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The gender divide

THIS is apropos of Taha Abbasi’s and Dr Om Parkash’s letters ‘The gender divide’ (Jan 17 and 22). Men and women may be different biologically or emotionally but they are profoundly equal to each other we all know.

The point is if they are equal to each other, then why do people discriminate? Why do people try to marginalise women up to homes? Where do the problems lie?

There can be many reasons but two are the main: Socialisation by family, the first institution: a child learns lessons from his/her family first.

When a son sees his father who keeps bias attitude towards his daughters or wife in distribution of food, pocket money, gifts, freedom of expression and getting education, then the first is socialised with all the norms and values of his father, with little changes.

Secondly, he learns lessons of a male-dominating society from peer groups, schools, madressahs and other groups of society. This whole system grooms him like other society members who are against women rights. Many norms and values are based on baseless egos which harm most women’s status.

People are social robots. They live as they are taught.

If an inhabitant of a city goes to his village with his wife, then he asks his wife to observe hejab, keeping in view the norms, values and culture of the particular society.

But when he goes to London or America, he asks his wife to wear jeans.

He changes his cognitive dissonance and addresses his wife as ‘darling’, proving true to the adage: when in Rome, do as Romans do.

Similarly, a doctor gives anti-malarial medicine to the patient but he does not bother to eliminate the causes of the disease.

In conclusion it may be said that socialisation and social systems must be relearned and changed respectively to give an altogether practical shape to the equality of man and woman.

This will create a society free from biases and psychological tortures and will lead to a healthy and prosperous life.

ENGR. ABDUL BASIT HAKRO
Lahore

Source: Dawn

Date:1/27/2011

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