In the Name of Tradition
Since the childhood, girls in my community are taught to learn the household chores to be a perfect “home makers,” “caring sisters/daughters,” “dutiful and loyal wives,” “loving mothers,” and “subservient.” Ever since I was 12 years old, I have observed the continue discrimination of women in my community. Both deliberately and unintentionally, I tried several time to stand up for me and my sisters. I was not just standing up in a family or a mass, but was emphasizing the need of women to be including in the decision making level in a family and further in a community.
I saw only a few certain men gathered and discussed about the development of our community. I asked my father and neighbors why only certain men? Why not women? Why women are fully ignored from the group? My neighbors were upset and I was told that I was not “matured” enough to understand the whole scenario and better keep quite. It means I was asked to shut down my mouth just because I am a woman. Some of my neighbors even call me the problem maker who will for sure attack the dignity of my family and pour our family prestige in the dustbin because they believed that a woman ruled house is sure to be destroyed .
At that point I felt disheartened and being knocked down. I didn’t know why people should be disappointed with me simply because I was questioning what I have seen in my community since I was borne. I didn’t even know who these men were, except than they were my neighbors. I was curious and wanted to know what going on in my community. Why women were not recognized as an independent citizen in our community? Later, I knew that they were so-called “educated and well known people” from our communities, who always decide for the development of my community and what to be done and what not to be done by women. Equally, common people including women from our community hold the traditional belief that women are always shortsighted. They cannot either provide a right decision or qualify to work for the development of our community.
The discrimination of women continues throughout their lives till death because of deep rooted gender discriminatory value system. Still there are some derogatory attitudes towards women, resulting from illiteracy or in the name of preserving traditional values.