Women empowerment entails that all women should be respected, educated, and be able to enjoy the same socio-economic protection as is enjoyed by men. If in any respect a woman is being imposed upon, her dignity is compromised and she thus finds herself a victim of male domination in a world governed by the overbearing and sometimes even downright cruel laws of patriarchy. Consequently, the fundamentals of women empowerment require us all to acknowledge the equality of men and women with regards to their honor and freedom, their duties and their capabilities. As a result, to provide us with an opportunity of expressing this recognition of women’s rights, their significance to the world and the problems they face, through our words and actions, the 8th of March is globally celebrated as the International Day of women.
For centuries these worthy daughters of Eve have been subjected to a treatment, which defiles the sanctity of their person, and is a transgression against our creator, the master of all purity. For it is He, who has blessed every woman the honor of raising a soul within her, it is He who has granted them the strength to lend the sparks of their own agony to kindle the flames of another life, and so it is He who has proclaimed their sanctity by bestowing upon them the privilege of being in part a creator of life. Yet, the rising toll of their rape and harassment, domestic violence and the disfigurement or burning of their person in the name of honor bespeaks the brutality of those who transgress against His decree.
Owing to the inhumanity of their actions, such transgressors lose their discernment of right and wrong, of decent and indecent. And eventually, their disgrace so completely discolors their hearts from humanity that they begin to validate their behavior with the help of cultural and religious values; with the result that their hypocrisy taints even the honor of those who practice the true values of their religion and maintain the actual beauty of their culture, creating a repugnant bitterness in those who are not truly familiar with their beliefs and ways.
However, it should also be acknowledged that women’s oppression has not only plagued the hearts of men. Certain women are also guilty of this hedonistic crime against their own kind. These are the women who are staunch propagators of women’s rights and their freedom but are just as imposing of their beliefs and ideas as the men they so passionately despise. For instance, there are many women in our own beloved Pakistan who are well educated and well-cultured professionals but have not imbibed the western philosophy as their guiding principles. Their pride in their own religion and culture impedes their acceptance as valued members of their own sisterhood. Their parda becomes but-ends of mean jokes. Their preference for not excessively intermingling with the opposite gender invites laughter and ridicule by other so-called modern women. And above all, they are so discouraged by such attitudes that their socio-economic progress is crippled by their disinterestedness in being part of a society who demands from them a disloyalty from themselves, where despite their doctorate degrees and professional competence they are belittled by their own sisters, where only by a mutilation of one’s believes and ideas can one be truly respected.
In all essence, women empowerment should be appreciated in all its aspects and not understood to be a threat to the honor of any man, nor should it be taken as a tool to enforce your own ideas on others. It stands for freedom of choice and should be celebrated as such. For it has risen to remind us of things we are rapidly forgetting, things like the honor of men and the sanctity of women: a loss artistically bemoaned by the poet in the following words.
“The Honor of Men, and the Sanctity of Women
From beyond the valleys of love and hatred, I hear the distant rumble of a gathering storm.
The air is thick with the confusion of a muzzled innocence.
The ground trembles with the thunderous wails of a bridled happiness
And the heavens weep for the death of Adam’s world and the ruin of Eve’s legacy.
From beneath the depths of ocean-like grief and sadness
I hear the weary sighs of a fading honor and the racking sobs of a sinking sanctity; I listen to their silent lament.
For men who have become demons, and for women who have fettered their souls
Cursed by the forgotten truth of faith, respect, and honesty.
O beloved sons of Adam – blinded by desires, consumed by lust.
You prey upon those dignified by the Lord of all dignity, acting as though a minion of His enemy.
You belittle the love of the Most Loving.
You Defy Him Whose Authority is All Commanding.
Take heed! Before His Wrath Overtakes You!
And nothing remains of you but a soul is broken and burning.
Oh dear daughters of Eve – possessed by vanity, lost in the glamours of a false beauty
Forsaken by modesty, you defile your own sanctity
That which was proclaimed by Him who endowed you with beauty, purity, and chastity.
Divinely honored, you yet wish to be demonic as those betrayed by their own folly?
Oh, honoured children of Adam and Eve – your Creator made you His deputy
Yet your hearts betray you, and you wish to flee your own nobility?
Be warned! In the life that never ends you shall answer
For all that you conceive and act upon, in this realm of a fictitious reality.”