Empowering the Disempowered: Contesting Masculinities and Tradition
Najia Asrar Zaidi, Saima Manzoor

This paper aims to examine and analyze how socio-cultural and economic factors exercise control over woman’s body and mind. Historically, men have always been the producers, interpreters and perpetrators of knowledge. The situation of women in Balochistan is dismal and painful. Their bodies are subordinated to the institution of marriage and motherhood. This system creates a social structure where men possess power and women are reduced to the level of object made for recreation and reproduction. Poverty, lack of resources, joint family system, contentious traditions and no freedom to take decision regarding their body deeply affects the cultural positioning of women which needs to be addressed immediately. The paper concludes that decision-making should not remain the exclusive right of male member of the family only. Collectively, the government, academia, welfare organizations, hospitals, sociologists, society and the family should work together to transform people’s perception of woman’s role on social, cultural and economic front.

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