instead of shifting the commitments to action for a better future, every day we suffer from sexism, misogyny and religious fundamentalism that has completely damaged the structure of the society.
Looking back at the development history of the world, no socio-political and economic conditions got enhanced without gender role, participation and contribution of women, not only in Pakistan but throughout the history of human beings in the world. It might be difficult to come up with a result since such a mindset exists against humanity, but fighting injustice is a long-term struggle which always has it is own initial value.
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 28, 2020
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the writer and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.