The new face of women empowerment: Which side are you on?
There’s been a lot of furor over “Khana Khud Garam Kar Lo” a poster that was held up at the recent “Aurat March” in Karachi.
The Aurat March had its fair share of amazing slogans, but perhaps none better than the ‘khud khana garam karlo’ poster. Seems like the poster has hit a nerve with almost everyone who came across it.
In response to this brilliant slogan, we got some diversified comments which further changed our perception towards women’s rights. Here we gathered some thought provoking reactions from our contributors/bloggers to understand what this frenzy is all about.
Mahwash Ajaz – Writer and Psychologist
I fail to understand the outrage behind the “Khana Khud Garam Kar Lo” slogan. Then again, I do partially understand and see the reason why it’s outraged so many people.
It outrages people because it threatens the status quo, it mocks it, it makes fun of the fact that men do not count a lot of work that women do as ‘work’. It makes fun of the fact that men, after doing a paid job that affords them promotions and accolades, do not value the work women do for free at home that affords them no money or promotions.
To quote Germaine Greer, a noted Australian academic, “The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband’s house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reduction and absurdum of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked.”
In many of our desi families, men are conditioned to not do any housework because ‘it’s a girl’s job’. They don’t help in housework and they don’t consider house chores as ‘work’ either. It’s a disturbing and unequal practice because labor is cheap and is often delegated to servants. But in the rest of the world where household help is neither cheap nor easily affordable, men are trained from the very beginning to do their own chores and clean their own bathrooms and cook their own food. It’s sad that there is such a fuss about this sign because it was done mainly in jest and mainly to point out that what women do at home is also work and it won’t kill men if they contribute to household chores.
In this day and age women are doing everything men are able to do, ranging from driving to going in space from being CEO’s and running marathons and winning sports championships.
Omair Alavi – Journalist
I believe that it was intended to be a joke and people making a big deal out of it are just passing their time. We as individuals respect women and there is no need to come up with memes and sarcastic posts just to make a few people laugh. We must understand that men and women are equal and until and unless we realize that, people will keep taking such slogans seriously when it shouldn’t be taken as such.
Many problems will get solved if men and women discuss issues rather than taking to the road. Households where men and women share the chores are the best ones as the partner knows how does the other half feel. Working women should be given leverage at home but not because they are women but because they are equal to men and deserve respect. Taking to the road has never solved issues and going out, raising slogans and then imposing them on your family is never going to solve anything.
Apna Khana Khud Garam Karlo was unnecessary considering I know at least a dozen men who use the microwave not only for themselves but for their wives and kids. I believe the movement could have been avoided as people now remember it for the slogans than the message itself. Also, there were more negative comments than positive ones which means it didn’t have the impact it was supposed to have.
Mehar-un-Nisa is a freelance Journalist, with a keen interest in blogging, photography, literature, and digital marketing
The massive reaction on the “Khana Khud Garam Karlo” slogan on digital media somehow reinforces the fact that questioning a typical mindset of patriarchal society disturb masses.
The slogan attempts to break the stereotypes associated with unbreakable-gender-role in our society. Why do women only have to cook the food and cannot go out to do other tasks? Why an innocent slogan raised multiple questions? What halts our imagination to consider the other possibilities? This impact indicates the strong nature of the message in the slogan.
It echoes the dire need to unfreeze the existing perceptions and modify them according to the requirement of this time. Accepting the equality of rights for both genders in every walk of life would develop a culture of mutual respect and harmony.
Domestic violence caused by such petty problems is quite evident in our society and ignoring the significance of such issues would never solve the problem either.
Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui – Blogger
I personally don’t support this entire “Khana Khud Garam Karlo” hoopla, it’s neither empowering women nor it is helping them in anyway. I am a firm supporter of women empowerment; I appreciate it when woman take charge of their lives but I am against all those who are cashing upon the concept of women empowerment.
From where I see mothers, sisters and wife are all empowered and should be respected but if someone thinks that serving or cooking food for their families is something against women empowerment then they belong to a confused school of thought. Probably they need to stop stereotyping things. Respect women and appreciate them but never degrade men by any means.