Feminism

Whether it be Asia, Africa, Europe, America or Australia, in every part of the world, a portion of the female population is subjected to violence, terror, cruelty. Everyday in Scotland, more than 50 women, with their children, leave their homes to escape from abusive men. One in four women in America experiences domestic violence. In Australia, women fall victim to homicide after domestic altercations. Asia’s situation is not different. The website npr.org shows how the menace of domestic violence has even pervaded Russia. Honour killings claim lives numbering in thousands in Pakistan. In every society, such a dilemma exists and feminism is what comes to rescue the despondent women, who are the integral backstage helpers in upholding the world’s stage.

Many misogynists may claim that feminism is just a rebellious movement but it is an ideology which is indeed better and more effective than Rapunzel’s Prince Charming. The brave feat of Mukhtar Mai proves that feminism is not a mere belief, but a rallying call for suppressed women. Throughout the world, women are in need of great help, and it is the pro-feminist organizations that lend a helping hand, such as AASHA in Pakistan and globally, the UN Women establishment.

Male domination is a threat to women rights and feminism helps eliminate it. As Estelle R. Ramey has said, “Women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy.” Feminists have succeeded in breaking off the shackles of male domination, such as Pakistan’s first female English columnist, Zaib-un-Nisa Hamidullah in the 20th century and Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to have receieved the Nobel Peace Prize. Belief in feminism has fuelled such enthusiasm that women themselves have proved that they are a force to reckon with.

Women are not merely the weaker individuals of society, but have the potential to become leaders. Hence, women empowerment is one of the solutions for developing countries to raise their position. Iceland tops the list with the countries having the most gender equality, mainly because it has 50% female parliamentarians. Margaret Mead has said, “Everytime we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.” Benazir Bhutto, Asma Jehangir and Ranaa Liaquat Ali Khan are women leaders who have shown how feminism is the background of the success stories of many women. Benazir Bhutto’s support for women rights led to the rise of the first female parliamentary Speaker in the Muslim world, Fehmida Mirza of Pakistan.

While books such as A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini presents the plight of suppressed women, Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie narrates the story of a brave woman, showing that feminism has even made its way into the writers’ pen. This ideology no longer remains the topic of a radical speech. Women have adopted it and have earned international acclaim, showing that they can go one step ahead of men, and that religion, caste or colour are just mythical barriers which should not block a woman’s way to the enlightened road ahead.

The above essay was written as part of a homework assignment.

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