Rahmat Karim Baig

Gender discrimination

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

There was a time, not very long ago, that tribes, clans, communities and states had the idea that man and woman are not equal in any way because their capacity to work and nature of physical demands are not equal and so they cannot be treated equally.

Most countries and societies hold the same view today and are reluctant to give equal status to both the sexes. In the democratic governments they have given the right of vote even lately but had never the idea to give them equal status during the enactment of their constitutions but female representation was rare.

The role of women was domestic chores and rearing and raising of kids. They were bound to keep and rule their kitchens but it was challenged in the 19th century by some hyperkinetic advocates of the rights of women and public opinion was shaken to listen to that demand and thus one by one they got more and more rights but then left the kitchen and then their homes to be on the streets with men of their own choice with the nomenclature of boy friend and girl friend. It all went fast in Europe and USA but the rest of the world was rather conservative and had no such hurry to get that point by leaps and bounds.
In Asia where Muslims have a good majority this was unacceptable and freedom of women was either not possible or that the female could not disengage themselves from their parents, brother and sisters. Also that the lack of modern education advocating freedom for females was not among the subjects taught here. The woman if she is scot free has to bear all the burden of modern cost of living and she cannot afford it or cannot bear it. Lack of education is one cause. If she goes her own way then she is not safe and would be in the hands of Mafias that we operate in a very large number. A woman without a patron can be easily a victim of gangs or become a member of a gang or gangsters that usually run underground business such as drug trafficking or run brothels or any other heinous crime. This field is fit only for those who have crossed all bounds of social life.
The limits set for each gender since time immemorial have been based on wise thinking and the safest ways have been assigned to the fair sex. She is not bound to supply food to the family but this burden falls on the shoulders of the husband and she has to manage the resources brought by her husband carefully and frugally. She could help her neighbor, her relatives and best of all her children and the man has to work out of the wall of the house and bring food and clothing to raise the family. If the female leaves the house, seeks a single life of her own then she can lose the sympathies of her parents and brothers who may no more like to get in connection with her and her lonely life will become compelled to submit to unforeseen conditions and changes.The discipline of the past was far rational and realistic than the present approach and it was not gender discrimination but gender assignments to regulate human social obligations.

2 Replies to “Gender discrimination”

  1. We live in dynamic society not a static one where social change is constant. Your own post in the Chitral News states, “Chitral in the past-3” supports this that societies are changing and so is the roles of men and women who live there. The integration of educated women in the system is imperative for human life as well as properly functioning of different social institutions. Your argument for “gender discipline of the past was rational and realistic”, is debatable. However the current family situation demands from the patriarch to change their social behavior about the changing roles of genders.

  2. Good write up Prof. Sahib. However with the rapid change in society we also see a cultural change that appears to be much more powerful since the change is accepted by the majority. Like the Taliban we simply can’t keep girls from education nor can we turn a well qualified doctor into a housewife burdened with household chores only. Simply think about the lady pilots flying war planes, able generals, specialist doctors in the army/civil, bureaucrats, and there are scores you name it in addition to the hundreds of thousands engaged in the teaching profession. I agree that the quality of life is not equal for all. Within our country there is huge diversity in living conditions in urban as well as rural settings, some are by necessity observing traditional life styles, others are at the transition stage while a considerable population has already crossed the two stages and this group also by necessity has adopted new culture of living. This discussion may take long, so I better stop here.

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