Around two decades back, I was spending a village life, once a reputable Peer and Gadi -Nasheen (Inheritor and leader of Mazar/Tomb) was speaking at a larger gathering of his followers. He was stressing purdah (veil) for women, keeping women and girls at home, and he was talking of gaining happiness of Almighty. After almost one and half decade, I gone through a news item in a local daily. The same Peer addressed his followers at somewhere is Sindh and he was stressing girl’s education and sending girls to schools, colleges and universities.
I amazed but realized, that with societal transformation, changed models of development, economic stress, media influences, globalization, and competitions in the job markets people have shifted their priorities to effective education, economic well-being and maintaining their sustainability through education. Peer sahib has understood the shift in society. In order to remain in power Peer sahib has adapted the volunteer shift society, which is brought through social change, and he has altered his statement by stressing education of girls.
We witness that our society still is less educated, more traditional, less scientific more dogmatized, less principled more intolerant; we stress more to others to adopt outcomes of our own mind, we hardly listen to understand the religious commandments and often follow mob psychology, believe in hearsay and freely decide to add more power to vested interests of some opportunists. In the given circumstances our prime leadership also has to save the head to say women shall follow the dress code to prevent rape. We welcome the dress code, but could not apply some group of society to prevent violence, because this is probably least cause of the rape. Women and girls are raped as reported in multiple dresses like pajamas, school uniforms, local dresses, and etc. So, we understand dress code couldn’t prevent sexual violence, but there are some other notions could be thought of.
Some days before Mayor of London tweeted “Every women and girl should be able to feel safe: whatever day of time, whatever they wear, and whatever they are in our city. Its’s not women who have to change the way they live their lives, it’s men who need to change”. The Mayor of London talked of “Toxic Masculinity” in his statement published in the daily Independent on 07 April 2021.
These statements epitomize the depth of understanding of respective society from its leadership, its education, culture, influences and the probable change factors envisaged by its leadership. The leadership in place sets examples to express transformation, advancement, and growth of society, and the leadership selects the statement, keeping in view the current status of society to potential change which is communicated to the wider public may understand, follow and assimilate the leadership message.
The important point to discuss here, we are struggling to be educated society with strong patriarchy based social system, where women are not part of decisions even of what to wear, mostly their dress, costumes and veil is decided by men. Amongst all mostly women living in the cities are controlled by men, leaving only little number who exercise their will and wear dresses of their own choice. In a patriarchal society leadership in place blames women for following dress code to prevent sexual assault. However, Mayor of London, where there are no patriarchal bases to social system, blames toxic maleness in his educated society.
Offence of rape has its similar causes, with some cultural and economic variance around the globe. Because manliness is connected with nature, postures and strength it is similar around
and is exploited against weak; in some areas, sometimes it is shot back from weak to the strong. Leaving apart this, the other causes of rape are social, which are prepared, enhanced and promoted in society by its leadership, its governance, and the effects of policies made for the public. Among societies of the world, the causes of rape do not differ from ours. These include economic, social, educational, psychological and perhaps environmental causes are also there. Rape do not have any religious cause to happen, but religion has provided solutions to prevent rape. Pardah (veil) could not be connected to the cause of rape, however it is religious stuff, which we do not deny. But we have been witnessing rape of children in Madrasah by their teachers who have substantial knowledge of religion, ethics and piety. Probably there is something, which is missing in Madrasah education as well, they should reflect it.
I have listened many high ups of talking rape as culture. The culture – a sociological term, when connected with ‘rape’ is felt sometimes misleading. According to the Merriam-webster culture is “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group”. Quoting rape, a culture is precedent to allow the system to be prevalent, whereas it is not culture but it is act of crime which has some countable causes, but culture has no causes to spread it is volunteer process.
If this is a culture in our society who are the followers, preachers, performers and promoters? Could anybody hit on the nail. No one has any clues to where the upcoming act of rape has to happen, if it is culture it must have some signs. On contrary we could witness the enhancing sexual violence by reading out the profiles of rapists. These profiles will inform us who are the rapists, why did they commit such crimes, their personality gaps, their financial needs, their psychological constraints, their upbringing issues, and so many so forth.
We are dealing rape in a way as we understand it. We blame the women who are already vulnerable and undergoing traumas of various types. If we explore the rapists, depending on news reports they are less/uneducated, low- income groups, isolated, no positive engagement, loneliness/nothing to do, disturbed from family, already did crimes, had reacted to get revenge and etc. Our law has suggested to keep identity of rape victim as secret, that’s right, I will suggest to publicly display rapists’ profiles so that parents could understand the identical offenders to prevent their children from possible assaults.
We understand rape has been rooted in sociological variances, so do we plan for punishments for rape outrages or do something different for social wellbeing of populace in general. I understand the rape is crime, its prime root is manliness, it has started with formation of human society; the violence of rape dates back with human history. According to the ‘Encyclopedia of Rape’ Rape was titled a crime in first time in 1780 B.C. it writes ‘This famous Babylonian law code declared that a virgin was innocent if raped, but that her attacker should be executed. Married women who were raped were considered to be guilty of adultery and could be executed along with their attackers”
The crime of either nature has to be punished, but we, in 2020 are still undecided what to do for rape offenders either execution, chemical castration and or find some other way-out.
It is a fact, we have been breathing in a society where laws, systems and procedures are taken at a random choice, when some mishaps, offenses are witnessed, people talk of laws. In a general response from public, they take situation emotional, and by responding in aggression for some days, ask for law enforcement. At some point of time institutions and agencies enforce laws which are needed to be in place for all the time. Moreover, at legislative level responding to some specific situation laws are passed, enacted, and sometimes witnessed in force. However, we have laws but they are in books, public is not literate for the laws related to the crimes like rape and sexual assault.
Coming to the conclusion, we should think of other avenues on positive engagement of our people. We should come out of traditional mindset of blaming some sects of society for being cause of the crimes. Our people in general have nothing do at various levels. We need to enhance educational efficacy, search saleable skills for youth, at provincial and national level career and personal counselling could be introduced, apart from this induction of new themes as life skills-based education in curriculum is inevitable. Education of law should be made public, and bring relevant laws in action for all the time.
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