Why Feminism a taboo in Pakistan?

Feminism is a voice against oppression, a struggle for equality, a way to progress, opportunities, freedom, economic, social and political rights, and equal rights to health and education. Feminism talks about “gender equality” in the eyes of the law, the state, and the society. Women physically cannot be equal to men but spiritually, morally and intellectually are equal to men.

After The Aurat march 2018 a controversial rally, new terms of feminism were introduced: “Good Feminism” “Bad Feminism or “Hyper feminism”. In Pakistan, the concept of women’s right is not new but here is no clear definition of Pakistani Feminism which still creates confusion for many people.

In our society, Bad Feminism is considered as western propaganda because of liberal and secular ideas about women’s right. It is culturally inappropriate because it directly hits our traditions and Islamic beliefs, bad feminism also called Hyper Feminism.

While Good Feminism refers to women’s right in the limits of Islamic moral values and Eastern culture.  A feminist only wants Equal Rights for Women under the law. A feminist is not man-hatred (well, many of men think). She doesn’t want to rule the world and doesn’t want to take revenge for all historical injustice. She only wants an equal place to live. She should be treated fairly and justly in society. A woman who lives anywhere in the world suffers some kind of domestic and sexual violence. These ladies fight for their dreams day and night; they all face social, physical, emotional even sexual threats from their own families and society. Mental, physical and emotional abuse is strongly condemnable.

In Pakistan there are also countless issues like financial stress, marrying on the right time, lack of a male heir, possessions, inferiority, and male dominance by throwing acid, rape, honor killing or vani, pressure into forced marriage or watta-satta. After the birth of a baby girl some women face brutal mental and physical torture. We see many people say, that Islam has given already rights to the women so there is no need of promoting such empowering culture but here is a clear example of some rural area where women even are not allowed to get the education or to vote because of their culture. If we move to the other backward areas, we will see the most difficult life of a woman that how much she is forced to sacrifice her life. These are the main and biggest issues that women face not only in rural areas but unfortunately in urban areas too and fighting against this injustice is Feminism.  Why these problems still exist in this decade? Actually, some people are confused about women rights. We all know that Islam gave the highest rank, respect, and rights to women but some hypocrites don’t want to accept it. Educated white collard people even cannot understand the complex and twisted nature of the empowerment process in rural, poor and uneducated females.

We need to highlight these real issues and for that many well organizations are doing their great job, they support and defend women’s right.  These organizations are already working like AASHA, Aurat Foundation, Women Action Forum, Gender and Development, Tehrek-E-Nuswan, Blue Veins, Pax Femina, United Front for Women’s Right, Acid Survivors Trust International, Young Women Christian Association and All Pakistan Women’s Association.

If we reflect on the past, we will see Pakistani Feminists in our country. Fatima Jinnah is a big and popular name we all know her efforts of the awakening of women’s rights in Pakistan.  Asma Barlas, a Pakistani-American Professor and author of “Believing Women” in Islam. Mukhtaran Bibi an advocate for Rape Prevention and Women’s Right. Nida Mahmoed is first Pakistani Feminist English Poet. And the First Pakistani Female Prime Minister Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto. These all brave ladies fight for women’s right and tried their best to aware people.

Our Entertainment industry participating to highlight these problems and also giving awareness.  Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy gets the academic award for making best short subject documentaries: Saving Face, The Dream Catcher, A Girl in The River; The Price of Forgiveness. Our drama’s like Uddari and Sammi also raise awareness against rape and vani system.  Zindagi Gulzar Hai breaks all stereotypes about the daughter and a working woman. These are all included in feminism raising voice for women rights, spreading awareness and giving people solutions.

Islam is a practical religion and responds to human needs. It gives protection, dignity, and respect. It allows women to work because of the need or wish. At present many Muslim Women are working in banks, schools, hospitals and other compatible working places. They are taking part in sports and many international competitions. Women are the backbone of any society. No nation can rise unless their women are side by side with them. An educated woman runs her family and society in a better way.

If we think education is not necessary for women and should not be allowed to work or earn money then why we still find a lady doctor in hospitals for our females or a female teacher for our children?  Some extremist spreading Bad feminism or Hyper Feminism because of that, people should not make feminism or women rights taboo in Pakistan. We should understand the importance of women’s rights and state should play the role to impose law to control all those oppressions which are already mentioned above.  Yes, I am concerned about women’s rights not only in my country even all over the world. It is our duty to raise voice for uneducated and poor females who could not stand up for their selves and against injustice because of fear, lack of awareness or some pressure.

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  1. Saba Kareem says

    Nice Blog and seriously I love Nida Mahmoed’s poetry. She is really a brilliant and bold author. She writes about honor killing and Taliban, when people were afraid to write against Taliban violence on women.

  2. Omer Habib says

    Interesting write up. More power to you and all women from Pakistan, who are raising their voice against injustice.

  3. Sana Saleem says

    Pakistan needs feminism and women power to change all the Taboos from society.

  4. Muhammad Nadeem says

    Every Pakistani is providing in their capacities and also would like to provide protection to women but not under the umbrella of west (Non-Muslims).
    First of all, please deal Muslim and Non-Muslim Women separately.
    When Non-Muslim Women do not like to live life or act as per Muslim Women then a question arises why Non-Muslim Women forcefully kidnapping Muslim Women under the so called movement of Women Rights?
    Please please try to understand the major and mega difference between Muslim and Non-Muslim classification:
    1: 1.1. Muslims means the followers of The Greatest and Last Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), A Greatest Last Prophet of the Creator of this Universe (including male and female human beings) , Allah Almighty.
    1.2. Best model of respect to women as the Queen of the Home and Family and Men as the Kind of the home and
    family result in balanced and happy life.
    1.3. “Haya” is the main backbone of the society.
    1.4. In Muslims, Islam keep “Jannat” under the foot of the mother (Women) of the children.
    1.5. …
    2: 2.1. Non-Muslims means the followers of the old the Noble and Honorable the Prophets of Allah Almighty that have been passed before The Last and Greatest Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
    2.2. Both are Queens or Both are Kings result in unbalanced and painful life.
    2.3. “Bay-Hayai” is the main backbone of the society.
    2.4. Women have no such place.
    2.5 …

    So it’s my humble and heartiest request to all the Muslim feminist that kindly see Muslim women with the glasses of Islam but not as per the glasses of Anti-Islamic Forces.
    I solute to women because my beloved mother is also a woman and the mother of all the Great Personalities including The Greatest Mother of The Last and Greatest Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was also the Woman.

    Best Regards,

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