End Vulnerability

End Vulnerability
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Any given organization holds its own, so to speak, because of leadership. Without solid, prudent and deft leadership, organizations go haywire. The same holds true for the commission of women in Jammu and Kashmir which has been functioning without a head since months now. This organization is important because it caters to the issues of women in the region. Women, as it is, are vulnerable here for and on account of a number of reasons. And, if and when they face problems of a grave nature, then what recourse do they have? Consider an example. Woman A who is married faces a dowry demand from her in laws. If she is unable to furnish the said dowry, she actually has no recourse. Her in laws become hostile to her; she is even harassed. Her family is either not supportive or is unable to cope with the dowry demand. She, in this situation is both vulnerable and helpless. Under these circumstances, she needs institutional help and care. But, she is unable to find any help. Where does she turn to? This is a quandary faced by many women. In lieu of this, it is organizations like the women’s commission that must come to the aid of women like these. But, this is one aspect of the issue. Ultimately, and in the final analysis, the issues and problems and vulnerabilities faced by women here are in the nature of social issues. These then must be addressed by society as a whole. First and foremost, an introspection is called for by society. Say, for instance, why has dowry become a norm here? What happens when women find themselves trapped in vulnerable situations? In Islam, it may be pointed out here, while there is mehr, there is no concept of dowry. And, mehr is for the protection of women. Moreover, Islam has given women rights. Therefore, reciprocal obligations fall upon society to not only protect these rights but make these real. It is therefore incumbent upon us to treat women well. This imperative, however, must not be merely notional; it must be real and translated into real. A woman, generally, speaking is the cornerstone of a well functioning, moral and ethical society. She must be seen and viewed as such and not be made victim of individual avarice and other moral foibles. It is therefore about time that we treat women as they must be treated and as is enjoined by our religion.