Tuesday, December 05, 2006

16 Day Campaign

" Women! Mighty Goddess of mans dreams and all that he admires!
Why did you consent to become a mere whim to his desires?
The Almighty decreed you a bearer and nourisher of life,
Why did you from your natural role so willingly retire?"

I had written some days back about the 16 days of activism against gender violence, and when I had written that post I had thought I would write a post a day on a related topic. But the fact of the matter is we think a lot and seldom act on what we think. I got busy with my life and did'nt bother to write a single post on a subject I feel about. Today after being absent from my blog for the past 5 days I looked up my stats and saw some one had ended up on my blog by searching for "How do Pakistani men treat their wives?". That got me thinking about the 16 day campaign and I figured I should write something about that.

Gender violence is not a religious or a geographic issue, its a global issue spanning all cultures and religions. From times long ago women have been reffered to as the "weaker sex". Even today, women are harrased at the workplace and beaten at home by their husbands, boyfriends, partners, siblings and parents. Abused physically, mentally and sexually by men close to them. This has got to stop but it won't untill we do something about it. Women should fight for their rights, they should not quitely take anything that comes their way.

Men on the other hand are usually the ones who use their physical strength to abuse the women around them. These men need to be stoped. And men should take steps to change the situation.

This should start by:
  1. Mentoring and teaching young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men's programs.
  2. Men should approach gender violence as a MEN'S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.
  3. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner -- or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general -- don't look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don't know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON'T REMAIN SILENT.
  4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.

This situation needs to be tackled and men and women all over the world need to work together to make amends.


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Ameen to that!

What a wonderful initiative DReb. If only more men thought like you did the world would be a safer place for us women.

Truth of the matter is, men are on a power trip, a very long one. Not all, but enough of them to make life hell and sour for the women of this world. Violence is not teh only abuse, words work well too. It has got to stop and it will...

Enyur said...

Great post! I agree with you. The family is usually the first place where we initially learn and develop attitudes toward other people, religions and cultures etc. Father's usually play a strong role in their son's life and should be a good example.

Although a tad bit off topic, I think my recent post does tie in with yours. I wrote about postpartum depression. After reading your post, I wonder perhaps, whether the husband can play a role in preventing women from killing themselves and their children...?

kaya said...

What a fantastic post Dreb.
Such a BIG "IF".
If MEN would stop this and if MEN would stop that.
But at the end of the day ITS A MAN'S world and every which way you turn and as sure as the sun will rise and the world will turn, nothing will ever change.
A woman doesn't need to be harrassed or beaten by a man, the minute a BROTHER is born in her HOME, she will cease to exist. The credit for that will go to her mother.
My husband says I should not bully my girls to be such high acheivers. But the only thing that empowers a woman is education. But he is also right, too much knowledge and they will be viewed as freaks.
Where the emphasis is on playing with hair, and lipgloss; a smart clever girl is too often: ALONE.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful post! if only people would pay attention to such topics and do something about them. i think women are as much a part of this as men. sure in most cases it is men who are the abusers but the women do take over sometimes. a prime example would be the much dreaded mother in law. even if she is not the one abusing the d.i.l. she often doesnot do anything to stop the husband when in most cases she can.
there is another kind of abuse which although doesnt harm women bodily but emotionally leaves them battered, it its so subtle in most cases that women dont realize that they are being abused. emotional or psychological abuse is much worse because detecting its presence and helping the victim is so much more difficult. there is more information about it here: http://www.calss.utoronto.ca/pamphlets/emotional_abuse.htm
i agree with Kaya when she says that girls become misfits when they are more interested in school and less in things like fashion, boys.. i think i belong to the same category. but arent we better misfits than victims? atleast we have the ability to live life by our own rules and arent dependant on men for any and everything.
i can only pray that Allah protect us from the day when we fall prey to it!

Destitute Rebel said...

SS - True men have been on a power trip for a long time, and most men when they see women is a position of power or a position where they will be able to stand up for themselves don't take it in a nice way. Men still want to be dominant, to be incharge and things changing are hard for them to deal with. We can only do our part and hope for the best. Education for both women and men is very important to deal with gender abuse.

Hi Enyur, Values and morals are best learnt at home, and from example, unfortunately fathers around the world do not play that important a role in their childrens life as the mother and thus even father who know what is right do not put in an effort to teach thir son's how to live like men.
I read your post about postpartum depression and it definately ties up with the issue of gender bias and gender abuse. Women go through alot during pregnancy and child birth and the causes for depression are numerous, from work related stress to expectations, to managing a household. in situations like these the men around should see the signs clearly and be sensitive to the needs of the woman, signs of depression are usually very clear and an offer for help is willingly accepted, if more people cared we would see a lot of things work out differently.

