Stories about international women’s day

A woman does not need a man’s protection

“Nobody is a monster that he is excluded from society. After all, any society that has these rapists has to take responsibility for them, and this is the first thing that these feminist callers that came before the Verma Committee said, that these are our people, these men are ours.”— Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate, Supreme Court India and co-author of the Verma Report I am not a rapist. I cannot even possibly conceive how a person could rape, assault, murder or even harass. So why did I feel guilty being a man watching the documentary India’s Daughter? This question has plagued my thoughts for ...

Read Full Post

14 Pakistani women who help us hold our heads up high

Pakistan is in the grips of political turmoil, rampant corruption, fuel shortages and the threat of terrorism, yet the resilience and courage of its women are nothing short of remarkable and awe-inspiring.   On International Women’s Day, I felt it was appropriate to commemorate these inspirational women who, despite adversity and hardship, strive hard to shine a positive light on Pakistan’s splintered image. They make Pakistani men and women proud and, in turn, teach us all how to stand tall in the face of troubles and strife. Starting from bottom to top, my 10 most inspirational Pakistan women from 2014-15 are: 14) Ainy Jaffri Photo: ...

Read Full Post

Majaz Lakhnawi advices young women to ‘lift the veil, raise the flag’

Majaz Lakhnawi lived through a turbulent yet exciting time: in 1930’s British-controlled India, where patriarchy also raised its ugly head, especially in Muslim households. Yet Majaz, who himself was born in a Muslim family, became a prominent member of the Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA), whose task was to rid India both of British colonialism and patriarchy. He quickly became a popular poet, ahead of his illustrious peers, both amongst young men and women, due to his message of revolution and female emancipation. Owing to just a few of his poems, Majaz has entered the pantheon of great poets who recounted the social history of the Indian subcontinent ...

Read Full Post

What is the point of International Women’s Day anyway?

In the land of technicolour, is there space for grey areas? Welcome to Pakistan. We are rapidly moving towards a positive change, for example, everyone now knows what Aldo sells – everyone who is anyone, that is. Another, more poignant example is how we are all set to celebrate International Women’s Day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for all the right reasons. Or at least that’s what we have been told – be happy on March 8 and go give the next woman you find a pat on the back. She may turn around and slap you but that’s okay. It ...

Read Full Post

Why Celebrate International Women’s Day?

Year after year, March 8 unwaveringly marks International Women’s Day, which is commemorated globally for more than a hundred years now. And while the original focus of the celebration was a movement towards gender equality and women’s suffrage, it has since evolved to become more than that. It has become a day to celebrate women – their achievements and successes – as well as bring awareness to the progressions they’ve managed to accomplish thus far. Yet, I can’t help but wonder about the significance of this day – whether it even deems any significance at all – especially for Pashtun women living back ...

Read Full Post

School,college,marriage,kids – is there more to being a woman?

From a very early age, girls are taught to be responsible, politically correct and open to compromise, with a greater emphasis on conformity for societal appreciation. There is just one problem, most of these lessons are bequeathed with the view of a woman’s future home, future in-laws, hypothetical husband and even more hypothetical children. Lessons that bring forth a form of “automatic decision- making” that is of the “school-college-marriage-kids” variety. It is almost as though a majority of women conclude that the ultimate result of any pursuit prior to their mid 20s will be matrimony and anything different would be rather ...

Read Full Post

Be kind to your teachers

I wonder if women are given presents on Women’s Day. Whatever the case, the Election Commission of Pakistan has definitely given Presiding Officer Habiba Memon and Assistant Presiding Officer Shagufta Memon the best Women’s Day present ever: restoration of their self-respect, which took a battering when Waheeda Shah slapped them during the by-elections recently in Tando Muhammad Khan. I am really happy about the way things are finally changing for women in the country. First Maya Khan got sacked for unethical journalism, and now Shah, who has been disqualified by the Election Commission for two years. Too much of power ...

Read Full Post

International Women’s day is not my day

It’s not my day because I am a woman every day of the year. I don’t want 24 hours to remind the world that I will speak what’s on my mind, make my own decisions and not be objectified, simply because I don’t need to be given what’s mine to begin with anyway;  health and safety, education, equal opportunities and control over my body and life choices. My rights are not your charity. Please don’t pat yourself on the back to assuage your guilt, if there is any to begin with, for being nice to me today.  I moved beyond ...

Read Full Post