Women’s Rights In Pakistan

“There are roughly 101,715,995 women in Pakistan currently, yet none have reached an equal status with men. Women’s rights have been a fight since the early 1900s for Pakistanis, yet very little has been done, few changes have been made on this subject matter. Females are disgraced in so many different ways, they have basically the same amount of rights as children; they are treated just like them. Women’s rights in Pakistan need to be equalized, but first, they must make many reforms. Women’s rights in Pakistan are unfair; they need to be equal with men, the access to certain resources and the availability of opportunities are needed for women to live equally to men.

Marriage for women in Pakistan causes lots of problems, women are sold off just another way of showing how to men they are basically just property. If women in Pakistan were not sold off maybe they would have the opportunity to live in equality with men. Women are sold in some parts if Pakistan for what is known as a “bride price” also they must pay a dowry of some sort(Yusuf). “In some parts of Pakistan male members of a family have the social sanction to take a woman’s life if she is suspected of having illicit sexual affairs”(Yusuf). Women basically have zero rights in their relationship, they are sold for a “bride price”, which the bride’s family must pay to the groom. Then they also have to pay a dowry to husband, so they cannot just leave the relationship and lose all of her family’s hard earned money. This shows how women are just like any other item that a man may own. Since he has paid for her she cannot do anything, so she must abide by his every beck and call, giving her no rights. Also, if a woman does any sort of “cheating” then the husband can take her life, if he wishes too. All in all, females being sold into marriage is so unfair and to top it all off, most are sold off underage, as a teen. So, they have little opportunity in the future to make a difference and help other young women now end up in the same situation as them.

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Most girls in Pakistan tend to be married off at age 16, because they have nothing else to do in their time; at least that’s what society thinks of them. Being married at such a young age was the culture that all Pakistanis grew up with, all women are to be married by age 18 at the oldest. The only way girls can resist child marriage is to beg their parents to let them attend school for 2 more years, until they are at least 18 years old(Funk & Wagnalls). A woman is expected to stay close with her family because she needs to receive economic and emotional support from her brother and father so she has backing support if she ever gets a divorce from her husband(Qaiser). The society looks upon women so poorly that unless they plan to get extra schooling, they must be married off. In some cases, where even the girl’s parents have no respect or care for her, they will try to sell her off as soon as it is possible for them, anything to get rid of their daughter. Also, she has to keep in touch with her male family members, just in case the husband has no more use for her. So, he gets a divorce and she needs money from them and to immediately remarry if anyone will take her again. Given these points, all women in Pakistan have one fate, they must be married by the age of 18; but sometimes that awful marriage can lead to worse things such as rape or abuse.

Rape or any physical violence towards women is also a common problem, men don’t find women worth anything more than an object. Abuse is a major problem all over the world and it is a strong issue that causes women to feel inferior to men. Rape is when women are taken and used, by a male for their own pleasure. This a major way of making women feel inferior to men, and it is also an evidential example of women being inferior to the male gender. “Women face substantial, systemic challenges in Pakistan. And what most fundamental is the question of violence”(Pakistan Observer). “Several issues are common to women of the region; lack of equal access to education, employment, and health, denial of decision-making powers even when the issues concern themselves, and the prevalence of physical violence within and outside the home”(Yusuf). Violence is most often the worst issue because it is physically causing the women pain, this experience traumatizes most. They face the fear every single day when returning home from “housewife tasks” and they don’t know what could happen on any given day. These women are living in fear that any day any male could harm them in a sexual act or just a physical attack. The women of Pakistan have no rights as it already is, but now they have to go home and become an example of abuse, and have no power or say in the matter. To be brief, abuse is a life traumatizing event that is caused by unequal women’s rights.

Males of the Pakistan society are raised to be these gender stereotypical men they are, all because of the traditions. Traditions are not something anyone can just break once and make them go away. It would take the efforts of many to stop the awful traditions and give women a chance to be equal. In Pakistan, it is bad to have a girl, boys are celebrated girls are not. Except for Malala, she is an example of non-stereotypical actions for women’s rights(Yousafzai). Usually, when a girl is born it is a disappointment because girls are the lesser sex. This is a sexist act that is taught and passed down through the culture of Pakistan. This is an awful tradition that is working against women’s rights all the way from the start of life. Maybe is the Pakistani band together and tried to prevent little mistakes in the cultural beliefs from the start of a generation. Then they could abolish this gender stereotype causing many unequal rights from the start of the new time for Pakistan. Altogether, everyone has traditions, but these traditions are disowning a gender, the culture is not respecting females from the minute they are born; people need to learn respect from birth, not inequality.

Females are the reason that most males can function, they help with everything around the house and bare their children. Women in the workplace already face long, extravagant hours and minimum wage, on top of that they have to do chores all around the house before and after a long day. Women have no fair opportunities they are forced to do all the housework, it is the standard that they must abide by being a female in the country of Pakistan. Women have to work around the house and work a job for pay. They wake first and sleep last, they clean and prepare the house, then go off to work for very long hours and receive minimal pay(Qaiser). The women do all of the housework and have to also make an income for the family. Most girls cook and clean for the husband and support the rest of the family. Then they have to go to work or do some sort of business to make money and provide an income for the family. After all that they usually have a child, they need to care for and look after. Women work so hard every day in Pakistan and get little in return for their services to their husbands. Thus, women are the ones running so many things, yet they are still available to little rights.

