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How a woman is affected by her environment

Women face many challenges thrown at them by society

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Simone de Beauvoir says: “One is not born a woman, rather becomes one.” Environment has a great impact on the personality of a person and if children are exposed to sex-based segregation or a sex-sensitive environment, they will probably adopt the same behavior. Women Talk Online leader Roheena Sajid writes.In patriarchal societies like in Pakistan, women are adversely affected by the environment a lot of the time. Our cultural norms are negatively loaded for women in all walks of life. In spite of having the required abilities for a particular task, they are not encouraged to step forward.

Almost in all fields of life, men enjoy a greater freedom of choice as compared to women. As a result, women do not go out of their houses to participate in worldly affairs and remain socially and economically deprived.

It is a proven fact that women are more sensitive biologically, physically and emotionally. They are influenced easily when the force of power is used as a tool for persuasion. So even when women come out of their houses, they see a non-supportive and in fact a discouraging and humiliating environment. They therefore prefer to stay confined within the four walls of their house.

The productivity and performance of women who decide to work in spite of such constraints suffers greatly. If we talk about Pakistani society, gender bias is very rigid. A girl is not happily welcomed when she is born. Afterwards, when she grows up and goes to school, she may get to hear offending and embarrassing remarks.

In several cases, a woman may even be raped, but no one takes any notice of it. It is considered a norm and people blame to the victim rather than the culprit. Living in such an environment, one can imagine how difficult would it be for a girl to survive.

As far as working women are concerned, they face millions of problems every day. They have to be a good wife, mother, daughter-in-law and also a professional. In spite of it, working women are not given the respect they deserve. A general perception of public is that women who work out of their houses do not possess a good moral character.

It is generally perceived that the ultimate destination of a woman is to get married and join their in-laws. This is why people do not educate their young daughters. These women face problems and remain deprived in all the fields of life.

I would like to share my personal experience here. I am a working lady myself, performing much better than my male counterparts and (Alhamdulillah) I have a very supportive family. But I feel that response of the society is not good enough. In fact, it is the worst. Even the response from my counterparts, who are supposedly educated, is not good and encouraging. They never appreciate a good performance from any female colleague. They tend to sympathize, saying: “poor souls, you are working.”

Ironically, some of them get so personal that they ask about the male members of my family. Like what does your father do, how old is your brother and so on. I had to walk a bit to go to my office, and during this 30 minutes walk I experienced unexpected things. People teased me and passed comments. Some of them even made it their routine to follow me on my way to work.

Finally, I hired a van for myself. Not because I was not confident but I did not want to suffer psychologically on a daily basis. It was also affecting my work too. This attitude from people became unbearable after some time.

This attitude by the society shows that it never expects a woman to go out of the house and to work for her own satisfaction. People want to make girls and women think they are incapable of being good professionals and their sole purpose of life is to make their family happy and to serve them unconditionally. Women, who work in non-traditional fields, face even more problems and also rejection.

Sometimes I feel that if I face these issues while living in the capital, the situation in the rural areas and other cities of my country would be still worse? Women who are educated enough should do something for their counterparts in the country, so that they can come in the mainstream and do something to improve the nation’s situation.

Author: Roheena Sajid

Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan

 Roheena Sajid is a reader and has sent us this blog for publishing. Would you like to write for us too? Send us an email at


27.10.2014 | 13:28