Ahead of the annual rally for March 8 International Women Day, here are some highlights from Aurat March Pakistan focusing on the manifest and charter of demands for 2021. This year’s theme is “Patriarchy ka Pandemic” (translated as Pandemic of Patriarchy) that vows to tackle the prevalent healthcare and patriarchy which inherently affect women, non-binary […]IWD2021: Aurat March Pakistan’s Charter of Demands
You are short !
Another told me
Look at your hands,
They ain’t pretty.
my feet were silly.
Few told me
I might be cute
But I ain’t pretty.
Some assured me
I can look good
Just that I
Need to weigh
A little less.
From 20s to 30
I kept stressing
How I looked
What I ate
Whatever I do
I was never
And then 30s struck
With a big blow,
All the stress
Into disorders of
Here I was sitting
at that pretty girl
in her 20s
that body ,
hair and skin
Which I never
really liked or
Last 5 years
Self- journey .
With the woman
I am becoming.
Little and big.
Inside and outside.
Don’t wait for your 30s or 40s
to love yourself
and outgrow your insecurities.
Discard them now,
live truly and enjoy your life !
The two screenshots will give you the context of my post.
It is related to recent judgement passed by Bombay High court for a child abuse case.
The problem here is not the that the guilty went away with a minimum sentence and without sexual assault charges. The problem is the mindset, trivializing an abuse or assault that too on a minor. A skin to skin contact is required to term the abuse as sexual assault , you can go away with gropings , touchings and harassment without listing it as sexual abuse.
Can you imagine the trauma kids have to live with when they face any such kind of abuse , how do you explain a 8 or 10 year old or even lesser what is being groped or pinched, at a time when their bodies are still tiny or changing and they are still playing with toys, when parents are still thinking how to explain them sexuality or good and bad touch and here you are telling them it wasn’t a sexual assault ! In brackets ( Not that a big deal , atleast you weren’t raped , be thankful to your abuser, the bigger sentences are for the rapists only ) .
We are a country where every day we have cases of a girl child either aborted in womb ( her only crime is being a girl) or killed as infant , molested or raped . Marking 24 January as girls child day which just went , it is such an outrageous judgement.
Time to rethink the laws and perhaps some amendments ?
#womenwhoread #womenwhothink #womenwhowrite #indianwriters#indianbloggers
Seeing all Girls Child Day posts today brings back a lot of memories from childhood . We are a big family where there are more girls in family than boys from all sides ( aunts and uncles) . My grandparents had 7 children out of which 4 are daughters and 3 sons , who further made them fortunate grand parents of 19 grandchildren out of only 4 are boys and 13 are girls.
Growing up we had so much privilege, pampering and favor being girls that we forget the boys should also be equally treated 😅🙈.
My grandparents doted on girls , boys were always trouble makers , mischief makers and were mostly on reprimands from elderly.
The boys of the house still complain of injustice done to them as boy-child .
My grandmother never went to school, her only school was my educated open minded grandfather .
We were fortunate to never face any discriminatory act as daughters or girls at home and I am forever grateful to them , my parents , uncles , aunts for creating such a safe haven for all us girls.
The life outside home has taught us the bitter reality that what we had at home wasn’t the Norm and a majority of girls face inequalities, discrimination, exploitation in society. As a woman now I do feel that a lot has to be done to provide those safe havens for the girl child in our country.
Lets raise awareness .
PS : my grandfather holding on my cousin Zoya who was the cutest child of the family,
Second pic is my niece Ameera : a curious, carefree, rebellious, defiant , fearless girl. Basically Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be as a child.
There are everyday struggles of Hijabi Women that only they can understand. They is always a lot of noise in media for the word ‘Hijab’ and it remains a debatable topic not only outside but within the muslim community itself. I as a Hijabi feel more accepted in my non Muslim friends or environment than among the Muslim ones I have met lately online and this is really bothering me. Where the heck are we going as a Muslim society ? Recently someone shared some Videos about successful Hijabi Entrepreneur and with the following comments ( in one of the social media groups of Muslim Women Achievers)
‘ I find these Hijabi Women very shallow and pretentious ‘
‘I have a problem with word Modesty that they use every time ‘
I wouldn’t give a damn had it been any x ,y sharing it but the very fact that it is coming from educated muslim women who have successful professional careers and making a mark in various fields. Probably the real sense of education hasn’t reached them yet if they cannot have inclusivity of all muslim women and cannot respect others . The worse happens when these women get the chance to speak for the rest of the community . They just end up making more confusion for the rest of the world. I certainly dont feel part of that ‘Educated Muslim group’ anymore , neither I feel welcomed , it is doing more harm to me than good when I read such messages being shared and empathized. I dont see any room for discussion either, because their nose is kept somewhere too high and probably you are lying down somewhere to be saying anything to them or be of any worth to be listened to .