A key reason why Pakistan is making little to no progress in the women’s rights improvements is that the rest of society doesn’t care. Society is not just going to fix its problems on its own, people, both men, and women need to be making an effort. Women all ages, no matter what the condition of their rights is, they should attempt to help, a little difference can go a long way, especially in situations similar to these. It may be difficult due to the lack of resources but if the society becomes stronger as a whole it will already be taking a large step to help. The people of Pakistan, especially the men are making no effort to help any of the issues. They are perfectly okay with the horrible, unfair society. The people of Pakistan especially the men are making no effort to help any of the issues. They are perfectly okay with the horrid society running(Pakistan Observer).“In Pakistan, only 29 percent of women did something to help the issues or made a significant economic contribution”(Yusuf). The men simply just do not care about the women’s problems, as long they are fine, no need to make any changes. Even the women are making a little effort, less than 30% are attempting to make a difference in the issues. Maybe if the society worked together as a whole they would have reached a better outcome, equalized rights. Therefore, the lack of societal help is an issue that can be changed by the voice of the people. All that needs to happen is the people need to work as a whole and try to make a difference and support others when they attempt to make a chance as well.

The government in Pakistan is very unstable and that is an issue because no one can take charge of the country and set the society straight. Pakistan has so many other problems that the government is focused on so they have no time to work on anything else, such as women’s rights. Women in Pakistan don’t have their constitutional rights, and the country has such an unstable society and government that no ruler is able to help them(Pakistan Observer). Jamil Junejo who has a masters degree in human rights, agrees that democratization is “an essential requirement and the state could galvanize change in great ways of it took those responsibilities seriously”(Dawn). Also, Pakistan has a “lack of political commitment and implementations of laws”(Dawn). Pakistan lacks the resources and commitment to start the build-up of a new government from the horrible state it is currently in. Even a human rights scientist agrees that they need to do something soon otherwise the government will take a turn for the worse. The government of Pakistan needs to get back in control of both its country and its people. In this situation, a strong, powerful government would really help out with a lot of problems, by creating a frontal force that will make people obey their laws, and give women equal rights in Pakistan.

The main reason that Pakistan has a weak government is that they have no one strong enough to lead it. Leaders are supposed to be the ones in charge of their countries. The rulers of a country are supposed to control the government and take care of all the major issues, but in Pakistan, that is not the case. Pakistan once again has poor resources, they have no leader that is willing to take so much time to work hard and seriously fix the broken government. Benazir Bhutto has taken a few bad steps, but all she has improved is a minimum of 5% of jobs for women in state employment(Yusuf). “Muhammad can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women’s rights”(Qaiser). Bhutto has taken little steps like trying to improve the employment rate for women, but it not very successful. They need a strong leader with similar beliefs as Muhammad because he is a leader who defends women’s rights completely and focuses on finding equality. The citizen of Pakistan need to be tamed, they need someone to keep them in check, so they follow the laws, and the new strong leader they need desperately. In the end, the leaders hold a very important role in the bettering of the country, they need to take responsibility and fulfill their duties as leaders of their country.

Ultimately, Pakistan is in need of some major help, they need better laws protecting women, resources, and to reform their whole political society. They have many issues that need to be resolved, which can be done by making the slightest of steps towards an equal environment with males. Females rights in Pakistan are out of line unequal; they should be equivalent to men, the entrance to specific assets and the accessibility of chances are required for all women to live in equality with men. In Pakistan, women are treated on a whole different level than men are. They have no ways of finding equality and the main problem is the country as a whole. The country needs a strong government, society, leader, the people need a better culture, marriage laws, work treatment. Women in Pakistan are just not given the same lifestyle that the men are living in.”

The Tempest By William Shakespeare

The discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1493 had signified a new era in the west. With the discovery of new land, European powers grappled each other’s territory to elevate their economic and social status. To profit off of these new lands, European countries sent laborers and settlers to exploit resources, ultimately leading to establishing colonies then leading to the birth of colonialism.

Sending settlers and laborers proved to be difficult, leading European powers to import slaves from Africa and South Asia in 1584 for free and effective labor. In 1607 colonialism had reached a new height in the western world because of the first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. A few years later, Shakespeare’s The Tempest debuted all over England in 1612. The Tempest starts off with a wizard, the ex-Duke of Milan, Prospero, his young daughter Miranda, enslaved spirit Ariel, and enslaved native Caliban, inhabiting an island somewhere in the Mediterranean sea. Prospero’s younger brother Antonio worked with the king of Naples to overthrow Prospero’s dukedom to gain power himself.

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Antonio, the new Duke of Milan, along the King of Naples, Alonso, his son, Ferdinand and other associates, Stephano, Trinculo, and Gonzalo are aboard a ship in the Mediterranean sea when Prospero orders his spirit Ariel to destroy the ship, but save the travelers, scattering them along the island so that Prospero could fulfill his master plan to regain his dukedom from his brother. In the grand scheme, Prospero always seems to neglect Caliban and hurls him with insults. Through cunning and deceiving tactics, Prospero ultimately regains his dukedom harming nobody and Miranda marries Ferdinand.

