By: Ayaz Mehmood Ghumro
We live in a patriarchal society dominated by conservative norms deep rooted in Pakistan. Individual freedom and achievements are strictly prohibited and often misconceived by men of power who are taught to assert dominance over the women in their house from a young age. These power dynamics in Pakistani culture are highly influenced by feudal orthodoxy, illiteracy and the need to safeguard women. Honor in our society is associated with male dominated interpretations of our Islamic culture which pertain to male authority and the misrepresentation of religious values.
Power dynamics are not only reserved for the rural population of Pakistan which face the hurdle of literacy among their under constructed areas and backwards mentality, but it is also highly dominant in the urban sectors of Pakistan. These power hungry men are rooted callously across the country and serve to assert their power over women, who are taught resilience over the expanse of their own individual freedom. The ratio of honor killings, rape, sexual assault and physical violence in Pakistan is an accurate representation of our patriarchal and male-dominated society which tends to condone these violations. In our society, such acts of violence are justified for “dishonoring” a family or tribe. This value system is often preached and practiced in our society as a highly pious set of morals for everyone to follow, defended by extremists and religious preachers. Men power has corrupted a society of repressed female population with their regressive thinking patterns, conservative belief system and misinterpretation of our Islamic values.
Power hungry men often police women for their appearance, choice of clothing and individual freedom. Education remains a far-fetched dream for most Pakistani women, who are dominated by men power dynamics around them. In many ways, our culture encourages the use of power over women to reinforce traditional forms of masculinity, justifying violence as an expression of power and victim blaming. This oppression is enacted in all forms in our society, whether physical or mental.
The government of Pakistan needs to build laws for the protection of women rights and further implement these laws into action. Our country needs to take the ratio of female atrocities committed in Pakistan into account and create a system of law that strengthens and promotes women empowerment in a time where men power have dominated and subjugated female power. In a highly civilized and modernized world, it is unfortunate that Pakistan remains to be one of the countries with a high-scale ratio of women oppression and honor killing. The power dynamics in our society result in honor killings, physical assault and violence with little to no repercussions but are also highly encouraged and justified. Our civil society needs to create awareness of this issue and maximize the potential of female power in our country. We must create a progressive society that is designed to protect females and provide them with the freedom to empower, create and live.