It was a sunny morning of spring season on Friday 8th of March when I was enjoying my first cup of tea in my office and was thinking to start off my routine work when I received a yummy cupcake from my organization on account of International Women’s Day. The flowery creamy cupcake was a pleasant surprise to me since it doubled my happiness (Weekend vibes) and I found that it as an appealing gesture as a form of respect and recognition. Right now, I do not intend to get into the debate of why celebrating just one day when women should be recognized for their work 365 days a year but these special days like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day bring some joyful moments to celebrate and enjoy small moments of life.
The day proceeded further with my social media platforms being flooded with Women’s Day Celebration and the messages from different bloggers, celebrities, and influencers. I was really happy with all the positive vibes going around until the photos of Aurat March started roaming on the internet. And this is the moment where the opinions and judgements were divided into “Favor” and “Against” and I kept thinking the whole night about the Aurat March and its purpose. There have been more memes on the March than the actual coverage to mask the originality and objective.
I do not want to give my judgment on the banners displaying meaningful and some controversial messages since a lot of people have done the job on social media. However, can I just dare to say that in all of this controversial and disturbing messages, we have rather lost the main objective of the day. This day is not about belittling or blaming the opposite gender but rather standing up for our very basic rights that aren’t provided uniformly in the society.
What is Feminism
“It is not about SUPERIORITY but it is about UNIFORMITY”
I do not intend to have a superior place by claiming that I have capacity to work better than my fellow males. A society can only work when there is gender uniformity with people (irrespective of their gender) utilizing their bestowed upon potential to their fullest capacity.
Voice about Rural Women in Urban Areas
I am definitely privileged and so are the majority of the participants of Aurat March who have been given equal opportunities of education, job, career like any other male member of our families. However, in a country like Pakistan with approximately 33 percent urban and 68 percent rural population, the rural women are deprived of their basic human rights. In my humble opinion, women holding such placards are actually unaware of the real issues and honestly, can we actually go out of our metropolitan cities to visit and understand their situations rather than implying most the situation via documentaries. I think that if we are standing for the “rural women rights” then we should actually visit them once a year on 8th March rather than doing an Aurat March to educate them, interact with them to give some real solutions to their problems rather than saying “Mere Awaz mere Marzi” or at least I am participating.
Women Diversity at Work
I am an advocate of women diversity at work since the percentage of women working in the offices is lesser than 10 percent and the dilemma of our society is that majority of the women belong to sales, marketing, and other commercial departments. I mean there are only a handful of Engineers, Doctors and other specialized women in managerial or leadership roles.
Working Women Basic Problems
Let’s move forward to some real-life issues that are encountered in our daily lives living in urban areas where little or no attention is paid to the challenges faced by working women and mothers on daily basis. Addressing the personal issues is not my motivation but we should talk about provision of day care facilities as a must in every organization as well as specialized/certified babysitters to help at offices and at homes.
(To justify the point that mothers are the caretakers of the children, we need to study Arab culture where trained women were paid to take care of the children right after they were born and they remained with them from zero to four years)
I can get into the details of what Islam teaches us about Women’s rights and why are we not following it in my other article but I just intend to emphasize that with every passing day, we are actually creating and highlighting more problems rather than talking about the solutions. We are exploiting ourselves by raising such points which can be solved by sheer empathy and compassion. I am a proud woman where I am a daughter, sister and a wife and so is my husband and my brother proud man by playing their roles in respective domains.
To me, Women’s day is about respecting fellow women by appreciating their roles as working women, home-makers, social media influencers, bloggers and our maids who play their corresponding roles and thus contribute to the bigger picture of this society moving forward to a better future.