DEAR AURAT, SUTTAYBAAZI SAY BAAZ AO?
Authored by Rajaa Nadeem & Edited by Reham Aslam
Latterly, the conduction of a survey by Gallup and Gilani across Pakistan reported an escalating divorce rate in the majority of urban areas. The postulation which seems to irk the country, as per the findings, holds women culpable in their calls for ‘khula’: cessation of marriage.
Following such details, Dr. Nausheen Hamid, a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, kindled an uproar with the conflicting claim of holding smoking women accountable for the foremost cause of divorce rates in Pakistan. The lawmaker, in a seminar on Tuesday held in Islamabad, dared to point all fingers towards the women of our society as she quotes, 'Women smokers who get married end up divorced because they are not accepted by their in-laws.'
Conforming to the tropes of olden times, Dr. Hamid being a woman herself, disdains all other essential repercussions of smoking, including lung cancer and other respiratory issues and highlights divorce to be the true injurious side effect. According to the factual reports from the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health, two out of five smokers are proven to be women. She says, 'This leads to a number of social problems for both the smokers and their families. I personally know such women.'
The discussion regarding increasing divorce rates supposedly isolates the phenomenon to smoking, given that the users of tobacco are mainly women; whose numbers have advanced mightily in the former few years— the only and obvious bone of contention.
There is no doubt smoking is indeed a great peril to health and has contributed to 11% of total deaths in our homeland due to high consumption as a result of lower prices rendering cigarette accessibility for everyone and anyone, everywhere and anywhere with ease. 'Cigarette prices in Pakistan are among the lowest in the world,' claims the study citing experts.
Nevertheless, women are the only ones deemed corrupt and immoral for the very ‘sins’ society permits men to commit - that too, in public. Excessive consumption of tobacco has always been a worrisome concern, as over 22 million adults in Pakistan are slaves to cigarretes. Tangling these two cases as one is said to be an absurd judgement by some from the Pakistani Twitterati while putting forward their own responses, “Men have always been intolerant, now women just refuse to remain quiet about all the misery.” Others lay the blame on ‘feminism.’
In conclusion, although smoking, be it for men or women, is a condemnable deed, women’s alleged observance of it is certainly not a sufficient enough scapegoat for rising divorce rates in Pakistan.