Thursday January 17, 2019
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Violence Against Women Act: Pakistan

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credits- www.bbc.com violence against women act

By Megha Sharma

Mohammed Hanif, a Pakistani author and journalist, has recently discussed the law passed to preserve women’s rights. The law, preventing violence against women, has been authorized and declares a total dismissal of domestic abuse against women. Further, the law will institute legal proceedings on the culprit and even ask to wear a GPS-monitored bracelet. The offender will also be prohibited to buy guns or other harmful weapons. They focus on initiating a women’s hotline to report such an act immediately. It comes across as another step towards women empowerment.

shariya, the religious text of Muslims
shariya, the religious text of Muslims

However, this isn’t a consensual act as a major population stands in opposition of it. From religious groups to the old men, all are suggestive of a unanimous denial of this law as the patriarchal society has long observed the men in the house as power structures. Women have seen a longish submission to all these superstructures and have undergone not only mental but a physical passivity too. The religious text shariah is said to observe the act of domestic violence as acceptable in the name of masculine power.

Where on one hand there is a wide open space for women, full of opportunities, on the other one sees this refutation of exercising their rights. The repercussions of such a law are street protest and a story of it being against the culture.

a picture of Malala
a picture of Malala

The world has seen how the Muslim Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, fought against the terrorists and showed the cosmos the power of a young girl. She became a representative of many other females who wanted to conquer the world but were hopeless.

Women today, are not only feminists, but they assert their individuality. From coming out of working on high posts with meagre wages, they have now understood how they can’t be engendered. A UN survey also suggested how women can work 4 times more than men.

Hanif also argues how there are several feminist men as well. They let their sisters go out, they respect their wives and believe in an egalitarian society. However, it seems these men are the most hurt with the GPS monitoring as hanif reports them saying: “See, I have never stopped my sister from going to school, never given my girlfriend a black eye. That makes me a feminist, right? But we must protect our families. You don’t want a family-loving feminist man going around with a GPS tracker, do you?”

Women who today are not afraid of making them known to the world, who respect the culture but want to transcend the social boundaries, are too scared of what happens to them in their private sphere. It is thus a major drawback of this law that it isn’t supported by its citizens.

(Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her masters in English and has done her studies in German Language.) GMAIL- loveme2010.ms@gmail.com

follow me @ https://twitter.com/meghash06510344

  • Archita aggarwal

    A good start….we are with you.

Next Story

Menstruation Not a Taboo in Hindu Culture

Irony is that today, those very people who first advocated the stopping of ‘shameful and orthodox’ rituals of celebrating menstruation

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sindoor a cultural identity of every Hindu women (wikimedia commons)

