An untold story

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“Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors”

 

 

When these women visit their country after winning awards and honours, they wait for a taxi to take them to their destinations. Probably wait for hours, while stuck in a traffic jam as a VIP movement is taking place. No media coverage is directed towards them, as all focus is towards the dirty political game being played in their so-called talk shows that has kept the masses in shambles of sheer demagogue.

 

 

When Pakistan makes it to world news, it is usually because of the utter dismal by the government or simply for a very, very stupid reason. But one should not judge a country like that, and that is why we will talk about something that Pakistan should be proud of – its women.

 

I am not beginning to write a sexist piece. I know sexism hurts women. But shouldn’t we realise that sexism hurts men too! Surely this is not meant to hurt any of those extremely talented Pakistani men!

 

Recently, I was at a well-attended event where I heard an American scholar speak about some unsung Pakistani women who have etched their names in the highest echelons worldwide. He named a few he knew personally, and even cited their lofty credentials. Unfortunately what the Pakistani audience could do only, was applaud on hearing their achievements, and that’s it.

 

Pakistani media hardly praises or sheds accolades about our wonder women. How many Pakistanis know the likes of Hibah Rahmani, Laraib Atta, Karamat Ali (who was honoured, ironically, by India) and the list goes on. Thanks to social media; some of these names have started to ring a bell.

 

When these women visit their country after winning awards and honours, they wait for a taxi to take them to their destinations. Probably wait for hours, while stuck in a traffic jam as a VIP movement is taking place. No media coverage is directed towards them, as all focus is towards the dirty political game being played in their so-called talk shows that has kept the masses in shambles of sheer demagogue.

 

The world generally thinks of Pakistani women as Burqa-clad-veiled females who are killed for honour and are restricted inside the four walls in their pind, goth or killi. No doubt women are victims of domestic violence, but so is the case elsewhere in the world, they do face sexual assault and massive injustice, but this stands true for women in most societies. They suffer badly and their fundamental rights are denied., but is it not happening in many parts of the world? Gender bias is a worldwide concern and not just a Pakistani issue. However the main dilemma remains that our women themselves are unaware of their rights. Honour, “Izzat”& “Sharam” prevents them from raising a voice. A popular drama serial was served with a show-cause notice by PEMRA, rather an awkward move, and what an irony that women themselves led from the front to condemn the serial that is being lauded for daring to speak about a girl’s sexual abuse.

 

All apart, Pakistani women are making their mark worldwide. We all recognize women like Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy or Muniba Mazari but who will sing anthems for our women who are making a name for themselves around the world, but Pakistan is not giving them their due acknowledgement.

We talk of gender equality in the drawing rooms of the educated, but we still live in a mostly man-dominated world. However Pakistani women, coming from even the remotest areas, have come a long way. Thanks to many strong women who fought to reach the top of their fields, through sheer talent and perseverance. There are many unsung women-heroes that may not even be a footnote in the book written about Pakistani females that left a mark in the world, and that’s why we must short list these incredible women and bring them to the limelight. Let’s not forget those who aren’t cast as icons. Our general attitude however is that, no matter how significant or inspiring our heroes are, they are forgotten in our collective memory. We must acknowledge that we are maintaining a narrow view.  It burdens me today. Women, who can’t make it to the mainstream heroes list, may be given a much-exalted place in the Pakistani society. Recognise their struggle. It doesn’t have to be this way anymore.

This needs to be highlighted that the smallest ever Pakistan Olympic squad was sent to Rio this year. And it comprised a total of seven athletes, four men and three women, incredible! Well Done Pakistan…..I mean the women of Pakistan.

1 COMMENT

  1. This alumnus from Manchester Business School could only think of this!! One can judge how ‘well informed and concerned’ are such characters about the country called Pakistan!

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