By Shandana Humayoom
Islam is a religion of peace and tranquility, justness and egalitarianism. Islam teaches us to be fair and equitable in all sorts of dealings in our daily life. Islam enlightens us as to the right of men and women, and how every woman deserves everything that a man does. For example, right to education, right to fee will, right to justice and right to having confidence that makes them believe that they can achieve what they want in life.
Gender disparity has been a menace in Pakistan since its inception .The currently released report showed how far Pakistan is, an achieving the gulf between man and woman. Treating male and female children differently is a rite in Pakistan which consequently leads to lack of confidence. The boy most of the time remains the blue eyed for parents, however, the later due to her sex often being neglected.
I would cite here a family of servants that we hired quite a while ago. The family was a small, typical one, consisting of the father, a son who was about six years old, a daughter of about four years, and the mother .The daughter was a victim of serious prejudice from her father who despised her for the sole reason that she was a girl .He favoured his son over her, and was used to making a show of it to so as to leave the daughter disconsolate and insecure. He gave his son the best of everything and left her daughter roam about, dirty with her greasy hair tied into a huge knot, giving it the look of shrub. He encouraged his wife to do so. His wife too started ignoring her daughter. This bred hatred in the heart of her brother, who started to surprise himself over her. You know what this resulted in?
A mentally disabled child! The disability of a girl to make her life probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone. But it did to me.
It affected me. It made me resent her father, it made me loathe him for his illiteracy. The girl had been destroyed. She had no confidence in what she was. All day and every day, I used to see her in the playground in front of my house, running from one swing to the next, without having any idea of what she was doing. It killed me on the inside, to know that some people could be so pointless and blind so as to drive their own daughters, their own blood, completely insane, and to seek entertainment in doing so. I remember once I was in the lawn when I saw her passed by. When she saw me she probably panicked and tried to hide by giving me a really sheepish smile as if to tell me that she herself was really embarrassed of who she was. She wouldn’t meet my gaze, and continued to look down at the ground as if she were in punishment. I tried to say hello to her, tried to get her to talk but she wouldn’t. And it crushed me. So I reach into my pocket and luckily found a candy that had somehow miraculously survived. I pulled it out and gave it to her and she saw the candy in my hand, and she stood still for a minute. Then she looked at me, still with that smile plastered on her face and then back at the candy, then at me, and then back again .I extended the hand a little further and she stepped back. She wasn’t going to take it, I knew. She thought she didn’t deserve it. I told her gently to take it but she just looked at me, still smiling and shook her head. Slowly she took a few small steps back and then turned and sped off to her home. To this day I hate myself for not having talked to her, about how beautiful she was and how there was no wrong in talking what I was giving her, because she was a child just like thousands of other children. I often wonder where is she right now? What is she doing? Is her dad still as retard as he was so many years back? I just wish I could meet her once!!!
This is just one of many stories; just one of the many other girls who are being treated the same way and even worse in their homes .What is so wrong about being a girl?
Are females not as strong as males? No.
They are stronger, much stronger, and they are capable of doing things men cannot even dream of doing. I am not, in any way whatsoever, degrading the males nor do I mean to offend them .But they have received quite enough love and affection and favours from everyone in the world. Is it not so?
How about things take a turn in the favour of the females this time?
The author is a medical doctor and a CSS aspirant, based in Peshawar.
Published in The Gilgit on Sunday January 6, 2019