Be Your Own Safeguard

Women are supposed to be very calm generally but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to make puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if you seek to do more or learn more than customs pronounced necessary for their sex. (Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre)

Oh the eternal debate of gender equality! Men and women, are born with the equal capacity for intelligence and emotions. If you ever get past the physical aspects, a person is heart and soul, their mental capacity isn’t based on their gender either.

But living in a patriarchal society, all we ever face is prejudice and discrimination. Demanding our rights, or to be treated fairly and with respect has nothing to do with feminism, but with being human.

The word anti-man is just another conflict! Men must realize that women are more than just sexual objects. They need to be empowered and educated just as men are, and are subject to rights and respect just as anybody should be.

Our society has oppressed our women. Women are conditioned to feel inferior to their fellow beings. They are taught to adopt a lady like manner, to dress, walk and talk in a certain way. To learn to cook, and to give up their dreams of life independent of a man. They are taught how a man is her only safeguard and provider. And I disagree.

People see others as they are. So if I’m judged for the way I dress, or my profession or for hanging out with guy friends, it only proves how petty your imagination can be. You cannot judge someone till you know them, but women are judged in an instant glare.

It’s about time we put an end to this, the first step isn’t to teach our children, but ourselves, that women are humans and have the right to do whatever they want of their lives without being oppressed or judged. A woman can be equally brilliant and successful as a man if given the opportunity and encouragement to do so. Without woman, there is no man. A woman is an institution in herself. Empowering and educating a woman will only lead to progression as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:

“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”

Not only men must learn to, but women as well should respect themselves and help each other grow. Know your rights, decide what you want with life and never ever fall victim to society’s prejudiced beliefs. Only you are going to live your life for you, and only you are your own safeguard!

Afrah is a LLB PU Programme Part 1 student at Pakistan College of Law who loves writing blogs about food , fashion and women rights.

The views expressed by the authors in all the posts do not necessarily reflect those of Pakistan College of Law.
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