By: Sunila Goray Raj

Menstruation is Far From Taboo in Hinduism.
There is so much to be said about it all – but here I only want to focus on the leftist’s latest favorite topic : Menstruation.
A survey conducted in USA in 1981 showed that a substantial majority of U.S. adults and adolescents believed that it is socially unacceptable to discuss menstruation, especially in mixed company. Many believed that it is unacceptable to discuss menstruation even within the family. Studies in the early 1980s showed that nearly all girls in the United States believed that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, while more than one-third of girls did not believe it appropriate to discuss menstruation with their father.
In Hindu culture, a girl who achieved menarche, or her first period, was feted, and pampered at a ceremony where family and close friends gathered and lavished gifts on her. The girl would be bathed in fragrant water after applying oil, turmeric etc. she would be bedecked in fine clothes, flowers and ornaments – and her feet would be washed. This is because Hinduism celebrates, and does not abhor menstruation. The Shakti philosophy upholds it as a gift which is responsible for creation of life.
temple
Devotees singing in front of Kamakhya temple (Hindu Council Of Australia)
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam celebrates the annual menstruation of the Goddess – and there is no idol there, just a structure that resembles the yoni, or the female symbol of creation.The Chengannur Temple in Kerala has a tradition of bathing the idol in a grand ceremony after her ‘period’ is over. According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni (genital) fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati. It mentions Kamakhya as one of four primary shakti peethas: the others being the Vimala Temple within the Jagannath Temple complex in Puri, Odisha; Tara Tarini) Sthana Khanda (Breasts), near Brahmapur, Odisha, and Dakhina Kalika in Kalighat, Kolkata, in the state of West Bengal, originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati.
The temple remains closed for three days during the Ambubachi mela for it is believed that mother earth becomes unclean for three days like the traditional women’s menstrual seclusion. During these three days some restrictions are observed by the devotees like not cooking, not performing puja or reading holy books, no farming etc. After three days devi Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are performed to ensure that the devi retrieves her purity. Then the doors of the temple are reopened and prasad is distributed.On the fourth day the devotees are allowed to enter the temple and worship devi Kamakhya.
Many religions have menstruation-related traditions, for example: Islam prohibits sexual contact with women during menstruation in the 2nd chapter of the Quran. In Judaism, a woman during menstruation is called Niddah and may be banned from certain actions. Western civilization, which has been predominantly Christian, has a history of menstrual taboos.
Menstruation
Forced by a tradition to live alone in a hut during menstruation, an 18-year-old Nepali woman died of snake bite. Flickr
Some Christian denominations, including many authorities of the Eastern Orthodox Church and some parts of the Oriental Orthodox Church advise women not to receive communion during their menstrual period. In certain branches of Japanese Buddhism, menstruating women are banned from attending temples.
In Japan, the religion of Shinto, the Kami, the spirits they worship, would not grant wishes if you had traces of blood, dirt, or death on you. In some portions of South Asia, there is a menstrual taboo, with it frequently being considered impure. Restrictions on movement, behaviourand eating are frequently placed.[57] The Yurok in North America practiced menstrual seclusion. Yurok women used a small hut near the main house.
BONUS FACT: Hinduism is the only mainstream religion which worships God in the female form – for wealth (Lakshmi), education (saraswati), and courage too (Durga) – we worship Goddesses. What greater women empowerment can there be? To accuse Hinduism of gender disparity is beyond ridiculous!
An orchestrated effort is being made, or should I say, has been made for several years now, to denigrate Hindu customs and culture. In the whole uproar over Sabarimala, the issue being tom-tommed by pseudo liberals is Women’s rights – gender equality, and especially the whole taboo surrounding menstruation – and all of it is nothing but a distortion, and concoction, where the narrative is being twisted to suit the agenda of certain vested interests.
Menstruation, Hinduism
Ambubachi mela 2016 is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held every year during monsoon .It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with ‘Tantric rites’. It is a common belief that the reigning diety, ‘Kamakhya’ , ‘The Mother Shakti’ goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this period. Flickr
In the West, media houses like the BBC and CNN are upholding Kanakadurga and Bindu, who pretended to be transgenders, and were whisked into Sabarimala in ambulances with the support of plains clothes cops, as ‘defenders of women’s rights’.
I do not know if I should shake my head, or tear my hair out in frustration.
With the advent of western education, especially missionary education, Hindus were made to feel that this whole ceremony is horrendous – how can you announce that your daughter has now started menstruating, what an embarrassment, how orthodox, what a shameful ritual, how backward – these were the things we were told. And instead of trying to resist, and make others understand what this ceremony meant, and its deep significance – we (me included) hung our heads in shame, relented, and agreed with them.
Today hardly anybody performs this ceremony for their daughters, because we were taught by those who came from outside that it is taboo, and shameful. We also joined the bandwagon which proclaimed menstruation to be ‘filthy’.
Irony is that today, those very people who first advocated the stopping of ‘shameful and orthodox’ rituals of celebrating menstruation, are mocking Hindus about women entering Sabarimala and turning it into a ‘menstruation taboo’ issue, whereas clearly, it is not that at all.
Today, those very same people are trying to prove themselves as modern and as the harbinger of women’s rights and equality by conducting a festival dedicated to menstruation – styled ‘Aarpo Aarthavam’. It is laughable! The hypocrisy is just unbelievable.
So please stop trying to fool gullible people, because there are still many of us who know the truth. (Hindu Council Of Australia)