However it is more hurting to realize it is the mirror of our society with in our own community. If there is no acceptance and tolerance with in , How can I complain about the the outside world ? Well, this was my experience and probably sounds more a rant but I had to pen it somewhere before it gets too much on my nerves I really wish yours to be better than mine.
For those who make such comments , I want to tell them that as a Hijabi I am not wearing it because I want to show off my religion. I just feel it is the right thing to do for me, and I am not saying that you are wrong for not doing it. If I feel the tangible aspect of my modesty comes with my Hijab along with my behavior and actions , it doesn’t imply you are not modest if you dont wear one. What I feel and do is for me alone, so just let me be myself. Please dont assume things and create a strong opinion against it. Shallowness or depth is also seen by the judgement or opinions that you give about others. Why dont you just talk to next Hijabi woman you meet, instead of keeping prejudiced views. We all need to come together and accept each other first before asking the world to stop judging us. There are so many issues to be worked upon than just fighting over Hijab or not talking to someone or working with someone who wears a Hijab or Niqab.
I am so thankful to all my readers for your continuous support on my blog ! Happy Blogging !
Can you be a Muslim Woman and a feminist ? For some both of the terms together don’t go down the throats very well. If you say the F word , you can be dreaded for a woman who will run down the streets naked shouting weird slogans ! Thanks to ‘Free the Nipples’ Campaign supporters and FEMEN activist for giving such an image for Feminist Women worldwide. Feminism is much more than just freeing our bodies or not wearing makeup or making some odd stands ! The earliest dated Feminist movement started in 1848 in America with the first Women’s Conference which identified the issues such as guardianship of infants, property rights, divorce, access to higher education, equal pay , right to vote and protective legislation for women workers.
Do you see any problem voicing any of the above mentioned issues? I think every woman will stand for it and this is what Feminism has always revolved around , then why so much noise when you hear someone being a Feminist?
Thanks to all those Feminists who stood against the patriarchal and misogynist systems and fought which is why the constitutions of the most of the democratic and republican countries safeguards the rights of Women today.
Since then feminism has evolved in West and it has evolved in the East. There was a growing wave of feminism in Muslim major countries where branches like Islamic Feminism have originated so what is this Islamic Feminism and how is it different than main stream Feminism or secular Feminism? There have been books written over the entire two words, so I cant do justice to explain everything in few lines but to cut the long story short, Those who identify with Feminism based on teaching of Islam and support rereading and interpretation of Quranic texts from a women’s perspective are mostly called Islamic Feminists. Some of the well known women are : Amina Wadud, co-founder of Sisters in Islam ,Leila Ahmed , Asma Barlas . They advocate for Women equal rights in Mosque and Rights to lead the Prayers as an Imam, etc which have not been well received by Islamic scholars worldwide. Their work have been condemned by major scholars. Recently I have been researching a lot on these terms and the pioneers of such movements. More to be followed as I will advance on their work and books.
So to keep away the scorns and frowns of clerics, Muslim women more like to be associated with the term Muslim Feminists than Islamic Feminist because most of them don’t agree with re interpretation of verses keeping aside the source of Hadith and Sunnah and different MAdhabs or leaving the technicalities of interpretation as done by Islamic scholars. No, they donot want to enter that grey zone. They just want to advocate for the legal rights as per Islam and the law of land where they are living . Some men even argue that you cannot be a feminist if you are Muslim , according to them Islam doesn’t not give equal status to men and women and supporting feminism meaning going against the teachings of Islam. Well most of the scholars have agreed on the term Allah’s creation for referring to men and women where both stands equal. They might be different in physical appearances, strengths ,in thought processes and their capabilities ,there is certainly no way a man superior to a woman or women less favored by Allah in comparison to men except based on his/her deeds. We both have to adhere to same 5 pillars of Islam , pray the compulsory 5 times prayers , follow the same foundations principles and will be judged on the same ground of our deeds on earth.
Muslim feminists that I have talked to, till date or with whom I agree with , strive more for exercising their rights which have been given to them by their Creator but are hidden behind the blind cultural practices given the name of Religion. They call out for Women Education , self learning and knowledge building for women to increase their intellect, coming out of victim mentality and being strong and helping other women to be strong . If all this for what a Muslim Feminist stand today is wrong then I really wonder what is right ?
