While living in a patriarchal society the identification of women is questionable. No justice can be found regarding gender issues as from the very beginning woman is made as the 'other' to man, and man has been the subject to the object (woman)
A French writer, Simon de Beauvoir, in her book The Second Sex, exposed the sufferings of the women. She said that the woman is not born rather she has been culturally constructed as inferior to the man. It means when a female child is born she doesn't have the idea of her inferiority, but society makes her feel that she is inferior to the subject (man). This construction is the source of women's oppression. The role of women in a society, religion, government, and family is unequal to that of a men, particularly in regard of status, privileges, power and the position and its consequences affect the family, society, culture and civilization.
The most notable issue which has been taking place from the very beginning in our society is 'honour killing', a hypocritic act ignored by society and law. Thousands of women are reported killed in the name of 'honour' each year and a huge number go unreported. Where there is news of such a cold-blooded murder, usually at the hands of family members, there is a society that is so dehumanised to violence against women. Such acts re more so called cultural than Islamic. Committing such an act in the name of 'honour' is tantamount to killing humanity . However, for women who are victims of these crimes, the burden lies on law that allows and clearly sanctions such acts by first policing women, then blaming the victim and finally staying silent on the cold-blooded murder. Unfortunately, in our society there is no freedom of speech or even freedom of thought for women. By taking a single step for their liberty they will be killed in the name of 'honour'. Mentally, their emotions have been repressed and are not allowed to take decision in their own cases, such as marriage, childbirth etc.
There is a ban on the thought and feelings of the woman as an individual because of the norms of society. Women don't lack strength. They are the the real architects of society. Her physical strength of giving birth to a child and taking the responsibility of his growth till he becomes a subject (man) which we see as superior to the creator (mother).
Women are not to be compared as inferior to man , rather they have their own physical and mental strengths which are repressed in a male-dominant society. The woman's situation is not a result of her character, rather her character is a result of her situation. Her assumed lack of accomplishment, laziness, complacency and passiveness are the consequences of her subordination. As a philosopher, Hellen cixous, says, "We must learn to speak the language women speak, when there is no one there to correct us".
In 19th century the challenges to the legal and social inequalities started from the West and the work of the time was directed at the social and economic barriers faced by women of the time. Reformers of that time often focused on reforming different aspects of women's lives, such as marital law and education, and in 1960s and 1970s in Europe women wrote about themselves and against male-biased knowledge. This kind of androcentric knowledge generated by the experience of women. In 1980s changes start taking place, much of the original activist energy of political movement also had dissipated. Unfortunately our society is still much confined and conservative in such cases and we are still limited to those sufferings and unable to take better steps because of the repressed emotions and banned thoughts, and this is how women have been made powerless in her society due to injustice.
The writer is a Pakistani politician. She is central vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
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