Exclusion of Women in Politics - Saba Chaudhary
No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you.
– Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Wisdom is delightful. Imaginations open the door to possibilities. Self-awareness, healing, composition, dance, and music silage our weary souls. Writing stimulates transformation. Women leaders play a crucial role in the progress of society, but sadly, in our country, women are underrepresented in decision-making avenues, where male-dominance tends to continue. Pakistani women are still expected to stay home only.
When I had enrolled in Social Sciences to pursue my interest in politics, everyone discouraged me and unraveled to me the disadvantage of Social Sciences. They misguided me with fables and anecdotes of other women who inclined towards the field of politics but turned out accomplishing nothing. While science and engineering occur male-dominated in our culture, political science is culturally excluded. People told me I do not have a bright future because girls do not study politics. I remember those gloomy lonesome evenings. I was devastated, but I lived. I remember my failure, but I tolerated it. I remember my trauma, but I endured. I remember the hurdles, the insecurities, the grief, and the anguish, but I overcame them all. It was the time when I finally realized the need to work on myself and put together my strength. I tried to comprehend the root of my dilemma and embarked on the journey of self-healing. I set my boundaries and worked hard silently. Setting boundaries in a society where everyone is against your freedom is the toughest, but I realized that in the end, you win.
When I paint the picture of my childhood, I see a little girl, who aimed to fly so high but her wings were clipped. But, she crawled back. Daily in the morning, I ask myself what does this girl want today? Our definition of success is often synonymous with what society thinks of us. We have forgotten that we have to live in the present moment and embrace it. From Rosa Luxemburg to artist Frida Kahlo, from Benazir to Asma Jahangir, women artists, writers, poets, lawyers, and politicians have inspired generations of young and bright women. Fighting for their rights and making unprecedented sacrifices, they continue to intensify their impact on the younger generation. Their resilience lives unmatched, their persistence remarkable. Fatima Jinnah (the matriarch of the nation) fought fearlessly. She was an ardent supporter of Women’s empowerment and a vigilant fighter who championed the rights of women in all fields of life. She was the first woman in Pakistan who stood up for the cause of people against oppression. In 1988 Benazir Bhutto became the first-ever woman Prime minister of a Muslim majority country. Her struggle for the cause of democracy is not unknown.
Although the situation has further improved in the 21st century, it would be an absurd overestimation to say that women do not face discrimination in our culture anymore. The gender pay gap, career impediments for women, gender-biased socio-economic environment are the major factors that limit the career choices for women. Women in developing countries still face obstacles in studying the subjects of their interest. We still lag when it comes to participating in politics.
A Nation's success lies in women engaging in politics. An empowered woman plays an important part in the success of a society. We aren’t teaching our daughters to be creative. We aren’t motivating them. We are clipping their wings and restraining them from being ambitious. Our society needs to stop pressurizing women and allow them to flourish on their own. Our government should take special initiatives to enable women’s participation in politics and conduct detailed research on the gender gap in the political sphere of Pakistan. The voice of women, especially women from marginalized communities, matters and it must be heard on decision-making platforms.
I am Saba Chaudhary.
An avid reader who sometimes writes, my areas of expertise include socio-political issues. I recently completed a Master's in political science. While living in a small town, smashing the patriarchy is my favorite hobby.
I'm on Instagram as @rebellious_breeze