Azaad khayal aurat !
Since the past three years, women in Pakistan have been demanding their rights through the Aurat March on women’s day. Banners were made, criticized, and women going to the march declared azaad khayal . Same is when she demands for rights such as financial support and the ‘permission’ to work after marriage. Every decision that surrounds a woman is dependent on someone else, even if it is relevant to her personal health. What the larger part of the society failed to understand was that women weren’t demanding for something that they don’t deserve. What I don’t get is how everything that a woman does is condemned in our society. What a woman says sears their egos because, well, how can they demand anything? According to a large part of the society, women in Pakistan are living the life, but still don’t leave any chance to complain how bitter their lives are.
Less than 1500 mental health practitioners work in Pakistan a staggering majority of which is men. It is a reflection that women compromise on their careers to fulfill their family roles. How can you expect women not to retaliate? Women suffer from mental health problems twice as more than men do. Reasons? Injustice, family burden, domestic violence, and many more problems that women suffer every day that was considered a part of their lives. It is now that women have understood that this is not what they are supposed to endure. They can raise their voices against this because this is not what they deserve.
Women can’t seek for mental health help without a plethora of comments from family members at how azaad khayal they’ve become. This aurat march was a step to make women summon the courage to break free from the barriers that restrict them from seeking help from their problems, talk about their issues, and make other women understand that this is not what they deserve. If women breathe in a society where they are allowed to speak about their issues, perhaps, women can break free from the suppression that causes women to suffer from mental health issues. But for that, we all need to change. All of us need to talk about the issues that women face. We have to break this culture of silence and stand firm in the face of this oppression that almost every woman faces in our society. We can make a change!