Does your wearing Hijab or Jilbab guarantees you will not be eve- teased ? Unfortunately, It doesn’t ! There are many times this argument has been given over modesty of women where her covering up is directly linked to the response and behavior of eve teasers and molesters . A covered woman implies I am not open for harassment then what does a women in shorts implies ? Is she is quite open to it ? I don’t think any woman would like that. There is no guarantee if you wear Burqa or Hijab that nobody will stare at you, or harass you or pass lewd comments or might even try to touch you inappropriately on public transports especially if you live in third world countries. We are often so engrossed in thinking how a woman’s behavior and dress should be that we forget how behavior of men should be ! Who is going to moral coach these men to behave with women and respect them, irrespective of what women wear and look like. Why our scholars not talk about it more often, than they do for pious women . If by wearing Hijab I have done my part for modesty, then where is your part Brother or my not doing Hijab gives you a right to not do your part ?
There are pictures on internet floating in support of Hijab where there is a comparison of Hijabi and a non Hijabi by showing an open candy surrounded by flies and a wrapped candy safe and sound like a Hijabi in her Hijab , I mean really ? What are you reducing us to ? mere candies ! This is what you think of woman as? and it’s a pity seeing women supporting it. Are you wearing your Hijab because you feel you are fulfilling a command of Allah or you think it makes you holier than the other women and you can assume them as lower and less worthy than you , if that is the case , it is time for a Reality Check sisters. This holier than thou attitude is like a pest and eating all your efforts and goodness. We have to let it go, we are wearing Hijab because we want to, because Allah asked us to. Us doing something and other’s not doing it doesn’t make us any better . Even when you read Quran , Allah always mentions things as This is better for you and you might now know or harmful for you that you do not know. He nevers says ,I will love you less and you are now less holy than others. We might be doing something more worrisome than wearing or not wearing Hijab and we might even not know about it . Time to self introspect and improve .
Time to stand up for all women respect and dignity irrespective of her choice of clothes. It is time for men to start behaving than pointing fingers on women . If you say a woman in less clothes provokes you , what argument you have to misbehave with a woman in Hijab or full covered clothes, you don’t like what she has put on her head or that loose garment around her body, you have to admit it is your pervert nature and it needs to be cured.
Recently I have had some conversations with few of friends and I have gone through this phase myself ,the topic doesn’t leave me for sometime. The pressures of an urban girl, our modern working women!
The social progress and development has given a lot of rights to women : Education, Equality, Work etc and we have excelled in all of the fields .We have dreamed , aspired , struggled and achieved our dreams to be educated and financially independent . While we were flying high happily in our lives suddenly we had our strings pulled back because we have hit 26 ,some 28 or 30 years in age and are still single. This pressure to be married and settled down is so much that it overshadows all the achievements of girls , from being an achiever they are reduced to a status of poor girls who are not yet married. Their families are in constant pressure to get their daughters married in our South East Asian societies . With each passing birthday , they have another year of being a ‘yet unmarried girl’. Not talking about the details of going into an arranged marriage and those pains of rejections or being forced to settle for someone who is not even their worth or match just because the clock is ticking.
Since the time we have remembered being ourselves as girls, we had this constant pressure of proving ourselves to what boys can do or are allowed to do . Infact this pressure of doing things turns into outperforming them and also became passion . The performance had boosted our confidence and self respect and we had got habitual of living with dignity and pride when all of sudden people around us starting stealing it in form of concern and pity. Why do we even allow ourselves to be reduced to an object of pity for others.We have put all of lives to become what we are today and then this constant pressure of marriage is draining all our energies (and later on it brings additional roles and responsibilities that I have kept for other parts of this topic) and for some even deviating from their life’s goal. They want to study further or get a better position in their work , or travel and later think about Marriage , Why not respect their opinions ?
I think it is not only working women’s problem who should somehow found a way to solve their problem but we need a collective change in mindset of our society to accept that there is not only a single age bracket to get married and once you pass that age you will not get married. We need to come out of that closed box thinking of being limited to our traditions and cultures , Be kind enough to understand these women who just finished their studies , started working, some of them still paying their education loans are now grilled with this pressure and are piling up the stress . So many of us have started having health issues which mostly are result of chronic stress.The message is not only for these urban working ladies to be strong enough to handle this pressure of marriage but also to our society to be gentle enough , to be more kind and more mature to accept the change and let go of their preconceived notion of marriageable age.
I am not against marriage , there is nothing better than a good marriage and also nothing worse than a bad marriage so we need to choose wisely . Why rush or be sad for things not happening right now. Things will happen at their own time , till then we need to continue living our lives. The ultimate goal of life is not only marriage . Do things that you love, increase your knowledge , learn new things , travel , practice kindness and patience and most importantly never ever give up your confidence !
More to be followed soon in other parts 🙂
The newspapers few weeks back were flooded with New York Ramp walk pictures and story of Reshma Qureshi ,an acid attack survivor from India .Her journey from an acid attack victim to being a survivor ,an activist and now being model to walk the ramp in New York is inspiring, incredible and heart breaking. Her pictures will make you cry and her smile will bring back your smile. There are thousands of Reshma in India who have undergone such pain and horror in their lives and she is a representation of them all.
