We mustn’t compromise on women’s progress - GulfToday

We mustn’t compromise on women’s progress

Shaadaab S. Bakht


Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.


Women hold a protest.

Insatiable libidinal adventurism, made filthier by in-born male fallibility, contributed gradually, but irreversibly to the commodification of women over centuries. And once that horrible and destructive transformation took place there was really no going back. The change no doubt was wrong, therefore, damaging, but the unfortunate thing is that it had set in and was there to stay.

Since then women have been randomly offered as comfort companions to war-hit soldiers, used as bargaining chip in thousands of tribal societies across the world and seen merely as objects of ultimate pleasure.

It wouldn’t be out of place to recall an incident about which I heard from a person I ran into. He told me that a tribal court in his village ordered that the guilty person pay money by way of punishment. Now comes the most painful part of the narrative. When the convict said he didn’t have the money, the village tribunal said he could replace the money with a woman. It is a narration that I always recall with anguish each time there is talk of the oppression of women.

The air is now thick with one such discussion. And the question that bothers is when were they safe and where were they safe?

The change no doubt was wrong, therefore, damaging, but the unfortunate thing is that it had set in…

Not many months ago a woman was found dead among the woods in perhaps the world’s most vibrant and cultured democracy.

Some months later another woman was serially raped in front of her children in a country whose soul is woven with religious values.

A rally being staged in Budapest. AFP

A girl was recently found hanging from a bridge by her parents after she was beaten to death by her uncle and other relatives. Her fault: she insisted on wearing a pair of jeans.

It happened in a country where millions worship women deities and democracy is unsparing in character.

Well, the fight to protect women and support their rightful progress must continue. It has already paid off and we mustn’t allow a dent in that process.

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