According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2016, Pakistan ranks the second worst country in the world for gender equality. It is, beyond doubt, lamentable and since then much has been said and written about gender equality in Pakistan. Unarguably, if there would be a ranking for the worst society for women, Pakistan would have been won the first place.

Gender-based violence, in remote and illiterate areas of Pakistan aside, the condition of young, educated and urban women are no different than the victimized rural women. Last year, on my birthday, when I cut the cake, my mother prayed, “ In sha Allah, next year you’ll be in your ‘own’ home.” My father smiled and nodded along. Ever since my graduation, my mother is answerable to everyone we know about when I’m getting married. Society is so concerned about my marriage that my mother often gets upset but remains quiet due to my goals and ambitions in life (other than marriage). A year has passed, and guess what, I’m still not in my “own” home but at my parents’.

Pakistani society has few unwritten rules for its young women, no matter how talented and educated they are, they must adhere to the Do’s and Don’t’s which I’m mentioning today for the better understanding of women in Pakistani society. First, between the ages of 21 and 24, you must get married or you’ll be frowned upon. Second, between the ages of 25 and 27, if you are unmarried, you are in a very critical zone and pitiable. Third, if you are not married by the ages of 28 to 30, you are doomed. Besides this, you should be of the perfect height and weight with a very fair skin color in order to have a match. Your dreams do not count, your goals do not matter and your achievements aren’t enough.

Society is always so bent upon sending the girls to their “own” homes that they do not care to think that how all that pressure of marriage, proposals, rejection and then the condition of not being married by the perfect age (21 to 24) psychologically hurt the woman and her family.

We are not only living in the second worst country for women but also in the worst society, where, wives can be killed over serving “Cold Dinner” and daughters can be murdered for not making “GolRotis”.

In a society where demonstrations-demanding resignations can cease mobility in the capital but no one raises an eyebrow over brutalities faced by the marginalized opposite gender, survival of a woman is only possible, if she turns herself into a robot as well as adheres to the conditions of the society and stops being a human.

AMNA GULL,

December 11.