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Women used as a tool for Politics!

Feminisim has been counting its rounds all over the internet with #MeToo and #GirlPower trending on every social media platform and on daily news headlines. Sadly, despite the trends and shifts in feminism and its awareness among people, many have misunderstood the word as being a term preferring women over men. However, feminism in its true sense is the advocacy for equality among both men and women and their equal rights and share in important situations such as political matters or where decisions are to be made.
The past 15 to 16 years have witnessed significant development in women involvement, mostly in legislative bodies which might be due to various factors like legal commitments or even due to women now knowing their worth and feeling that they have been empowered. 

Historically,the first legislative assembly had only 3% women representation in terms of the seats. However during the second assembly this dropped to 0%. During and after Zia’s rule, the quota of seats for women increased from 3% to 10%, and with recurrent lapses it increased to 33% in 2000. This shows an upward shift.

However, in a society with an unforgiving state of mind towards women in the first place, established in longstanding conservative traditions and stereotyped gender orientation, women in Pakistani politics are ceaselessly looked at with a two folded edged sword.

Allegations and shame-slamming campaigns are an easy political tool to gain attention. But for women this phenomenon is more complicated, as they are seen as an extension to some popular male politician, irrespective of individual capabilities. And even if they do gain a permanent position they are slammed with baseless allegations for using personal contacts and practicing nepotism to increase their seniority levels. Despite the number of women leaders’, Pakistan's history has produced great Female political leaders like Fatima Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto, who were not only inspiration for many but also helped gain tenacity and female leadership not only in Pakistan but also around the globe.

Quaid’s quote, “no nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you.” is not even followed when it comes to practically applying it to Pakistan. Moreover, women have to work ten times harder than men to attain the similar level of power and success, it makes it difficult for them to take an initiative.

In a recent political landscape-Maryam Nawaz has been praised on social platforms for her beauty in the most disrespectful manner and that being the only reason for PML-N to win. Now objectifying women is and has always been used by Pakistani society, be it's politics or showbiz. Reham Khan raising her voice against bullying by Hamza Ali Abbasi was shut down by many people, even her female "followers" disregarded it and labelled her hue and cry as just another attention seeking stunt.

Such hurdles are and have always been there for women, be it politics or entertainment, but now in respect for feminism and all the other vocalists standing up for their rights, laws should be amended by giving equal rights to women and men in every aspect of the society.

As Shaheeda Benazir Bhutto said: 

“The law must be gender-blind. Democracy cannot work if women are subjugated, uneducated and unable to be independent.” 

  • Feminism
  • Women Power
  • Male dominancy
  • Benazir Bhutto
  • Fatima Jinnah
  • Reham Khan