The working women of Pakistan

Another touching and key contribution from Beenish. I only had a hunch that she could write well, and I must say this is really good stuff… And the text below should be taken very seriously, in my opinion. Too long have things gone unnoticed and unattended. Let there be light!

Yes I am a woman and proud to be one! But do people around here make me wonder why was I not born a man? I am an independent career oriented female but does our society make me think sometimes that I should only depend on my man? Do they make my life difficult if I am single! 

I grew up with tall ambitions, with dreams to be a successful independent woman. My sympathies for all the girls who grow up with dreams as beautiful as mine.. As we wake up to the real hard hitting life we know how nicely people try to break such fantasies.

Taken for granted like always we consider ourselves the fast moving new generation. Where people are moving from gender discriminations to global warming issues, we in Pakistan are still stuck where we were some centuries ago.

One wonders when reading the above text that I may be mistaken or I must not have seen the real state of the many women working in our country. But the truth is I am one of them and only women who have gone through the daily harassment in more than one ways can relate to this article.

You can tell how this discrimination takes place in your daily routine. It has now become so frequent with us that we don’t even consider this as a problem or insult. Let’s take for example the working environment: firstly employers prefer to hire males mostly, hiring them on a higher pay than a female. Than hardly do women make the top management of an organization as people have issues reporting to them. The bathroom assigned for women would be smaller than a man or less in number. Don’t we have the same natural issues like a man, why are we not assigned 2 bathrooms instead of one?

The major issue of a man, he will always take a woman’s word less seriously. He will have ego issues taking orders from a female. He will double check and unnecessarily doubt a woman’s capability to work. He will harass her emotionally by laughing at her or assuming that her answer or solution would always be wrong. Either he will try to flirt with her or insult her by passing sarcastic remarks. All these men that we work with come from good educational back grounds but they will not leave a chance to pass on comments or make fun of the female colleagues around them. Oh and may I add that respect for them is very important. They find it very offensive if their mother, sister or wife is being laughed upon. But these are the men who treat other woman in ways that is abusive to her emotionally.

A woman will always be subject to gossip and rumors. If she’s confident and outgoing then she’s not supposed to be respected because she is characterless, if she is simple and quiet than she can’t progress. Women who are different are not accepted in society. Why? Because we all have defined who are the ‘right’ kind of women; the sketch of a ‘sharif’ woman. The nice, quiet simply dressed, a woman who is expected to manage everything. The one who shouldn’t laugh too much, shouldn’t talk to guys, no short pants, no bad language, the soft spoken good daughter, who can cook, clean, be a maasi and be able to carry herself in the world. Expectations and more expectations… always and everywhere!

She is the focus for many discussions amongst the group of men. I blame the women also here as they become the part of gossip for other females. I say we women have been insulted and abused in more ways than one and now we have become a part of the grapevine that takes different shapes every other day.

It is sad to see the men in our working environment who try and make us helpless. It is heartbreaking to see families who discourage women education and careers. It’s tragic when women are forced to marry. When will we have freedom and break away from all these brutal limitations. If you are crossing 25 … Oh My God! You are so old now people wont send good ‘rishtas’ for you! Why, why, why? It’s okay for a man to marry when he is 40 but not for a woman!

Oh all the sick, disgusting notions of our society! The obnoxious expectations defined by our people. When do we shatter those preset verdicts? When do we feel that we as a woman are proud to live in this culture are blessed to be part of this society? When? In a 100 years? Will I live that long to see the change? I surely hope so! At least I’ll die happy!

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4 responses to “The working women of Pakistan

  1. It’s true and when one brings these things to the men’s notice, they consider you to be a “complainer”. It never ends. I have actually ticked off colleagues for their sexist comments and sadly they have not EVEN seen how off colour their comments are. They think that is “ok” and that the women are overreacting. In a technical field it is even worse as they simply assume what you say is incorrect and continue down the route that the woman did not suggest, ending up in a black hole!
    Until the mothers of this nation do not take a greater interest in bringing up responsible sensitive men, things will not change.
    Even an action a woman takes in at the workplace in response to all this is considered inconsequential and ignored. To be honest I do no longer have patience to deal with incompetent and inefficient men, when I can see them making mistakes in the workplace.

  2. It's true and when one brings these things to the men's notice, they consider you to be a "complainer". It never ends. I have actually ticked off colleagues for their sexist comments and sadly they have not EVEN seen how off colour their comments are. They think that is "ok" and that the women are overreacting. In a technical field it is even worse as they simply assume what you say is incorrect and continue down the route that the woman did not suggest, ending up in a black hole!
    Until the mothers of this nation do not take a greater interest in bringing up responsible sensitive men, things will not change.
    Even an action a woman takes in at the workplace in response to all this is considered inconsequential and ignored. To be honest I do no longer have patience to deal with incompetent and inefficient men, when I can see them making mistakes in the workplace.

  3. I wonder why men (literate, well educated and from a well off family) in our society have a huge misconception about working women in corporate sector? I got in an argument with one such specie who believes that women mostly get promoted over a male colleague even if the competency level of both genders is the same!

    I strongly believe that in this part of the world called Pakistan, male egos and their chauvinism needs to be corrected. How many women do you see progressing at top level positions in companies here?

    The plain and simple answer to that is “Men are insecure”. They assume that women will not be able to handle more responsibility due to the sheer fact that they will get married or have family priorities first to deal with!

    I graduated with a MBA degree from a top univeristy in Pakistan and currently I am working in so called “all-male-dominated” job role of sales marketing with an MNC. I deal with ONLY men! There are no females in my line of work!

    If gender diversity is an issue with our male counterparts and is a constant source of gossip or irritation then why hire females at all !

    Not so surprisingly, for Pakistani males we are seen as a threat. If they lose control of even this part of life (bread earner for the family) what possible use do they have exisiting here!

  4. I wonder why men (literate, well educated and from a well off family) in our society have a huge misconception about working women in corporate sector? I got in an argument with one such specie who believes that women mostly get promoted over a male colleague even if the competency level of both genders is the same!

    I strongly believe that in this part of the world called Pakistan, male egos and their chauvinism needs to be corrected. How many women do you see progressing at top level positions in companies here?

    The plain and simple answer to that is "Men are insecure". They assume that women will not be able to handle more responsibility due to the sheer fact that they will get married or have family priorities first to deal with!

    I graduated with a MBA degree from a top univeristy in Pakistan and currently I am working in so called "all-male-dominated" job role of sales marketing with an MNC. I deal with ONLY men! There are no females in my line of work!

    If gender diversity is an issue with our male counterparts and is a constant source of gossip or irritation then why hire females at all !

    Not so surprisingly, for Pakistani males we are seen as a threat. If they lose control of even this part of life (bread earner for the family) what possible use do they have exisiting here!

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