A woman must not speak

Published: November 21, 2012
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Educated and financially independent women often meet the same fate of mental and physical torture in our male-dominated society as well — it is just under-reported. PHOTO: FILE

A culture that respects women is a step towards a society free of violence. But in Pakistan, hardly a daypasses when we do not hear about cases of rape, acid throwing or domestic fights.

Educated and financially independent women often meet the same fate of mental and physical torture in our male-dominated society as well — it is just under-reported. Women are not given due importance by their male relatives and there is no law for those who torture women mentally. Whether she is a housewife or a working woman, she is made to feel rejected and useless.

If a woman cannot have children, she might feel insecure; men have the option of remarrying but where does a woman stand in our society? After marriage, elders of the family ask girls to conceive immediately saying a child helps make a relationship stronger.

Can a wife and husband not love each other and make the relationship work without a child?

Does love not work without a child?

Most men want a perfect woman, who is good at managing work and a home life simultaneously and is beautiful and active. Men, however, have no apprehensions of what they are and how they look themselves. The relationship is safe so long as the woman does not speak.

As girls grow up, they are taught to be patient and silent. If the husband has affairs or secretly had a previous marriage, she cannot speak, else the relationship will suffer. Even the media does not encourage bold women; images of females suffering in silence are portrayed as role models in our TV dramas.

In many cases of arranged marriages, if a man doesn’t like his wife, he can easily say three words and leave but if a woman doesn’t like her husband, she cannot leave him. She has to make every effort to save the relationship.

Even working women are not an exception.

If they speak out, it often goes against them and they are blamed for everything that goes wrong. They don’t have any other option but to silently suffer through the relationship. I know many professional women who excelled in their fields but even they complained about their husbands’ attitude and selfishness.

Women spend their entire lives hoping that things might change but they don’t.

Do we not want to change?

Perhaps, we are happy living in ignorance.

Ishrat Ansari

Ishrat Ansari

The author works at The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.