By Mehwish Mustaqeem
In the near past, women were considered inferior to men. They were debarred from taking part in social life. Their sphere of activities was limited to domestic work. Up to the 19th century, it was believed that women were the servants of the homes of their husbands. In those days women were not allowed to take part in political and social life and administration. Rousseau, the French philosopher, who never married, once said:
The dignity of woman consists in being unknown to the world, her glory is the esteem of her husband; her pleasure the happiness of her family ” But time created a new situation and the old Outlook underwent a change. Quite recently, a woman has come to take a more and more prominent part in many spheres of life. In some respects, they have excelled men. In sports, intellectual and artistic pursuits, in office and industry, they have set a new record of honesty and efficiency.
They have succeeded marvellously as teachers and nurses. Goldsmith, the famous poet and writer, made a complaint two centuries ago: women famed for their valour their skill in politics, or their learning have left the duties of their own sex, in order to invade the privilege of ours. This is what the women are doing today. There is practically no field where women are not competing with men.
In professions, outdoor life and law, they claim equality with men. In business, trade, industry, in the learned professions, in politics, administration, scientific research, literary and artistic activities, Eve is making herself felt everywhere. They are police and military officers. They are working as sale girls, as air hostesses and as clerks and stenotypists. They are turning out men from the posts of personal secretaries.
As the days pass we have to get more and more used to the idea of seeing women working side by side men riding, driving, flying, playing, even fighting. Even in Pakistan, we have women athletes, writers, leaders, administrations. They are fast discarding purdah and taking to active, outdoor life. Law has given to woman a status equal to that of man. In nearly every democratic country, women have the right to vote.
They are claiming better rights to the property. Many thinkers including most of the Muslims, do not like the idea of a woman taking an active part in public life and in the outdoor professions. They argue that biologically, woman’s function is different from man’s she has to be a mother .women are not suitable for every job. They are too delicate to perform arduous duties of life. The real greatness of a woman lies in her role as mother.
It is rightly said. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. The mother who can bring up the right sort of children is really a great benefactor of society .islamic society gives a very respectable position to a woman. The holy prophet has said, verily the paradise lies under the feet of your mother. It is as a mother that she can best serve the nation. But it is clear that women will not return to their homes. The modern woman argues that she can be a good mother and at the same time, a good doctor or writer or administrator.
Like Susan B. Anthony, a famous woman worker says. Modern inventions have banished the spinning wheel and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother.