Women are not treated as ladies even in developed countries

Published: December 8, 2012
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Developed nations and Pakistani NGOs have always painted a dark picture about women’s rights in Pakistan but the above statistics are a clear indication that the required attitude shift is missing in developed countries, too. PHOT0: REUTERS

There is a country where, every six days, a woman is killed by her partner. It is a country where, on any given day, over 3,000 women with their 2,500 children live in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence. It is a country where in just one year, over 0.4 million women over the age of 15 reported that they have been sexually assaulted. Since only 10 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher.

It is a country where half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

Can you guess which country am I talking about?

No, it is not Pakistan.

These statistics represent Canada, one of the most developed countries of the world. The situation is not different in the US either, where, according to the Department of Justice, a sexual assault incident occurs every two minutes.

The reason I searched for these statistics was because of a picture I saw on Facebook recently. It was of the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event in Toronto.

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Here, hundreds of men gathered and walked a mile in high-heeled feminine shoes to support the cause of ending violence against women. The picture took me by surprise as I could not connect Canada with violence against women. The above statistics were another big surprise.

I know the famous old saying that “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” But does it have to be taken in a literal sense? Isn’t it actually about the change of attitude towards women? Developed nations and Pakistani NGOs have always painted a dark picture about women’s rights in Pakistan, but the above statistics are a clear indication that the required attitude shift is missing in developed countries too!

The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them.

We, on the other hand, feel proud in washing our dirty linen on television without thinking of its adverse effects on our national image.

Something to think about, isn’t it?

Read more by Ovais here.

Ovais.Ahmed

Ovais Ahmed Mangalwala

A producer for Express News.

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