Feminism and Pakistani Dramas-Breaking Away from the Norm

By Sannian Hassan

In the light of recent events, one cannot but stop and think about feminism and its role in the Pakistani backdrop. What is feminism? In its true essence, feminism is not a fight for dominance between the sexes but a fight to have rights for women equally with men.

In the Pakistani backdrop, poverty and education are both hindrances for women. If a woman is poor, she cannot refuse the propositions proposed to her and/or her family because she is a ‘burden’ for her parents.

If she is educated she is considered a ‘threat’ to the male ego because she knows better and cannot be pushed around. In all such circumstances the women do not have the right to speak for themselves. It is always the male members of their families or the society that speak for them.

Given the circumstance, women deserve to be able to speak for themselves, they deserve to choose for themselves and to be able to live by the decisions that they make. In the last year, there has been a revolution of sorts in the Pakistani drama industry with serials such as Udaari (2016), Yakeen Ka Safar (2017), and Dar Si Jati Hai Sila (2017) which have started questioning such issues and highlighting the female perspective within those issues.

I have mentioned these dramas because I feel that they are only but a stepping stone, a foundation for a long journey. They are significant in this excursion towards empowering women and liberating them as they promote strong, independent, and vocal women who utilize their voice to the best of their abilities. These women range from the poor to the middle to the elite classes, yet they possess the strength to vocalize their thoughts and opinions to speak for themselves and stand by their decisions.

We need more platforms which promote women and their right to speak, their right to decline and say no, so that we as a community and a society can progress. For this we must highlight the plight of women in a positive light instead of pushing them further into the depths of suppression and submissiveness.