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Pakistani Women: A Journey from Imprisonment to Empowerment

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We are living in a society where girls are born only to get them married, make them give birth to children and have them look after the whole family. Even today, there are places in this world where women are not allowed to study, marry according to their own will or go outside without an accompanying male counterpart.

Every other thing stops them from dreaming or achieving their dreams. They are being killed in the name of honor.  They are the victims of acid, rape, imprisonment, and with all these atrocities, the men in our society still feel respectable. The so-called honorable men. I feel very disheartened to say that after all these years of civilization, women are still victims of these dual standards set by the society, sometimes by putting the veil of religion to hide their despicable acts.

Source: Fonville

So today, I want to shed light on two remarkable and completely different women from our society who refused to accept the boundaries created by this society. They denied the expectations of society where females are supposed to carry the honor of men, where the same men disrespect other women. They refused to confine themselves to that picture, the perfect model of a female bound by man-made traditions and showed this world that they are someone, someone with equal rights and opportunities to flourish. They stood against all the odds fight for their rights set forth by our religion and proved to the society that they cannot be imprisoned.

Malala Yousef Zai:

Source: DW

She was a 10-year-old girl from a tribal area of Pakistan who was almost killed in an attack by some extremist Jihadists just because she wanted to go to school and study. Education is a basic human right, Malala stood for that right and believed that humans don’t have any gender.

They tried to kill her not only because she wanted to study but because she realized her rights as a human and as a woman. And that was a threat to the so-called religious groups. A girl who went against the laws of society, Malala is one of the remarkable women who rebelled against social laws and tried to create an even educational opportunity for both the genders.

I didn’t want my future to be imprisoned in my four walls and cooking and giving birth.
-Malala Yousef Zia

Qandeel Baloch:

Source: News.com.a

Qandeel died trying to become someone who chases her dreams. Her brother killed her due to his so-called honor. Qandeel refused to stay home and do household chores as she was expected to. She wanted to show her talent to the world but this society did not accept her and her talent.

She belonged to a small town of Multan where she got married at a very early age of 16. But her dreams were big which brought her to the showbiz and glamorous world out there. But she did not know that she lived in a society where people enjoy the showbiz but do not accept the same women as part of the respectable society. She did not conform to the boundaries set for a woman by the society and stood up against those people who couldn’t see the women independent. She died trying to prove herself and showed people their real faces and nature.

As a male, I have different roles; I am a son to a mother, I am a brother to a sister, I am a husband to a wife, and a father to a daughter, all these roles are connected to women. Deep down, I ask myself if I am creating the change that I want. I want a society that gives women their rights to live freely, breath freely and dream freely. I keep asking myself if I am working for such a society, and how I can work for it.

There are many Malalas, many Qandeels out there, being attacked, being raped, and being deprived of their rights every day, while we sit here and flaunt our honor. Think how we can play our role!


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