Inspecting the Void
“No amount of pressure will deter me from representing women in distress, it has been my life mission, till the last breath will stand by them”
Asma Jahangir, a feminist icon, who devoted her whole life to those who were deprived and are still deprived of some of the basic necessities of life was laid to rest a few days ago. Amid the mass outpour of grief, there was also a tirade firmly opposed to her professional career and what she stood for. Whether it’s the Women`s Action Forum which campaigned against the mighty dictator and his draconian laws or as the first women president of Supreme Court Bar Association, she left no stone unturned to democratize Pakistan and establish the rule of law.
How many of us usually see women surpassing societal barriers in Pakistan? 13th of February had something else to offer where we saw women flocking into Gaddafi stadium for Asma`s funeral prayers challenging the very core of patriarchal structures of our nation, something she had always stood out for. Asma`s work on female suffrage is worth its weight in gold, in a conservative Pakistani society where each day poses a threat to a women`s dignity in some way or the other. An iconic black & white picture sweeping through social media where we can see her leading a protest exemplifies her intent of not only challenging gender stereotypes, in fact, smashing them against the floor till they are reduced to smithereens.
Matters pertaining to discrimination and societal abuse towards women, children, and minorities aren’t limited to the developing world. We have seen global crises time and again followed by solidarity campaigns with celebrity endorsements, heart touching speeches and global initiatives by organizations like Amnesty International or the United Nations. Did they have an impact? is entirely another debate but Asma was a comrade of her own challenging the bigotry of institutions and sowing seeds of empowerment across the country.
The illustrious champions of democracy had their leader lately embracing his reputation for being wildly inappropriate with women where the orange house previously known as the white house has to defend the oval office occupant on daily basis.
The courtrooms will surely miss their Iron Lady and her legacy of advocating for civilian supremacy against the fearsome power regimes in Pakistan.
Rest in Power