Even though, this blogpost has nothing to do with the blog niche I write about but still, the news regarding recent feminism march on women’s day in Pakistan caught my eye. Especially its slogan “Mera Jism, Meri Marzi!” (My body, my rules!). It made me think about my trip to Malaysia. I wanted to write about the women workforce there which certainly caught my eye but couldn’t find the post that with made an impact. This time, I got the right idea of comparing feminism in two different Muslim countries.
Feminism in Malaysia
The few things that caught my eye during the trip there were the peaceful multi ethnic environment, high literacy rate and of course, the women workforce. According to Wikipedia, 47% of workforce in Malaysia are women working alongside the male workforce. Even while sightseeing, doing grocery and even the ones serving at the restaurants and food stalls, almost all the time while buying or ordering something to eat I encountered were women. All of them spoke English well enough to communicate with foreigners.
Image source: Google Women workforce in Malaysia
I am not saying that Malaysian society is ideal or they don’t have any cases related to domestic violence especially regarding women. The fact is the way they deal with it. According to http://factsanddetails.com, an NGO called Sisters in Islam founded in 1988 by Zaniah Anwar has been dealing with issues regarding feminism under the light of Islamic teachings. The details can be seen in the link mentioned.
Feminism in Pakistan
Image source: Google ‘Aurat March’ slogans
As discussed in the paragraph above, the news of feminism march on women’s day in Pakistan has been circling on social media for several weeks; especially the slogans the women were carrying while marching. Unfortunately, whenever the term ‘working woman’ is mentioned, the image that comes into people’s mind are often of a lady dressed stylish with makeup on along with designer clothes and accessories.
Image source: Google Working woman Pakistan stylish
By looking the persona of working women like these, we often neglect and forget the ones who are to be called real woman workforce like Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar, the first combat pilot in the history of Pakistan, several women in rural areas working on farms and let us not forget the maids in urban areas working several in homes six days a week even on labor day.
Image source: Google Flying Officer Marium Al Mukhtiar
Image source: Google Women working in farms
But after seeing the news regarding the slogans women were carrying during March, it seems like women are asking to go wild rather than becoming independent. I agree women in Pakistan face issues regarding harassment and domestic abuse but I ask you to name a single country completely free from such issues. Name any country other than Pakistan where women will be completely free from such issues. Issues like these are required to be controlled and dealt with and this is certainly NOT the way to handle such issues. We call Marium Mukhtiar ‘daughter of the soil’ and ‘pride of the nation’ but not willing to follow her footsteps. Instead we seek escape routes like these slogans. These women are needed to be asked if you want a society or to be free from males, consider the following slogan below:
Image source: Twitter Male slogan
In the end, the comparison above seems conclusive. The march was conducted certainly for a good cause but handled poorly. Unlike Malaysia where an NGO made decades ago is resolving issues in the light of the Holy Quran, we being a bigger Muslim majority and having the country’s foundation solely based on Islam have failed to handle such issues despite of having several NGOs working for such causes. All we can do is learn now from our fellow Muslim Majority nation before it is too late.
Image source: Twitter Hadith