Humanity before Gender
In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
Having just recently returned from the 54th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (UN), I can say that although women have made many strides in society, we seem to have lost sight of what it is we really want. Sitting through one high plenary meeting after the other and listening to different NGO’s (non-governmental organisations) talking about what women still want, I found myself thinking that not only do we want it all but we really don’t know what that means. Do we want to be the same as men or be treated as equal human beings in society? Do we want to be mothers and wives or just career women? Whatever it is that we want, we need to realise that we need to do the work ourselves and not rely on governments and organisations to do it for us.
I look to the women of the suffragette movement. They wanted to be treated as equal human beings and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They had justice on their side and when we take that out of the equation we lose! Women want justice. That may not mean being the same as men. I am certainly not like my husband; my Creator made me differently. I have a different role to play in society which is not to say that my role is any less important than my husband’s role. On the contrary my role complements his as his complements mine. We are Ying and Yang.
In every society women are under immense pressure either from culture and tradition or from the constraints that rules and regulations put on them. For a long time, women have unfortunately accepted the situation in their own community or have not used the right method to fight for their rights. Instead of facing and taking a stance against tradition and correcting the culture they live in and working towards enriching their position, we see women turn to foreign societies for solutions. They seem to run away from what is happening in their own communities only to adopt others values, not realising that those communities have their own set of problems. So instead of freedom, we see women adopt a new form of oppression from a foreign society.