Essay No. 21:
Changing Status Of Women: Women in Pakistan have equal facilities for education and an effective voice in the selection of their life partners. There are also a great number of love’ marriages. Women are participating in social and religious gatherings and have absolute equality in the eyes of religion. In the family, the status of wife and mother is highly respected.
Women are now in a much better position in Indonesia than before. Muslim women in Indonesia are faring much better than their counterparts in South Asia. They have better access to labour markets, education and health facilities, compared to their Muslim counterparts in South Asia, and they are confident of their future. It is time we looked to our South-East Asian counterparts for a sharing of experience and of cultural exchange.
Since Independence, the pace of change in the role and status of women in Pakistan has been greatly accelerated. By virtue of various Acts, the role and status of women have resin quite high. How the basic attitude of society and especially of men towards the new role and status of the woman has not kept pace with this change, leaving a wide gap and time lag. This gap is particularly noteworthy when it comes for recognition by other family members of the husband, Moreover; there is still a large gap between the legal rights and the social attitude and beliefs.
Although legally and theoretically women is now recognized as the social-equal of man, the institutions of caste, the patriarchal family, religious mores and the prevailing values system are still surcharged with the spirit of male dominance.
The social attitude towards working married woman who mostly belongs to the middle class educated families has changed considerably. It is no longer derogatory for the wife or the daughter-in-law to hold a role with the passage of time; even elderly women of the family not only adjust to their daughter-in-law taking up gainful employment but also appreciate it. But while the attitude towards employment of woman has changed, the attitude of the husband or of the in-law towards her role and relationships in the family or towards her status, rights and privileges remain comparatively unchanged.
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The wife is expected to hand over all her salary to the husband or in-laws and is supposed to ask for her pocket money. The observation goes that even as an earning member of the family the wife is deprived of the privilege like her husband to spend the money earned by her the way she wants without pride permission.
The women are still considered to be inferior and the weaker sex, although theoretically, she has the right to divorce if her husband tortures her. There is still so much of social ostracism attached to divorced women that she seldom dares to have recourse to divorce on her own initiative, even when she is capable of being economically and financially independent.
The position of women after independence has greatly impressed. The authorities were correct in appreciating the need for the active cooperation of women to have the way for national progress. Our constitution accordingly lays down that our women shall have equal opportunities with men in the fields of education, employment and social, economic and political opportunities they shall be entitled to equal wages with men for equal work.
Today Pakistani women are trying to become economically self-sufficient and do not want to be slaves to their husbands in the old style. They have thrown overboard the purdah system; In Indian, Sati system has nearly abolished and now claims a share in the property. The women are demanding more facilities for education.
Despite the rate among rural women is still very low. In some cases, the girls are sold by the parents like commodities against their will, in certain areas.
“Changing Status Of Women“