Women’s Rights, Society’s Responsibilities

Women’s Rights, Society’s Responsibilities

In the past as well as in the present, women have been exploited in one way or another. They have been treated inhumanely at every step. Their presence is a source of shame to many. They are at times treated no better than as an animal. Today, we have reached the pinnacles of development but there is something sorely missing that should have given women the due that they are entitled to. What are the causes responsible for this situation? What is the way out of this mess?
The first cause of degradation of women is prejudices against and stereotypes of them. In the long history of the world, it had crept somewhere that women were not fit to live. If they were, they would not be better than an animal. They always were to be kept under strict watch. They would have no say in society. Moreover, for their development, they would remain dependent on the rules and regulations made by men. In the present world, the same continues to happen. Women still are at the lowest rungs. They can’t take their own decisions. They are dictated to by others. Socially, economically, politically, ethically, they are subservient to men. They are free in name but slaves in reality. All this is the result of prejudices and stereotypes.
Second is that religious books have been distorted with the aim of subjugation of women. Divine principles are twisted to appease men. It is said that God commanded men to enslave women in order to keep society on the right track. This kind of mindset brooks no argument, no matter how many times it is proven false and wrong. It is this crooked version of religious as well as non-religious scriptures that has enslaved women since a long time ago.
Third is the stigma attached to women’s menstruation. This has made the lives of women hellish. Everywhere they face humiliation because their bodies produce blood through private parts. I am amazed at this thinking because all the people of the world are nourished on this so-called dirty blood. If this blood is dirty, then all the males in the world are dirty. Sanitary pads are looked at with disgust. They are kept behind curtains so that they are not seen by the orthodox.
Moreover, women are generally seen as mere producers of babies. They have no other work but to go on, like a machine, producing babies. A man will use his wife for the sake of enjoyment. He will not think that she has demands, she is worthy in herself, she has sentiments. This doesn’t occur to a man and he overlooks the woman’s entire being.
Fourth is that in our society, legal things are never discussed while illegal things are discussed and debated everywhere. There should have been open discussion about menstruation, sexual intercourse, puberty, pregnancy, etc. What constitutes unsafe sex should have been taught to every girl and boy. Parents should have discussed sex with their children. A mother should have been teaching her daughter why she menstruates, what to do when she has sexual desires. In the same vein, a father should have been teaching his son about what nocturnal ejaculations are, what a wet dream is, what is the way to be followed in case of sexual desire. When these things are not discussed, the society keeps pursuing the path of orthodoxy and the result is that women get demeaned and exploited. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to discuss the so-called private things openly. He didn’t keep any curtain between public and private things. It resulted in a healthy environment of the two sexes knowing each other.
Now let us consider some remedial measures. The first thing to do is to shed prejudices and stereotypes. It will help create a good environment of learning from each other. Moreover, it will help us in respecting women.
Second is that the religious and non-religious scriptures should be reinterpreted. They should be given a second thought. Only the truth should be propagated in society, even if it goes against the wishes of men. Why to hide the truth if it is in the favour of women?
A third change of mindset required is to understand that menstruation is from divinity. It keeps a woman’s body fit and kicking. Irregularity in emission of blood or irregular periods can prove disastrous. If a man’s blood in the battlefield earns him Paradise, the same blood earns a woman shame. This contradiction has to be removed. If in case of an emergency, a woman’s blood can save the life of a man, why the same man speaks foul of it?
Fourth is that there should be open discussion about things that are so-called private in nature. Men and women should discuss each other’s issues. There should be no shame attached to speaking of such things. If I have sexual desire, I should convey it to my parents or to elders. Why to bury it? I may be forced to have illegal sex, if it is not discussed. There should be platforms where there are discussions about sex. It will make our society in general and the lives of women in particular, better and safer.
Last but not the least, it is the responsibility of everyone to give women what they are entitled to. They are enlightening themselves by the day. We can’t keep them in the dark for a long time. They should be taken into account. They should be listened to. They should be treated humanely. They need our care, our love. They are alone in a crowd. They hide their tears. Let us try our best to give them what they deserve.

syedmustafaahmad9@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.