Contracted working environment for women - a big question mark on Society

Opinion Jan, 27 2023
Contracted working environment for women - a big question mark on Society
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Since, this topic may have been discussed several times, however, the experience of every woman is different. Pakistani women are differently abled than the women across the country. Justifiably, this is right to say that the circumstances in Pakistani women are working are extremely exhausted, fussy and frustrated as compared to women outside Pakistan. Not for everyone, but this ratio is about ninety out of hundred. The purpose of the extreme hard statements written above, is only to aware the readers about toughs and tires of working women of Pakistan.

In beginning, it was not a tradition of women to work in Pakistan, women worked only at home as their mainstream. Slowly and gradually, women started educating themselves and then stabilizing their positions in many parts of professional work environment. After several nurses, doctors, teachers the caring and nurturing sectors, women moved towards the other professional work environment; for stance, engineers, lawyers, government officers, social workers, pilots, chartered accountants’ managers or geologists. There is no profession today where women are not employed. It sounds much appreciable that women took the courageous step and amalgamated with men work force. However, things were never gone as easy as a piece of cake. A majority of the women still face discrimination and gender bias.

Pakistan is a democratic country since its beginning which came into being after separation of sub-continent where Hindus and Muslims lived. Majority of Pakistanis are migrants from India and most of them are practicing the same traditions and cultures followed by Hindus in their state. Obviously, when one lives with another throughout its major part of life, he/she automatically adopts the habits and conducts of other. Same happened with people of Pakistan. They apparently left the Hindus and joined land of pure but inside, there is some point which still follows the culture and customs of them. 

After a deep analysis and research, this write up is being generated about the working ladies in Pakistan. At the outset, we must realize the factors and responsibility of a woman. Besides physical delicacy created by Almighty Allah, a woman in Pakistan is substantially weaker than the man due to above mentioned factor i.e., living with Hindus. Their value, self-esteem, or power, all deemed to be understood as scrawny and back handed as compared to men. Likewise, it is true that working women have to face problems by virtue of their sex. For centuries women have been subjected to exploitation and torture, physically, sexually and mentally. There are innumerable challenge and problems faced by them both at home and workplace. What we generally see today, in addition to various media and journal reports is that in the workplace women generally face mental stress, sexual harassment, discriminatory practices, safety and security issues etc.

In my opinion, women should be financially independent in this era of life. Financially independent means, she must have her own money, her own essentials, her own personal accessories for which she has not to be totally dependent on men/ or her guardian. Elaborating my point of view by portraying example of Hazrat Khudaijah RA- the first wife of the Holy Prophet PBUH. She was an entrepreneur, a very enthusiastic hardworking lady. Whose empire was subsequently dealt by prophet PBUH. The purpose to quote Hazrat Khudaijah RA above is to emphasize on the value of working women and their prestige. A phenomenon is usually heard around the globe that besides every working woman, there is a person who stands with.

So far, with my observation, beside every successful working woman, there are numbers of persons like her family including her brother, sister, mother, father, husband, in laws, her office- yes, it is rightly said that her office, including her team, her colleagues, managers, boss, subordinate etc.  who stand by with her, who never burdened her for what she does, who share her responsibilities, who takes care of her and her home/office in her absence. Society never understands what is happening inside a woman when she leaves home. She leaves her children, her domestic responsibilities-which she has to do at any cause, her personal grievances, a mother hood and the list continues. Many ladies, who betray themselves just because the societal pressure. They fall in passive suicide that is they start refrain from striving to remain alive. As they stop eating and drinking, not treating or taking care of wound, not having proper oxygen which later become the cause of death.

Generally, it is observed that when women work in other than her deemed jobs (doctor / teacher), she is treated to be same as man. Due to patriarchal society and rising feminism, the respect of women is being legged behind. In the last few years, society has started seeing women in a different perspective. The competitors and the working men treat her as an object or similar to man. They presume the status of women only as homemakers and she should not work with them in their area of professionalism. This builds envy and male dominant society shrinks the circle / circumstances of working women, despite knowing that she needs leverage and extra care. Like Prophet PBUH always stood beside her wife. He not only assisted her but also encouraged other ladies who worked in battle fields. In his last sermon, he took oath from men about the rights and obligations of women as he warned men to be very much careful about women, about their sensitivity, grace and elegance. On the day of judgment, he will surely ask men about it. Those, who are creating obstacles in women life will subject to be questioned.  

The solution of the problem of occupational stress in working women lie in the change of traditional mindset of the society that male are the bread winners and females are the house- keepers which is indeed a truth, but if some working then cultural restrictions should be banned. So, there is a need to change the attitude of the employers, policy makers, politicians and family members. They should provide the tension free environment to working women at place of work as well as at home.

Published in The Daily National Courier, January, 27 2023

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Syeda Hoor Shumail
Syeda Hoor Shumail
Contributing author at Daily National Courier. Looking after OP-ED page with diversified content on mix topics of greater interest. Also member of Karachi Union of Journalist (KUJ).

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