A few weeks ago my mother went to the passport office with my little brother (15 years old) to get him a new passport before his current one expires. All citizens of Pakistan should have a valid passport at all times; you never know when you may need to flee the country.
However, the attempt to get hands on a new passport were met with a blatant no. Why?
My mom uses her father’s name in her last name instead of her husband’s. That pissed the passport office right away.
In other words, they refused to recognize her as the child’s mother and had the audacity to ask her to get a new ID card made with my father’s name as her surname to prove that she is actually the mother of the child in question.
Here’s the catch: My parents are divorced. She’s married to someone else now. So even if she wanted to she couldn’t a new ID card like that.
But the question is why do they need her to change her surname when it clearly states on my brother’s birth certificate that she is his mother? Why do they need the husband to give approval?
But I am not angry.
If this had been my dad coming here to help my brother get a new passport, he would have faced no trouble. Because very simply, he’s a man.
So because our esteemed state refuses to recognize the “weaker” sex or give them any sort of power, my mom now needs to get authority letter from my dad saying that she is allowed to do whatever she wants with the child. Or something like that.
The idea of my mother getting an authority letter from my dad allowing her the permission to make a passport for my brother is hilarious to me. Despite the fact that for the last two years she has been my brother’s sole provider, financially and otherwise, she has to get a letter of authority. Despite the fact that he has lived with her during these two years and she bore all his expenses, she has to get a letter from someone who has had no role whatsoever in raising my brother.
But I am not angry.
I am not surprised. This is the same country that tried to pass a bill a few weeks ago stating that if a woman was being disobedient, it was okay to gently hurt. You know, like a gentle slap.
So I’m guessing it is also OKAY to gently strangle your husband if he is being disobedient?
And all these molvis made this huge drama about justifying this bill by reciting verses from the Quran.
That’s a different story: In Quran, the Arabic word used to explain this has several meanings. One of them means to gently slap but it can also be interpreted as “to separate”. Therefore it should go something like this: So if your wife is disobedient, separate from her (OR give her the silent treatment).
How cleverly the molvis have presented the bill in their favor by using false interpretation in worth of applaud. And how our government absolutely fails to recognize or give any power to the females leaves me speechless. I see all these Americans fighting for women’s right and I wonder if they would feel a little better about their situation if they could feel the struggle that Pakistani women go through.
But I am not angry. I am appalled.