Pakistanis are very proud of the fact that we have finally caught up with the world and accepted that a working woman will not bring the ultimate doom. But have we really embraced that bitter sweet reality?
1- The percentage of working women in Pakistan has increased from 16.3 % in 2000 to 24.4% in 2011. Does that make you feel pleased or disappointed?
“It has? Wow. It’s good after all we are turning in to an educated society and girls do better than men in education, right?”
Maria Khokhar said “I’m one of them #Feels Proud“.
Fauzia Waseem, Rabiya Rashid and a few others expressed their contentment with the increase and said that they are proud too. Sana Tariq was the one who stated that these statistics can increase if women in Pakistan are facilitated like women in other countries.
The overall trend expressed that the increase has pleased women and they want to aim for a greater increase. We must remember that 24.4% is not good enough in a country where women make up 49.19% of the population.
2- A mere of top 4% of top executives in Pakistan are women. What does that say about our society?
“Oh please! Women are not meant to be executives only, they have to make a home too.”
Sana Khan holds the opinion that only a strong woman can make it to top because women face issue such as family pressures and discrimination in the workplace. According to Fatima Mansoori, there is a supporting man behind every successful woman and that it isn’t so bad if they aren’t reaching the top but the ratio of women workforce is increasing.
Sumayra Javaid’s comment may surprise the feminist champions in our society. She wrote that women have no leading skills so women can be “good workers but sitting on executive seats is not her cup of tea”. She justifies that her experience with women as leaders have made a bad impression on her regarding this issue.
Iram Moazzam shared an Express Tribune link that talked about the a glass ceiling concept that it isn’t apparent but is still there and stops women from reaching the top of organizational charts.
Executives are leaders and leadership is not gender based. It is a trait that is developed and nurtured though experience and does not restrict itself to one gender. If women are not given a chance to be leaders, how can they prove that they can indeed lead?
And here is the big one:
3-Working mother and stay-at-home dad – what do you think?
“What?? This is not the USA!”
Asking this question was like opening the Pandora’s box. Women shared their thoughts on this in a variety of ways. But it all came down to one thing; such a practice is not acceptable in Pakistan. People called the idea “twisted” and “topsy turvy”. Sana Tariq, a regular fan, expressed that it will be a “flop”.
Amna Idrees explained that it goes against nature because male ego cannot let this happen and then she added that she would not like a man sitting at home.
Other comments ranged from the famous argument of the notion being anti-Islamic to our all time favorite; women take care of the home and family better.
So in short the women themselves believe that it is okay for them to work and manage the home as well but God forbid a man should take responsibility of the home!
It is okay till the women workforce is increasing and we are seen to not oppress women. But when it comes to them reaching the top, the society is not so tolerant. And under no circumstances is a woman supposed to work while the man stays at home. I am sorry but that just won’t happen in Pakistan.
This is not what the men are saying, it’s the women themselves! Pakistani society has come a long way but there is longer journey ahead too.
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