Throughout the plot, Shakespeare subconsciously draws a parallel between Caliban and Prospero, subtly symbolizing the colonized and the colonizer respectively, reflecting western society’s normalization of colonization. For decades, slavery flourished as the primary economic driving force in New World colonization leading to an influx of African and South Asian slaves living in the New World colonies. As the colonial powers withdrew their presence in the colonies, many people reflected the disasters of colonialism, among them, was Aime Cesaire. Cesaire rewrote Shakespeare’s The Tempest into his post-colonial adaptation, A Tempest, in which the plot roughly remains the same, with the play taking place in an island in the Caribbean and Caliban is a black slave.

However, unlike Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Cesaire draws out the subtle parallelisms to emphasize the central theme in A Tempest, the effects of colonialism; erasing the colonized’s sense of identity and viewing them inhumanely, through the use of more upfront language between Caliban and Prospero. Language plays a key role in determining the demeanor of a character, the authors of both plays use language to express colonial power dynamics between Prospero and Caliban. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero starts a conversation with Caliban when he needs something, such as, “Shake it off. Come on. We’ll visit Caliban, my slave who never Yields us kind answer…But as ’tis, We cannot miss him. He does make our fire, Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices That profit us.—What, ho! Slave! Caliban! Thou earth, thou! Speak..” (1.2.313-320). Whereas in Cesaire’s A Tempest, the first conversation between Prospero and Caliban displays ignorance of Prospero of Caliban’s basic rights, “CALIBAN: Uhuru! PROSPERO: What did You say? CALIBAN: I said, Uhuru! PROSPERO: Mumbling your native language again! I’ve already told you, I don’t like it’ You could be polite’ at least; a simple “hello” wouldn’t kill you’” (Cesaire 11). Undoubtedly, the contrast in language between both plays is clear through the emphasis of Caliban’s dictation. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero immediately thinks of Caliban in a negative light – someone who never wields them a kind answer – a native source to exploit resources and provide him a profit.

Prospero views Caliban as an object, someone who is only useful for the gathering of resources to benefit Prospero and Miranda, invaders of the island who enslave Caliban for their material gain by getting rid of his freedom. This rightly draws the subtle parallel, which symbolizes Prospero has a power-hungry colonizer who uses the colonized native, Caliban, to pull resources out of the native’s land with no regard to the colonized. Colonizers view them in a negative, inhuman light, reflecting western society’s stance on colonized populations. Shakespeare does not emphasize this connection because the world powers of his time influenced his perspective on the dynamics of society where colonialism was thriving. This normalization of colonialism led Shakespeare to subconsciously portray Caliban as a foreign barbarian, consequently making Prospero the colonizer, reflecting society’s viewpoint.

However, the contrast in the language in Cesaire’s A Tempest is apparent from the first word of Caliban, “Uhuru!”. Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom, with Caliban repeating ‘freedom’ twice only to get scolded for demanding his right of freedom shows the audience that Prospero’s preconceived nature sees Caliban, a black slave, as barbaric since he does not meet the colonizer white man’s standard of ‘normal’. Prospero automatically assumes that whatever Caliban said was impolite, and offers a ‘normal’ substitute, “hello”, assuming Caliban greeted him. This use of upfront language further stresses the nature of the colonizer, he perceives himself as a savior or helper of the colonized to save them from their ‘barbaric’ nature because it differs from theirs. Prospero thinks he can improve the language of Caliban through a western variant because he assumes Caliban greeted him because of Prospero has a colonist savior complex- not realizing Caliban wanted Prospero gone.

The colonizer views the colonized as inferior and inhumane because of the colonized’s otherness, which Prospero doesn’t think is ‘normal’ or polite. Caliban uses the word ‘Uhuru’ to reclaim his lost language, which white colonizers took away from him, directly to demand the black man’s freedom. Using direct language here shows retaliation of the colonized, exposing the abuse of ethics and that they do not need a savior as the white colonist perceive. Caliban reclaims a lost part of himself by exclaiming ‘Uhuru!’, emphasizing this notion in other parts of the play to show that colonialism erases the identity of the colonized and whitewashes it.

For instance, CALIBAN: Put it this way: I’m letting you that from now o’ I won’t answer to the name Caliban…Well, because Caliban isn’t my name… It’s the name given me by your hatred, and every time it’s spoken its an insult…Call me X. That would be best. Like a man without a name. or, to be more precise’ a man whose name has been stolen. You talk about history” ‘well’ that’s history’ and everyone knows it! Every time you summon me it reminds me of a basic fact, the fact that you’ve stolen everything from me, even my identity! Uhuru! He Exits. (Cesaire 15) The implications Caliban leaves here are profound on the colonized regaining their lost identity. Caliban demands Prospero to call him a new name, X, referring to the civil rights leader Malcolm X who had renamed himself regarding his ancestor’s original name because he felt that colonists robbed his ancestor’s last name (X and Haley).

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