By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, May 7, 2012
The husband, a migrant worker is back home after several months. The two spouses can finally relish a bit of intimacy and real companionship. He has taken a leave from his job in one of the Gulf countries to visit his family and reunite with his young wife in Bangladesh. Though, the young spouses had their share of marital rows, the young wife was pleased to feel her husband once again close to her under the same roof. “I have a surprise for you” Said he. Enthralled, the poor wife remained clueless about his real intentions. He led her to the other room and left the door ajar. She might have fathomed all the romantic scenes she had seen in movies or read in novels. Suddenly, an acute pain dissipated her beautiful visions. She could barely gather her courage to utter a sound. “Haven’t I told you to forget about the matter once for all before my departure last time? Yet you keep upsetting me. I said No studies, you stupid girl”. He tied her up, taped her mouth and carried out ruthlessly his sadistic plan.
An unprecedented pain pierced her heart as he started cutting of her fingers one after the other. The first finger fell on the ground. The second, the third then the fourth finger followed leaving the young woman in a peculiar and horrendous state of physical impairment and psychological turmoil. Unfortunately, this passage is not an excerpt of some scary movie or a film that denudes aspects of domestic violence. Ms Hawa Akhter Hui, 21 year old Bangladeshi woman had to endure this traumatic experience inflicted by her husband, Mr. Rafiqul Islam who was adamantly opposed to the idea that his wife resumes the way to high school.
The only way to shun his wife from pursuing her dream was to cut off her right hand fingers. The same right hand that holds the pen to keep records the volatile human thoughts alive and concrete. The right hand that flicks through the pages of a book, to open slightly the gates of knowledge and free its way to flow impeded towards the avid learner. The right hand that cuddles the beloved forehead to reassure him and allay his fears.
Few days after the tragedy lying on her bed and clenching her hand near her chest to contain the pain, Hawa made the solemn pledge to continue her studies despite all the hurdles. She inhaled the smell of antiseptics emanating from her bandage but exhaled a sigh of fire and determination: “I will resume my studies, it is my right but it is also my dream”. She made the resolution to win back deservedly her seat in the high school and earn her legitimate right to learn and to grow. Her impairment and her poverty will not dampen her ambitions to be a lawyer one day.
Poverty has a pervasive influence on Humans’ psyche. It has the power to distort our sense of ethics and lead us down the spiral of crime and sin. It is disenchanting to see Raskolikoff, the main protagonist in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, well bread, well versed and the emerging bud of a promising intellectual, surrender to the mischievous drive to kill his landlady who had repeatedly humiliated him for not paying her the rent. Poverty often cast its grim shadow on women more than men. Women from poor background seem to be more disempowered than their fellow men. In poor households, women are often deprived of the right of self determination. Trapped in this labyrinth, they remain prone to humiliation and prey to all kinds of abuses.
The evolution of patriarchal society has undoubtedly favored men’s emancipation in the public life. Confined in the domestic sphere, women were often denied entry to the decision making circles. Uneducated women find themselves at the mercy of the merciless capitalist system that cultivates utilitarianism rather than humanistic credentials.
These underprivileged Women live under the leaden weight of poverty and ignorance. They remain enslaved in their idleness and dependence over male providers which paves the way to gender discrimination and oppression. It is common to see women who ingurgitate humiliation inflicted by male providers because they cannot support themselves and their children families or because they are not cognizant of their legitimate rights. Low classes cannot climb the social ladder, unless they invest their time and resources in their children’s education with more emphasis on girls’ empowerment through education. Only then can women be relatively immune from gender based prejudice.