A woman, a girl, faces challenges both within and outside the home. Despite restrictions imposed even within the household, she manages to secure permission to venture outside. However, the world beyond home poses a different set of threats, with impure thoughts and prying eyes hindering a woman’s success.
Safety remains elusive for a woman everywhere. In a particular month, securing permission from Baba to attend a retreat proved challenging. The retreat destination was Nathia Gali, and colleagues, including reporters, bloggers, and journalists, were embarking on this journey.
Despite overcoming significant hurdles, permission was eventually granted. Our journey commenced from Peshawar Cantt at half past eight, reaching our destination around two o’clock. Witnessing the tranquil Nathia Gali brought me immense joy and peace of mind.
After a brief rest post-meal, we embarked on the renowned Walking Track, spanning four kilometers. The cold was palpable, snow-capped the mountaintops and a mist enveloped the surroundings.
At the track’s end, precisely four kilometers away, awaited a tea house. As we traversed the path, some trailed far behind, and others led the way. I found myself with a female reporter, venturing alone, a rarity on this track dominated by families and husbands. Fear lingered as we worried about potential animal encounters and navigated through a crowd of passing boys and men, each one offering smiles and remarks.
The fear escalated, prompting us to quicken our pace. Relief came when we encountered companions from behind, providing a sense of familiarity and security. We continued towards the destination, momentarily losing our way but eventually reaching the hotel. What was intended as a joyful journey was tinged with fear.
This experience offers a glimpse into the stages a woman undergoes when stepping outside. Despite familial restrictions, many women are compelled to venture out due to emergencies or necessities.
In today’s age, the peril for a woman going for a walk is palpable; visiting a park or traveling alone on the motorway at night can be daunting. Instances of harassment, past and present, loom large. Going out alone remains a significant challenge, with unwarranted attention, horn honking, and sometimes even stalking.
Women have their rights, and living in a free country shouldn’t confine them to the home. The essence lies in societal change – not just women adapting but a transformation in the way men perceive and treat women.