Having been single most of my life has never deterred me from living life the way I’ve wanted to live. In other words I’ve gone ahead and socialized, worked, travelled and pretty much done whatever I’ve wanted to in a Country that frowns upon women being too independent.
Nowadays things have pretty much changed with girls becoming more and more empowered and parents becoming more concerned about ensuring their daughters are equipped with enough education and independence to navigate the pitfalls of life.
What has however not changed is the basic disrespect that most Pakistani men and even women display towards an independent woman. Maybe it’s because they fail to understand her creed or maybe they are just plain threatened by it. Whatever the reason might be, it’s unfortunate that we as a nation or as a society are still hanging on to a prejudice that automatically categorizes someone who doesn’t conform as not right.
There are of course exceptions to the rule. There always are, but the majority of Pakistani people still have an agenda of sorts against any woman who displays an independence from not being dependent on a male member of the family. Also this dependence isn’t only monetary. If a woman is divorced/widowed/single and yet she lives her life fully and happily she is at once categorized as an anomaly. And unfortunately a woman who is an anomaly is a woman to be regarded with suspicion.
But the worst part of it is not being odd or being regarded as suspicious…
The worst part of being an independent woman who looks happy and totally in control of her life is that she is at once categorized as someone with loose morals. And that about sums up the total intellectual and moral integrity of us Muslim Pakistanis. Because we don’t understand her and her wish to live a fulfilling life in the absence of a man in her life we at once label her with the worst possible slur for us Pakistanis.
We as Pakistani parents are now totally focused on bringing about a change of lifestyle for our daughters. For them to be independent, educated and strong enough to be the champions of their lives if something goes wrong with them. However what we aren’t doing is training our sons to be real men too. To make them understand that respect for women isn’t a good habit to be cultivated only, instead it’s a crucial practice. We will never be able to create a better and happier and safer world for our daughters till we don’t educate our sons….