By Fizza Naqvi:
It is so difficult to exhibit feats of courage in a society that doesn’t accept women as a potential human being of the feminine sex, instead finds ways to create obstacles for them to hinder their growth. In a society, where a woman is considered weak, vulnerable and fragile, it is commendable if she comes to the forefront by demanding her rights and raising her voice against the gender discrimination, sexism, and racial persecution. Such women set an example for those women, who are caged in a dungeon of pseudo-norms and customs that are brought to light only when a woman tries to set foot outside the house. Like all other countries, Pakistan is also brimmed with such exemplary figures.
Let’s a look at such gallant women who have broken the stereotypes and taboos attached with the word ‘woman’ by fighting for their rights and encouraging other women to do their bit:
She is an author of a very famous book ‘”My Feudal Lord” that encompasses the troubles a woman has to face being a part of a patriarchal society that looks down upon women. She has also become a voice for many underprivileged women by striving hard for their rights. She has been actively participating in rehabilitation programs arranged to support women since 2005. Besides being a writer and women’s rights activist, she is also known for being a former wife of Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.
She belonged to a Qizilbash family of Lahore, Pakistan. She was a founding member of Women’s Action Forum. She also advocated for issues that women face in the society; and raised awareness among women about their rights, and motivates them to seek them. She passed away in 2008.
She is a 17-year-old schoolgirl hailing from the Swat District, Pakistan. Since the age of 13, she has been involved in many campaigns that aim to work for women’s rights despite receiving multiple threats from Islamist extremists. Another Malala in the making!
She is a sociologist and women rights activist who is known for her extensive work on gender bias and class differences. She has also brought many issues of culture, religion and rural development through a lens of feminism. In 2012, she was chosen as a United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights to ensure that people are enjoying their culture in an in-discriminated way.
She is a renowned social activist who has always worked to eradicate the problems that women face. For a couple of years, she has been trying to counter the widespread sexual harassment in Pakistan. She has also formed a network called AASHA (An Alliance Against Sexual Harassment) to root this evil out of the country.
There is a dire need to encourage those women, who find solace under the arms of men despite being brutally treated by them, to struggle for their rights. They have none to inform them of their strength and potential through which they can defeat a thousand men, when the need comes. They just need to use their willpower, and once they start using it, there is no going back.
Let’s take inspiration from these activists and play our role to bring harmony to the society.