I have seen status updates of some of my male friends asking “why isn’t there a men’s day?”
Some say “how can women claim to be equal to man? what equality? God has created us different. we cannot be equated. are these people crazy. totally blasphemous.”
Another one says “isn’t this differentiation in itself? Let go of this fixation on women rights. Work for equal rights without highlighting ONE gender.”
Maybe they are rightful claims. But I choose to oppose. From time immemorial there is evidence that man, in general, has had a superior hand over everything of this worldly life.
From a religious point of view, from an Islamic perspective, we have to take into account the numerous instances where it is specifically admonished to the men to be kind to their women folk. Islam highlights the important role of women in society, in economy, in nation building, in spreading education. There is enough evidence. But that’s not my point doing this post.
My point is – the human race is dominated my men! That is a basic fact. Women naturally are made more sensitive, more adaptive and more docile. Society has taken advantage of this, ALWAYS. The reason a day is marked to highlight on women’s rights is basically to address this issue. The reason why Islam specifically addresses this issue is for this specific reason. Nonetheless, the society is run by men [for whatever reason - mostly I attribute it to women's role and self-nominated commitment in the upbringing of their children, sidelining their own wishes] hence women’s rights are compromised and sidelined.
Seventy percent of Maldivian women believe, for example, that there are circumstances under which a man is justified in beating his wife. Infidelity and disobedience, most women accept, are valid reasons for taking a good beating from the husband.
One in every three Maldivian men who commit acts of domestic violence against women do so for ‘no reason’. One in four does it to punish the woman for disobedience, and one in five does it because he is jealous.
One in every ten man beats up his partner because she refused him sex, and the rest of them do it for any number of reasons – lack of food at home, family problems, because they are broke or unemployed, because they are having problems at work, or because the woman is pregnant.
Women are taught from a young age to accept their fate patiently. It is ingrained in their minds that being silent is the virtuous thing to do. The society teaches women to take things for granted. When atrocities happen, women naturally go silent.
The Maldives government is run by the President with his cabinet of Ministers. The cabinet has only about 13% representation from the female gender. This translated into only 13% say in a women’s perspective in government policy making.
(note: the image above is from former President’s cabinet – the current cabinet is no different I believe)
The laws that the rest of us are to follow are made by the Parliament (taking into consideration Shari’ah of course). Maldives Parliament is made up of 77 elected members from the constituencies. The current Parliament consists of only THREE women (only 3.9% contribution in having a say in the making of law & regulation).
We witnessed the ill-effects of this when the bill on Domestic Violence was debated at the parliament. The absurd views held by some of the MPs dismissing the claims about domestic violence was disgusting.
When it comes to the implementation and execution of the penalties against those who do not abide by the laws and regulations laid out by the Parliament, the ruling of the judiciary is quite significant. And what is disturbing is that there is only a very small number of women in the justice system. We have witnessed how the male gender aren’t able to fathom the severity and sensitivity of crimes committed against women. The popular ongoing case against a child of sexual abuse, being treated as fornication, is one that comes to mind.
All this basically means that women’s issues, women’s struggles, women’s plight is quite substantially sidelined when it comes to policy making and execution.
I do not say that there aren’t men who are disadvantaged at the hands of society. However, in comparison to the opposite gender the men are way more privileged.
We need to learn to walk and work side by side respecting each others biological differences yet acknowledging intellectual equality.
- No women, no peace. (thefword.org.uk)
- Statement: International Women’s Day- NETRIGHT Celebrates Ghanaian Women (modernghana.com)
- Support for women’s rights in the Maldives declining, finds HRCM study (minivannews.com)
- Happy International Women’s Day (femmetotale.wordpress.com)
- International Women’s Day / Mali: Women’s rights must be at the core of the transition (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Need an International Women’s Day? (mombloggersforsocialgood.com)
- International Women’s Day: fearless, female and a force to be reckoned with (independent.co.uk)
- Happy International Women’s Day (marvaseaton.wordpress.com)