Why is the majority of women from rural side of Pakistan (a major portion), migrate to the urban cities to earn their living and to sustain their family and their male counterparts (husbands), who mostly sit idle at home ? The concept of ‘maasi’ (literal meaning – maternal aunt, but actually referred to as domestic servant), is pretty common in all cities of Pakistan, where women are exploited as cheap labor (in the informal domestic labor industry), ignoring ethical, civil and islamic rights of women and working-women. Many of such girls are minor as well, who should not be doing such physical labor in the first place and is unlawful, by civil or islamic standards.
Rural to urban migration is an established phenomenon, and growing number of women are joining in the flow of labour to the cities. Although, it is a major issue around the world, but more so in developing countries, where women lack awareness about their rights and there’s acute poverty in the country. According to the HDI, 60.3% of Pakistan’s population lives on under $2 a day, which is like 100 million people. There are so many such evils cropping up in the society, because of poverty and division between haves and have-nots. Karachi had the most migrant women workers (40%) among those surveyed. (Siddiqui et al 2006a: 47). According to the available data, there are 20 million home-based workers in the country of which 12 million are women. There are no laws for home-based workers in Pakistan.
When Islam obligates men to be the breadwinner and women to take care of family and house affairs, staying indoors, and each doing work according to their respective natural capacities, it’s simply lack of education, which cause the society to act exactly opposite, to both nature and Islam.
Even if women earns, they’re not obliged to spend a single penny on the family, if she chooses not to, other than on herself. Islam upholds several times higher respect to women, in comparison to man.
Which religion are these people following ? Is that the religion of ignorance !
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was once asked who amongst all the people was the most worthy of his respect and compassion . He replied “your mother”; the man wanted to know who should be next, he said “your mother”. The man enquired, who next?, he replied for the third time “your mother”, again the man asked who next? He replied “your father”.
Dr. Zakir Naik says on the topic “Women in Islam“: iii. If a woman earns any income from investments or works or engages in business during her marital life, the income is entirely hers and she is not entitled to spend a single penny on the household. She can spend it in any legitimate manner as she may desire.”
Poverty and lack of awareness (education) are the main causes that compel women to go out of their homes and look for jobs like domestic servants (house maids). Though, they’re being exploited back in the rural areas as well, where many work under the feudal lords, in return for no money, but just a land to live in. Of course there are various other factors for women migrating to cities and stories how they’re eventually treated in the cities, but I’ll keep this post to one point, that is their exploitation, as house maids (‘maasis’) in the cities.
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