“ Feminism is a theory of equality in the social, political and  economical beliefs of both genders”

History of the Feminism

Henrich Cornelius Agrippa and Modesta di Pozza di worked for feminism in the 16th century.
In 1792, a book published named “The vindication of the rights of women”. In this book, the writer argued for the equal education of women to become more capable and independent. The wave of feminism began in 1848 in Seneca falls when the first gathering devoted to the equal rights of women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the leading figure for the first organized women’s rights movement. 

Basically, feminism is divided into three waves. 

  1. The first wave started in the early 19th and 20th century refers mainly to the suffrage movements concerned with women’s rights to vote.
  2.  The second wave started from the early 1960s to 1980s which refers to the social rights of women
  3. The third wave is from the 1990s which refers to the continuation of the 2nd wave and also a response to the failure of the second wave.

Types of Feminism

  • Radical feminism
  • Socialist feminism
  • Cultural feminism
  • Liberal feminism
  • Islamic feminism

Radical Feminism

It is the most extreme form of feminism. Its influences on there should be the complete elimination of gender from society to overcome the concept of sexism from society. For example, a radical feminist would say that new technologies should be introduced like to grow babies outside the woman’s body so as to be equal to men. In fact, the whole traditional family system is rejected.

Socialist Feminism

It is a bit less extreme than radical feminism but still calls to end capitalism. It focuses on social and economic politics. A Socialist feminist argues that capitalism oppresses the social rights of women as men get higher pay than women for the same job.

Cultural Feminism

Cultural feminism actually originated from radical feminism. It is based on a theory that men and women have different approaches to the world but the women’s approach is actually superior to men. It influences the philosophy that women are better in cooperation, relationships, and peace.

Liberal feminism

Liberal feminism states that society holds false beliefs that men are superior to women in intellectuality and physically. It argues about the complete equality of gender in all social or political means. 

Islamic Feminism:

It is all about the role of women in society according to Islam. It aims to equality of all Muslims regardless of caste, color or creed. It emphasizes the role of women grounded in the Islamic framework.

Feminism in Pakistan:

The new wave of feminism includes from all over the society regardless of status, class, creed, color discrimination. They say that women are known for centuries but have not been appreciated due to male dominant society.

There are two aspects of feminism in Pakistan

  1. The first one modern, Islamic feminism.
  2. And the second one is secular feminism.

Modern, Islamic feminism involves Islam for equal women’s rights and follows Islamic laws. This one appeals largely to the lower, middle and upper-middle-class of society.  Secular feminism involves equal human rights regardless of gender and religious conversations. It usually belongs to the elite class.

Secular feminists are labeled as the proponent of western culture which molds Islamic teachings according to their own ease. Feminism is not an anti-Islamic concept, in fact, Islam was the first religion to grant women a status a rank which has not been granted earlier. Thi status makes women spiritually and economically equal. There were a rapid increase in women’s welfare projects and organizations in the 1960s. All Pakistan women associations (APWA) became the face of the women’s movement. It worked on the social welfare of women, projects for girl’s education, and producing new sources of employment for women.

Similarly, women’s action forum(WFA) came into being in 1981 to raise the voice of women for welfare purposes. But the real feminist arose when General Zia-ul-Haq implemented the Hudood ordinance. WFA clearly opposed this implementation. Feminism gained more traction in the era of Benazir Bhutto. However, when women are oppressed for their legal rights then feminism movements take matters into their own hands.

The space of women in politics was always smaller therefore feminist politics is almost non-existent.  Our people need to be informed that feminism is not an anti-Islamic or anti-male movement, it simply strives to ensure the lives of women make it easier and to get equal justice across Pakistan.

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