Sometime in around March, I saw an appreciating post on LinkedIn regarding Humaira Azam for becoming the first female Managing Director (MD) of a commercial bank in Bangladesh. There in the comment section, I noticed a woman congratulating her, but at the same time asking the post maker with a rather displeasure, “Why mention the word female? Do you ever refer a man as a male MD?”
More recently this year, I came across a Facebook post featuring two photographs. One was of a couple, where the wife had to face an untimely demise. The other picture was of a woman, whom the post maker believed, was the reason for the death of that wife, as he suspected the woman was involved in an illicit relationship with the husband and the wife did not take that well.
In the first story that I have shared here, the lady saw the word “female” as an unnecessary tag; and sadly failed to realise how this word, along with the label “first”, marked the beginning of new opportunities for women and at the same time the end of a failed system.
In the second story, even as a means of showing sympathy towards a woman these ladies started harassing another woman while completely ignoring the man in the picture, as if we all have already accepted “men would be men but women can't cross the line”.
In both the posts, what I saw in common was the fact that women in our society are struggling to stand up with dignity not only because of strong disapproval from the men's part but also because of an unhealthy kind of non-cooperation from other fellow woman, done whether consciously or not.
No wonder, the first man to step on Moon is known to all but the first woman is yet to be discovered even after so many years! It is not because women are any less competent rather because, they are not facilitated with the same level of support as a man and therefore, majority of them get knocked out of the queue even before the race begins.
I still remember the friend of mine who had a dream to become an engineer but her mother refused to look at her potentials and chose to see her more as a liability, who needed to be married off as soon as possible before any “accident” happens. On the day of her wedding took place immediately after her HSC, this country lost a prospective engineer.
In every phase of life I have been made aware of how, even in this 21st century, women are struggling to rise up because when a man tries to climb a ladder, his entire family stands there for him but when a woman tries to do that same thing the entire society suddenly starts to point out how climbing ladders can prove to be a dangerous sport!
Fighting for equal opportunity sadly is no longer the main concern for a woman to succeed these days. The main problem, in fact, is lack of cooperation and that too from both men and women around us.
Emma Watson as part of her HeForShe campaign once said that men need to accept their responsibilities towards their female family members because without the support of half of the world population we can never succeed. I wish to add to that point that, women must also stop disapproving each other because with lack of cooperation from the rest half of the population, it is impossible to even dream.
The writer is a Bar-at-Law (Lincoln's In) and works as a Principal Officer at Law & Recovery Division in National Bank Limited