‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ slogan already stands exposed!

ISLAMABAD: There is nothing hidden that will be revealed now. Campaigners of the ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ scheme in their 2019 demonstration had already displayed in public what was their goal.

With the same theme – Mera Jism Meri Marzi- the last year’s Aurat March had caused serious provocation in the society because of the obnoxious slogans displayed by the participants in some major cities of the country. Many of the slogans could not even be reported by the mainstream media for being so disgusting and indecent.

This is all being done on the pretext of highlighting the plight and sufferings of women in Pakistan. Yes, there are serious issues concerning women’s rights that require immediate attention of both of the state and the society. The prevalent mindset, mainly influenced by the pre-partition days’ norms, also needs to be changed but the solution suggested by the ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ scheme is disastrous, to say the least.

It’s disastrous not only for the society but for our strong family system, the institution of marriage and above all for women themselves. Instead of addressing the issues facing Pakistani women, the Aurat March scheme promises unchecked ‘freedom’- which can’t be given to anyone whether man or woman - promoting rebellious attitudes.

Pakistan was created in the name of Islam but unfortunately despite the lapse of 72 years neither Islamic system has yet been implemented here nor the society has been reformed and old mindset changed on the basis of principles set by Islam. Our social behaviour needs to be changed but not in line with the western norms, which have demolished the family system, seriously dented the institution of marriage and further exploited women.
A PEW report in December 2019 revealed that the US has world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. It said that for decades, the share of US children living with a single parent has been rising, accompanied by a decline in marriage rates and a rise in births outside of marriage.

The PEW Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the US has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. Almost a quarter of US children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults (23 percent).

The study also reveals that women ages 35 to 59 in the US are more likely than men in the same age group to live as single parents. And almost a third of women ages 60 and older live alone (32 percent).

According to recent UNISEF report- Not An Object: On Sexualisation and Exploitation of Women and Girls - in the United States, 18 percent of girls report that by age 17 they have been victims of a sexual assault or abuse at the hands of another adolescent.

To the question why are women and girls so often the victims of violence, the report said (it may embarrass our own media, which is promoting westernisation), “Unfortunately, there is no single answer to that question. However, when women and girls are repeatedly objectified and their bodies hypersexualised, the media contributes to harmful gender stereotypes that often trivialise violence against girls.”

Referring to a report by the American Psychological Association (APA) on the sexualization of girls, in the media girls are depicted in a sexual manner more often than boys; dressed in revealing clothing, and with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness.

In a study of print media, researchers at Wesleyan University found that on average, across 58 different magazines, 51.8 percent of advertisements that featured women portrayed them as sex objects. However, when women appeared in advertisements in men’s magazines, they were objectified 76 percent of the time.
In yet another 2019 report published by Centre for American Progress family composition in the United States looks very different than it did in previous generations. Married couples marry later and are less likely to have children than they were in previous generations, and households headed by unmarried parents — those who are single or cohabitating — are far more common than they used to be. In 1974, for example, a married couple headed 84 percent of all families with children, while in 2017, only 66.4 percent of families with children were headed by a married couple.
At the same time, there was a corresponding increase in the rate of families headed by an unmarried parent. From 1974 to 2015, the percentage of families with children headed by a single mother nearly doubled—from 14.6 percent to 25.2 percent.

In 1976, only 56.3 percent of married mothers worked for pay, compared with 69.6 percent in 2017. Women of colour are also much more likely than white women to be raising children while unmarried, even though white women make up the majority of unmarried mothers.

In 2016, for example, 40 percent of all births in the United States were to unmarried mothers.

According to the report, in 2017, the latest year with available data, 41 percent of mothers were the sole or primary breadwinners for their families. In most families with children at home, the majority of mothers work outside the home for pay.

About the exploitation of women in the US, Washington Post on Oct 15, 2019 reported that about one-quarter of undergraduate women say they have been victims of sexual touching or penetration without consent since starting college.

The Post referred to the survey of 33 major universities in the US, released by the Association of American Universities and admits the disturbing prevalence of sexual violence at prestigious public and private schools.

The 33 participating schools included Georgetown University (the only non-AAU member) as well as Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia. Half of the Ivy League’s eight members took part: Harvard, Yale and Brown universities and the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2015, The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found through a national poll that 20 percent of young women who attended a residential college in the previous four years said they had been sexually assaulted.

A report published in Bloomberg in 2018 said that 40 percent of all births in the US then occur outside of wedlock, up from 10 percent in 1970. The Bloomberg referred to an annual report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and added that number (40 percent) is even higher in the European Union.

What the Aurat March is pursuing has already caused severe destruction to the western society and exploited women like never before. Therefore, what we need here is not westernisation but Islamisation of the society.