Friday, March 17, 2023

Feminism and Women’s Right


Feminism and Women’s Right


The word ‘feminism’ has different meanings that are used diversely in different occasions. However, the main belief feminism, as presented by Susan James, is the unfair oppressed, underprivileged or neglected status of women in comparison to men. Under this basic belief, there are various ways to define feminism, which indicated that it is not a simple and single philosophy (Gallop, 2019). The history of feminism goes back to the ‘first wave of feminism’ in mid-19th and early 20th century, in America and Europe, which focused on basic legal rights of women (Anand, 2018). Dissecting the term ‘feminism’ gives two forms: normative and descriptive. The descriptive claim describes women, the issues faced by them, the causes and effects whereas; normative claim presents the moral position and standards in a culture. Both concepts make feminism a philosophy and a political movement. Just like there are various approaches to philosophy and politics, there are many approaches to feminism as well. Their function is to clarify the concepts of feminism from every angle. For example, analytical feminism deals with the historical and philosophical concepts of feminism; continental feminism derives the concepts based on continental customs; pragmatic feminism derives the concepts that can be used practically for public benefit; and psychoanalytic feminism focus on the unconscious phenomenon that are giving rise to feminism and misogyny.

Aurat March

Aurat March

            The movements of feminism that started from demanding basic legal and human rights have come a long way. Now women are fighting for luxuries that are easily enjoyed by men but access to them are not easy for every women. This purpose is highlighted by contemporary movements that support women rights and access to equal opportunities. A similar movement in Pakistan that was started in 2018 by public, mainly women of Pakistan, to highlight the inequalities and oppression the women of Pakistan face. Various slogans, placards, and banners became the characteristic of Aurat (women) March. Soon after the first march in 2018, it attracted criticism from local and international Pakistanis. There were people who criticized the non-filtered placards, and there were people who did not like the idea of women roaming on road to demand their rights. Overall, the anger and frustration was projected on women of the country. However, the problem of campaign lies within execution process. In order to influence a large population, it is necessary to consider target audience and their needs. The march deviated from the norms and ignored the cultural aspects of this country therefore; the solution should be to make concise and clear slogans that do not cause confusion in public community (Hallissey, 2018). Moreover, media played a significant role in spreading the information regarding Aurat March. Print social media wrote many articles on Aurat March highlighting the posters and slogans that were raised in the march that attracted negative criticism. Media should play a positive role to influence society in a progressive manner.

Pakistan and Women Rights

            The place of women in Pakistani society and the rights women enjoy in this country are is a big debate. Before discussing the rights of women in Pakistan, few things must be considered. As a Muslim country with Muslim population, people are proud to strictly following religion and religious practices. Do they not only follow these practices, but want others to follow them as well. Therefore, some issues like pardah (covering hair or head), marriages, and education are always seen from the lens of religion. Women from small areas or villages of Pakistan do not enjoy the right that women from cities enjoy. The classist connotation to women right taints the purpose of feminism in Pakistan. The burden of double shift on working women in cities and women in villages who work in farms is a big example of situation of women in Pakistan. Moreover, literacy rate, vote rate, job rate of women is significantly less than that of men despite the fact that women constitute half of the population of this country. Similarly, act of violence against women are still prevailing in our society. Punjab Commission on Status of Women Right has listed many laws and acts that are protecting the women lives and their right. However, to what percentage these laws are implemented is still under interrogation.

Take of Feminism on Domestic violence

            Feminist perspective on domestic violence has always remained the same-violence on any kind, on anyone, should now be allowed. Violence is not the solution for any conflict. However, people who advocate and practice domestic violence do not need an excuse to beat their partner or family members. The problem lies within themselves as to which they exceed the limits of basic human morality. For years, researches have been studying domestic violence from various angles and results point out towards familiar scenario- angry men using their power on women. For that reason, the argument of feminists is to construct policies to advocate women in cases of domestic violence (Malbon, Carson & Yates, 2018). The policies in west as compared to Pakistan are supportive of women in such cases. The need to present make laws and implement them strictly in Pakistani society is highly needed.

Islamic Jurisdiction on Women Rights

            Even before the advent of feminist movements in the West, women in Arab under Islamic rule were enjoying freedom and basic rights, as claimed by Muslim scholars. Today, many Muslim countries present their own set of women rights however, these rights (or the lack of rights) should be considered a cultural thing without associating it with Islam (Elbasnaly & Sanders, 2020). Many people do not know the legal rights in Islam that a woman can enjoy without any discrimination i.e. right to education, right to live, right to divorce, right to earn and spend it on herself, right to live alone, right to choose to do household chores, etc. Unfortunately, the Islamic jurisdiction has not been studies in its true light by Muslim scholars and is often blinded by misogyny rather than stating the facts. The solution to this problem is to involve more women scholars in religious and legal matters of Islam.

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