Through my blog I want to congratulate Reshma Qureshi for her determination and spirit and as well the the NGO ‘Make love not Scars’ who are helping these wonderful women to create an awareness to ban the unregulated sale of acid and their efforts to integrate the Acid Attack Survivors back in the society .
There are lot of NGOs in India and subcontinent working to help such victims by giving them counselling and medical aid. They are doing commendable jobs to connect these isolated women to social media and normalize their lives. One of the issue they have raised is to regulate the sale of these acids in normal drug stores and grocery stores .The local people use it as a cheap replacement for toilet cleaners. Although the ban has been announced by Supreme Court of India but still acid is sold publicly in some parts of countries where these incidents are more common.An ongoing activism and regulation is required to bring this law under full implementation. The major cause is average Indian’s ignorance to root cause of this ban, they need to be educated about the gravity of acid attacks and one of the reason behind them is its easy and cheap availability . These acts not only ruin somebody’s face but their complete life and lives of people connected with them. A trauma of lifetime can be completely avoided if people will stop buying it and the illegal sale will eventually decline.
The end of acid sale will meanwhile help to reduce such incidents but real root cause needs to be handled at core level of homeschooling/parenting and moral educating the children. We need to invest more into educating our boys teaching them to respect women and telling them women are not mere objects to be enslaved but an equal to them in creation and they are in no way better than a female except based on their actions . I would count this offence more on terms of gender inequality as a residue of damaged male ego going down the level to disfigure and destroy identity of opposite sex permanently . The questions :How can you ignore me, How dare you reject me ; perceiving themselves as higher beings are ending up in crime against women. No doubt such perverts are mentally ill but that the little idea which ended up being a big crime in their minds is given from society. The social values that a male child is favored upon female or male is better and a female should be submissive have added fuel to it, all these have to go and replaced by better values to respect women and giving them equal status and freedom to select or reject their partners as men would like to keep for themselves, so we no more have acid attack victims in 21st century.
Looking for a better world and hoping for better future.
I am waking up everyday to see my newsfeed full of articles and news about the French Burkini Ban. No wonder any news get amplified ample times by our Social Media before it reaching us as a breaking news. The ban was initially in Nice and now it has spread to 15 french cities .France is a big country and for now it is only 15 cities who banned it but this ban is expected to follow in further cities too and which is alarming.
Is Burkini really that important to be banned? At the end it is just a costume that some women chose to wear while they go swimming.Neither the number of those women is high nor is their anything in that attire that a part of population should feel threatened from it.Burkini looks similar to a wetsuit that a surfer wears but a wetsuit is not problem but Burkini is. May be because it is majorly worn by Muslim women who thinks covering up is part of their religious obligation which could be an issue for the French Government to digest on scales of their version of secularity .
The above picture is depiction of recent stripping of Burkini Clad woman on a Nice beach versus the police in a Gulf country asking a woman to cover up. Aren’t they both the same in a way that you force a woman to cover or uncover ? Stripping a woman on a beach because her full covering is not acceptable to the people around , is ridiculous and shameful. You could just ask her to leave instead of asking her to take off her clothes ? Does it anyway sound like freedom or advocacy of women’s rights ? Is a woman not free to choose her clothes? Should the government tell their women what to wear?
The Burkini Ban is nothing but a policy to further divide people on basis of their choice to wear clothes , another try to make a us vs them social divide. In a time where terrorism has struck high and governments of all countries should work to combat terrorism and Islamophobia , you are adding fuel to the fire with this Burkini Ban, you are justifying a part of population obsessed with Islamophobia that yes, you are right ! You need to be scared of women wearing a Burkini on a beach or swimming pool. In the name of secularism ,it is just oppression and curbing of basic human rights. I am sure there must be women out there who are not muslim and they do not like to show their skin too, covering up is not only just muslim thing or cultural thing it is about individual rights and choices, how is anyone to decide if his/her choice is better than mine or vice versa.To each one his life, his choices. Let others live how they want to , not how you want them to, based on your idea of living life .
Why it is alright to accept some old age clothing in name of fashion for example those gladiator shoes but if you see a woman wearing an abaya or head scarf, she looks to you from caves ? Because this is what Media has always portrayed , A woman letting go of her scarf as a sign of freedom ? I personally feel wearing a scarf was a sign of freedom for me, I chose to free myself from others idea of how should I look, from those pressure of looking beautiful and acceptance in society and that competition of looking most beautiful in a party , I have broken free from all such pressures and anxieties. Isn’t that freedom ? Yes , it is for me and it might not be for you, so please everyone whenever the judgemental thoughts come to your mind , stop it right there and then , don’t let them play in your mind and disturb your inner peace.
Wish you all much Peace !