Here’s Why Pakistan Needs More Women In Politics
Women — they make up 51% of all humankind. They are called the fairer sex, and yet history is full of examples of great courage and unmatched strength. Even a seemingly average woman carries inside her untapped power, which is most evident when one becomes a mother. Throughout her life, a woman plays numerous roles, all of which require a different aspect of her persona and call for varied personifications. Being a woman is never easy, yet many a time it is taken for granted, frequently exploited and sometimes abused.
Since we live in a society that is deeply rooted in patriarchy, women have specific gender roles and they are required to obey and fulfil them right from a young age. The right to decision making, exploring personal capabilities and the pursuance of individual goals is largely discouraged. Therefore, if by a stroke of chance, one manages to defy these odds and come forward, the challenges increase by a manifold.
Traditionally, women in our society are encouraged to be exemplary homemakers and take on all the roles accordingly. A gentle daughter, obedient sister, faithful wife. Even women who step out of the comfort zones of their homes are still required to keep the fulfilment of these roles as the top priority and forfeiting that is not an option. This makes everything else a much harder job because she essentially has to play on both fronts, which further challenges her abilities and overall strength.
When a woman decides to widen her arena and step out and take up more challenges out of the home, again, the options are limited. Certain professions are frowned upon, some are out of the question. Very few fields are considered suitable to explore. Those who dare to dream high and aim for the unreachable, definitely take on the biggest risk. One such field is that of politics.
Politics is considered one of the toughest arenas due to the fact that it challenges your personality in more ways than possible. Determination, strength of character, perseverance, passion and exemplary leadership qualities are all essential in order to achieve success. Women are generally found to possess these naturally more than men. The real challenge arises when they have to battle the external factors along with everything else. The society, which is on the whole, largely ruthless, can be extremely unwelcoming for a woman in politics. Her whole personality is dissected, how she dresses and carries herself, her general interactions, family background — all take precedence over her actual achievements.
A female figure in politics is required to constantly carry herself impeccably: failure is not an option. A certain level of grace along with firmness is expected, because women are generally gentle which leads to them being perceived as weak. We have numerous globally recognized female figures throughout history who have left their mark and taken precedence over their male counterparts and thus, have affirmed their place in history. Even in contemporary politics, we have many such women who are continuing to shine despite all odds.
In order to assert themselves better, they have to be fully prepared to face any adversity with utmost dexterity and wisdom, all the while not letting go of propriety. Asserting complete command and control and taking charge of challenges is imperative. Even after she ticks all the boxes, she still has to keep herself constantly prepared for any slander that is bound to be thrown her way.
Even if a woman is not directly in politics herself, but rather indirectly involved through a family member, it still takes a lot for her to deal as it is extremely stressful, unforgiving and brutal at times.
Politics is ruthless and can get quite dirty at times. The key is to keep yourself clean, firm and tenacious. Although the society, as a whole, could benefit a lot with more empathy and graciousness, but till that happens, women need to continue being stronger, in every field including politics, and contribute in making the world a better place for future generations.
The author is a Pilot turned housewife. Obsessed with coffee and fuzzy socks. She can be reached @SassiLannister