Tuesday 4 April 2017

9 important questions we want to ask Pakistanis who hate women's rights movements

It’s no secret that a lot of people in Pakistan don’t support women’s rights movements. There are lots of people out there, men and women, who for some reason believe feminism and the desire to uplift women is evil, wrong or just plain unnecessary.
As social media becomes our dominant mode of communication, these people often take to the web to express their views. Recently one such person aired their views on a web platform. He posed a list of questions to desi feminists.
Well, we have some of our own – questions that we’re longing to ask everyone who has an issue with uplifting the status of women in Pakistan.

1) Do you really understand the movement you hate so much?

There appears to be confusion about what feminism means — and doesn't.
Simply put, feminism is the belief that women shouldn’t be discriminated against on the basis of their gender.
Maybe you believe the struggle to make this a reality involves depriving men of their rights. Well, actually, the opposite is true. Feminism is good for everyone. A society that upholds gender equality doesn’t just offer up benefits to women, it helps men too.
How, you ask? Well, feminism helps men by releasing men from strict gender roles that proclaim men can’t cry, can’t be artists, can’t be chefs, can’t be stay-at-home fathers, can’t do anything remotely ‘feminine.’
In our ever more costly global economy, a society that upholds gender equality will allow women to enter the workforce in larger numbers, adding to a household's income and easing financial pressure. In a just and equal society fathers won’t have to worry about their daughters being molested on the street. Friends won't have to guard doors for their female friends when they use public bathrooms, protecting them from assault. And deserving women will climb the corporate ladder just the same as men, and all genders will benefit from the expertise and experiences of the other.

2) What makes you think women already have the rights they're fighting for?

A lot of people who oppose women's rights movement believe women have 'enough' rights.
To these people who assume that women in Pakistan fully enjoy such basic rights as the right to study and the right to work, well, you need to wake up to the simple fact that having certain rights on paper doesn't translate to enjoying those rights in real life.
Here are two examples: first, the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey states that the literacy rate for males in 2015 was 70 per cent and 49 per cent for females, a gap of 21 per cent. Second, at a mere 22 per cent in 2015, Pakistan has the lowest female labour force participation rate in South Asia.
Pakistan was ranked the second last country in the Global Gender Gap Index for the second year in a row in 2016. And these are just statistics - the anecdotal evidence that women, especially women from impoverished backgrounds, single women, divorced women and women from minority groups are treated as second-class citizens in Pakistan is staggering.
With this evidence, how anyone can suggest that women already have the rights they are demanding for is beyond comprehension.
Read it all!

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