WOMEN SHOULD STOP SUFFERIGN SILENTLY AND COME FORWARD FOR THEIR RIGHTS
Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has said that the MQM wanted to establish a society where women were not condemned to lead the life of servitude, where they had equal rights as men and where they were not relegated to the position of a child-bearing machine. The MQM was opposed to a male-dominated society.
Mr Hussain expressed these views while addressing a gathering of women in Lal Qila Ground Azizabad on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8thMarch. Deputy Convener of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM Senator Mrs Nasrin Jalil and in-charge Women Wing MNA Ms Kishwar Zohra also spoke on the occasion.
Shedding light on the history of the women’s day Mr Hussain said that it was in 1910 that women in the west organized peaceful protests and demonstrations for demanding women suffrage. It was because of that struggle that the women got the right to vote throughout the world. He regretted that there were areas in Pakistan where women were still being denied this basic right.
Mr Hussain said that the day belonged to the women who were sacrificed at the altar of evil customs like karo-kari, vani and marriage with the Holy Quran. It was the day of the women who were done to death in a callous manner if they dared to marry according to their free will.
It was the day of the women whose faces were burnt by throwing acids in a cruel and barbaric manner. The day belonged to the women who were treated even worse than herds of animals in the rural areas of the country and whose rights were usurped even in the present-day world.
Mr Hussain said that the oppression of women must stop, and the persons involved in inflicting cruelty on women throughJirgadecisions must be brought to book and given exemplary punishment according to law.
Mr Hussain welcomed the decision of the Election Commission against Waheeda Shah who had assaulted the woman presiding officer and other women polling staff during the by-election in Tando Muhammad Khan. The decision had done justice to the hapless women who were subjected to physical violence in the presence of the police. The decision of the Election Commission should serve as a warning to the feudal lords they should stop considering ordinary people living on their estate as their serfs.
Mr Hussain told the women that they were not weak. They were, in fact, the source of strength for men. He asked them not to pine and wither in weakness and exhorted them to come forward and fight for their rights. He said that the women had full rights to live like free human beings.
Mr Hussain advised men not to consider women as weak as they had the strength and capacity to subdue big tyrants and change the society.
Mr Hussain regretted that the political parties with the secular and liberal pretentions did not speak about the rights of women like the MQM.
Mr Hussain said that the by-elections held in Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Mianwali in the Punjab should be declared null and void as the women were barred from exercising their right of voting. He said that the democracy that did not allow women to take part was not a true democracy.
Mr Hussain said that women enjoyed very high position in Islam and even the heaven was placed under their feet. World-over women were playing an active role in the development of their countries. This should happen in Pakistan as well.
Mr Hussain congratulated Ms Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on bringing laurels to the country by winning the Oscar Award and said that she was the pride of the country.
Mr Hussain announced the starting of “Khursheed Begum Gold Medal” for women excelling in different fields of life. This gold medal would be given each year on the International Women’s Day.
Mr Hussain said that after the enormous success of the public meeting of the women in Karachi, another such meeting would be held in Lahore soon. He appealed to the women in the Punjab to make the upcoming public meeting of women in the Punjab a huge success.