The woman is gazed at from toe to head when she comes forward to contribute to uplifting the socio-economic sector. This offensive glance is awkward for women.
Our society is conservative and rigid in practicing the patriarchal mindset, which has caused the life of women miserable to live. She is gazed at from toe to head when she comes forward to contribute to uplifting the socio-economic sector. This offensive glance is awkward for women. This victimizes her at every stage from stepping out of home to the job. This ‘taboo glance’ discourages her to work freely. There is no security and protection ensured to her if she is offended due to unwanted staring by certain individuals throughout her activity. This causes moral degradation and loss of her self-confidence to perform her role in the betterment of the society.
The government has to play the role to discourage the wicked-eye people who are creating moral and ethical barriers for women to serve in the socio-political sector by standing shoulder to shoulder. There are umpteen references in European countries where a woman is confident and free to serve in all the spheres of life. They are not glanced from toe to head while coming from home for a job – either accompanied by a male heir or coming alone. She is not at the attention of their eye even when she comes alone. People of civilized nations always mind their own business and ignore engaging in trivial looking at the woman.
Though women are 49% of Pakistan’s population, they constitute only 24% of the labor force. The ILO data indicates that Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for men (82.5%) is more than three times higher than women (24.8%). The gender gap in LFPR is one of the world’s highest, making Pakistan comparable with Arab states and countries of North Africa. Even when women want to participate in the labor force, they are unable to find employment. There is a noticeable gender gap in the unemployment rate. It is 5% for male workers and 9% for female. In the urban areas, the female unemployment rate rises to 20% while that of males is 6%.
This behavior poses a negative impact on the women. It is also reported that women are often harassed physically so as to discourage them from working in social sector. There is certain research on this undesirable behavior meted out to women in our society.
There are three categories of sexual harassing behavior: (1) gender harassment (verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey hostility, objectification, exclusion, or second-class status about members of one gender), (2) unwanted sexual attention (verbal or physical unwelcome sexual advances, which can include assault), and (3) sexual coercion (when favorable professional or educational treatment is conditioned on sexual activity). Harassing behavior can be either direct (targeted at an individual) or ambient (a general level of sexual harassment in an environment).
Most women are engaged in the informal sector, working without any legal protection as domestic workers, home-based workers and piece-rate workers for the manufacturing firms. Though Punjab and Sindh have policies and laws for domestic and home-based workers, no law has been implemented so far in letter and spirit.
This is a matter of attention of the rulers to ensure strict implementation of the laws for the protection of women. The wicked eyes put on a woman always cause harassment and moral degradation. Due to this taboo practice, she is always discouraged by the parents to work in the socio-economic sector. The woman cannot serve in this offensive glanced environment. This practice is of the uncivilized nation which needs redress through education and moral teachings. If we fail to ravish this taboo practice, we will not be able to bring about change and move to the prosperity.
Mujeeb Ali Samo