With numerous other challenges in this society, one of
the perpetual debates under discussion is the woman of our society today and
the growing awareness amongst her. As we see the divorce rates getting
higher and people becoming more receptive to these ‘pinching facts’, it does
give an invitation to the thought process.
Education has been a great help to women for knowing their capabilities,
their rights and to enable them to choose what they think is right for
themselves. More and more women are getting equipped with this tool and the
race seems to have started a long time back. It is indeed a very positive
step for building a healthier society but it appears that along with the
package, comes a very alarming situation where breaking up of the families
is becoming common across the nation. East, though deprived of a lot that
the west enjoys, has always had an upper hand in what it called was its
‘traditions and norms’. It is no secret that with all the negative aspects
of our society aside, we have always been far more family oriented and great
preachers of family unification, compared to the west. What is beginning to
get disturbing is the fact that the awareness in our society is having
diverse effects. Career that was in one time, least important for a woman is
now her most passionate goal and a priority higher than anything else, a
fear that is making a man insecure. Loyalties are being reallocated from
homes to offices. Women have lost their tolerance and men are wilder than
before. Most importantly, there is a huge gap between a husband and a wife.
Its no more than a mere contract in true sense of the word.
" I have seen in the past that women were bound to be with their husbands
irrespective of what they felt. Even if their married life was shattered,
separation was the last solution they could think of. This earned them
nothing else but unhappiness," says Rida Ali, a member of the Corporate
World who believes that awareness amongst women has helped them have an
identity of their own and they are less subjected to the brutal tortures by
men. " They think their career is all what life is about or for that matter,
their own social life is not above all. We have a career too but we don’t
forget our family life and responsibilities. We give them love, we give them
respect, we give them all that we can; all that they wish for. We provide
them with luxuries of life. We sponsor everything from food till the child’s
education and all her make-up kits. We provide them with a house. All we ask
in return is for a ‘home’," says Murtaza Ali, a Chartered Accountant working
with a Multinational in Pakistan. A little confused that I was about the
house and home thing, I asked Murtaza, " What’s the difference between a
house and a home?" "A house is a shelter made of material to protect you and
your family from cold rain and heat." He replied. "A home has a much broader
meaning. It’s another world within the boundaries of those four walls that
you call a house. It’s a world filled with love, affection, sincerity,
concern and unity." What’s beginning to be a serious cause of concern is the
fact that we have changed our priorities to earn us no good. Self-interests
and personal desires are taking us to a road of no end and no return.
"I come back after a long day of working, earning every penny for my family.
I am dead tired and my biggest reward is to see my wife when I get home. I
know a friend who has a routine no different to that of mine but when he
gets home, he has nothing to look forward to except the empty home. His wife
comes back after he does and what he expects of her is actually what she is
expecting of him. ‘Dance around’ attitude. At the end of it, both are
fighting. None is to be blamed. But what’s the solution?" asks Zaid, a
banker based in Karachi.
"If today, a woman seeks career, its because a man has always made her
financially deprived. Its not that he wants to have an upper hand. It’s the
fact that he wants her to beg him," says Shehr Naz, a Pakistani based in
Canada who is a strong supporter of woman rights. " Don’t talk about those
ideal husbands that provide everything to their wives in a golden plate,"
she elaborates, "they are very few. You could probably count them on
fingers. Look at an average woman today. Look where the world is today and
our men are still not out of their ‘housewife fantasy.’"
"These women who talk of women rights don’t have the right to complain. They
do not truly represent that poor part of the society, suffering the most
from the brutalities of men. They claim to be the true representatives
whereas it is nothing more than a mere publicity. They enjoy a lovely life
at home, have all comforts of life but pretend as if they really feel the
pain of that woman in ‘androon shehr’ who goes through tortures from her
jobless, alcoholic husband who takes away all the money she earns at the end
of the month. How can these Hi-fi Merc-oriented Begum sahibas relate to
those deplorable women?" argues Jawad Asad, a Britain based columnist who
happens to be a part of the social work in Pakistan. " When it comes to
their career, their interests, we are given examples of the west, of the
world and are accused of being old-fashioned. But when it comes to being
given preference in a long queue, being sponsored for the entire expenses of
the house, being provided with all luxuries, being relieved of major
responsibilities, then it becomes their right! Why then do we don’t follow
the most idealistic west? Simply because then we would have to pay for our
own food, own rent and own gas." For everything in life, there is a broad
line that should be kept in site. It does of course matter that we all come
from different school of thoughts. For a lot of people, my opinion would be
that of a conservative, old fashioned, paranoid male. For others, it could
be a realistic approach to see reality. The first thing we need to do is to
set our priorities right. The debate as to whom amongst the two partners is
right or wrong remains a debate forever. Of course
both have something to add to this but does that solve the problem? Why
can’t we devote a few minutes at the end of the day to analyze ourselves and
see where we went wrong?
Everything is clear. We all know what facts are but we just don’t want to
accept. We run away from the realities of life and seek shelter in those
fake consolations that we give ourselves incase something goes wrong.
Admitting faults is the last thing we do and this is what happens now.
Compromising is the key to success in a married life. For a man to think
that he owns a woman is absolutely ridiculous. She should be given a right
to choose within certain parameters and her decisions should be respected.
He should accept that she does have an identity of her own and he can not
treat her like a car; drive her the way he wants! Women on the other hand
have gone far beyond in their race to get their rights. In their effort to
have an identity of their own, they have now started compromising on what
was once the most valuable to them, their married life. As a result,
husbands tend to have lost their faith in this relationship.
The need for a better family life can not be ignored at this point and time.
Irrespective of our genders, we are all humans; Humans who are liable to
commit mistakes and mistakes that are meant to be forgiven. A little bit of
understanding, some quantity of compromise, a certain amount of love and
obvious amount of respect is all we need for the recipe of a healthy
relationship. Balance should be kept and priorities should be set. There is
nothing more you need. Trust me, if you have the best job in the world, the
best circle of friends, loads of money, good car, ideal house and all you
lack is a loving family, then there is nothing that you have!