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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Plight of Sindhi Women: Another View

Photo taken from internet. Original source unknown
A comment by Ashfaque Nizamani

Some Sindhi writers / intellectuals are claiming that Sindhi society is a feminist society (as per a BBC Urdu news report). Well, it may be true for some individuals on micro level but the idea of equality between Sindhi males and females seems to be absurd on macro level. In Sindhi society, males and females do not have, and never have had equal rights and opportunities. Male dominance is so much, that, females are considered worth less then cattle. Daily abuse and beating of women in houses is very common. They are also killed by males on petty issues, which are not even reported to police. Women killed as Kari is a well-known subject in Sindh. People kill their own daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. Women are even left to die when sick by ignoring them and denying them proper treatment.

Killing of females apart from declaring them kari (accused of “illicit” relations), on petty issues is very common; even young sons thrash/beat/abuse, and cause physical/mental/psychological injuries, which sometimes become the cause of death of their mothers.
Marriages of old, married, divorced and widowed males with younger females are very common but these opportunities are almost non-existent for divorced, widowed, half-aged or old females. This situation is same in all the classes of Sindhi society, whether an elite, middle class or a peasant class female.

Males can marry females of their own choice, but for females this opportunity is rare.

In the case of a divorce, the burden of keeping children falls on females. Males are considered free from raising and feeding their own kids from former spouses. Males can easily get new younger female wives, and enjoy their sexual life with them; but their former wives, live their entire life, barren from pleasures of life.

Females even cannot listen to love songs (Jalal Chandio, Umrani and others), which males can publicly listen, sing and enjoy.

Sindhi society, like any less-civilized society has not developed any mechanism to protect the weaker sections of their society, which includes females. Might is right in such societies.

At macro level, a female, whether it belongs to a rich family or a poor family has no at par rights with males in Sindh.

The situation in general is very grave and alarming. By engaging in self-deceptive rhetoric, one will not be able to help improve the condition of females in Sindh. There should be an awakening movement in Sindh for protecting the rights of weaker sections of the society, and to give it a posture of a true civilized society.

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