Kaya, welcome back. You are right a lot of things you said are true, but you are wrong that things will never change, Hopefully things will change and people will start seeing things for what they are, it is us who have to bring in the change, it is us who have to change the perceptions, and break from norm. You are doing your part by teaching your daughters the values of life and making them achievers, I'm sure they will grow up to be stong women bringing about change in society.

The Friendly Lion, very true, abuse can be of very different types, Physical, mental or emotional. All abuse can be life shattering and can leave scars that might not ever heal. But the issue is why do we continue to tolerate abuse. Why do we continue to make others hurt us again and again. why don't we step out of the cycle even when an oppertunity knocks on the door. Do we become used to abuse? We should realize what is good and what is bad for us and we should break free of the vicious cycle of abuse and try and heal.

No Hassle Loans said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
clayfuture said...

Good post!! This is a very important issue that I think has not been written about much in print or on tv, etc. To be a good man, and more importantly, to be a good human being, starts at home. Children will learn what their parents will teach them. Kids are not dumb, they see and hear everything. They just don't know how to compute all the info coz they don't understand. It's the parent's responsibility to guide them at every turn so they are more knowledgable when they grow up.

kaya said...

I think the worst part of it all is as a nation a 100 years ago we were far more broadminded then we claim to be today.
My maternal grandmother was a matriculate which back then was a very high educational qualification.
Sadly I notice todays generation and the aterialistic values being instilled in them by the media and the "have to fit into social circle hungry parents", the emphasis in too many families is more where to shop and be seen then to see the grades on a academic report card.
I have seen too many kids leaving school armed with O'levels/A'levels because there are so many fast opportunities for them, when in fact their only qualification is YOUTH.
The Friendly Lion is too right about what she says, but at times this culture that is the new religion frightens me.
Pakistani men in particular can spend a lifetime being educated abroad, living abroad but the ones who actually make any change are few and far between.
They will be all LIBERAL while they live there and then they come home to marry and in less than a nano second their BRIDE has to be young,shy,docile,not too educated, not a working woman,home maker, and the list just goes on for the perfect "COW".
The erason why I brought Grandma into the conversation is if you read books/ watch movies/ or even speak to people from that generation you would be amazed at how cultured and broadminded they really were.
Todays parents are lesser educated and for them broadminded means trashy soaps and emulating the lifestyle. Yet when it comes to choosing which child will go to the better school the male child wins, when it comes to marrying off the daughter they cant give enough DOWRY to appease the groom /grooms family.
they say laws are being passed, but what LAWS are these? What has Pakistan just done with the HUDOOD ORDINANCE?

Anonymous said...

@D Reb
I agree with the fact that if women are being abused they should pack up and leave. but what if they dont know any better, what if they understand and realize tht its wrong but cant leave coz they know they will not be able to sustain themselves and will be shunned by everyone i.e. family and society.
we have no support system for these things at any level. unless women know that its ok to leave and arent being told by the family tht they should never leave the husband as it will bring shame to their family they will want to and will be able to leave.
and i think alot of women do get used to it as well, especially those who have seen it happen in their own houses from a young age and dont know any better and take it in their stride as an accepted way of life.

Destitute Rebel said...

@ Clayfuture, Yes this is an issue that needs to be highlighted, the statistics are just sad. People should teach their children how to be better human beings.

@ Kaya, I totally get what you are saying, the values are changing for the worse, things that should be important, family values, education, ettiquettes anre not important anymore. people would rather flash their money then their morals and ethics. And also very true about the Pakistani men and their "liberal" mentality.

@ The friendly lion, The idea is not to get used to abuse, the idea is to stand up and fight against abuse. Thats why we need educated and empowered women, ones who can be self supporting, who will not take verbal or mental abuse because they have no where to go. Who will walk out the instant some idiot raises his hands on them. who will not live in fear of being abused by a man who should be supporting and protecting the.

Sadly as you said what the socity thinks is more important for the parents and family of a lot of women. they would rather have their daughters cut and brusied then have the courage to face a decaying society. Also whats more sad is that this phenomenon is not just is non educated poor rural areas but all over.

kaya said...

FORGOT to mention, lovely SONG playing on your blog