Mard Bano Mard!

Back in 2018 when I joined a news channel as a field reporter in Hyderabad for the first time. Though I wasn’t excited, as I already had an idea about the working environment of these local traditional media houses, and why they fail to produce female field reporters. But my family has always been encouraging and asked me to start. I agreed and said YES to a job.

While covering Political rallies, press conferences, I never saw a female field reporter. That made me wonder why? So many of my colleagues complained “larkiyan bhaag jaati hain” When asked why? They said, “bhut mushkil hai, sarak k beech meh khare hokar mardon k saamne camera per baat karna”. But slowly and gradually after some time I started to realise that why actually female field reporters run away! Because the authorities never provided the enough facilities to female field reporters.

Once my boss asked me to sit with the Cameraman on a bike and go for reporting, that was the moment I regretted to be there. When I suggested that, I preferred Rikshaw He said, “that’s up to you, what can I do” I realised that yes, he can’t do anything. This is the way, they operate and are used to. Not providing a female, the vehicle facility or extra wage – which is her right. I realised many small work places are not designed to entertain a female. They’ve always been operated by the male employees. And If some female asks for something, they would only say, MARD BANO MARDD!

Why ask a woman to become different or behave like a mard? Where is the logic behind calling her a man and asking her to do things which she does not prefer or is not comfortable in? or The things which are not even remotely related to the job description.

After a long survival of 2 months and 18 days, I finally resigned not because I wanted to give up. But because I realized that they do not need a female. The problem with our society is that we don’t accept a woman as she is. Somehow, we find an excuse to tell her to do things in the way a MAN does. Whenever she asks for something special, she becomes unbearable person and labelled as a feminist, a baghi or an overconfident lady.

However, a woman acts is basically the impact of the remarks that people make about her. It’s not her, it’s the society first. Later whatever happens is the reflection of what society does to her.

I was tired of doing things that weren’t my part of job. My colleagues tried hard to hurt my sentiments by saying that “tumhe tu mic pakarna bhi nhi ata, tumhy tu bat karna bhi nahi aati, humare sath rahogi tu seekh jaogi” but they didn’t understand ke inkey sath rahi tu jo bacha hua confidence hai wo bhi matti meh chala jayega! Being strong or confident was not a solution, until and unless someone comes forward and work to resolve such stuffs faced by working woman, but I had no one.

We always see female preference jobs everywhere, but sometimes I use to wonder what is that female preference about? They just want a woman, just to fill their office with colors and smiles or to please everybody. That’s it! They don’t want her to think, demand or share her opinion. They don’t want her to do anything except saying “Yes.”

A real change is needed in small-city workplaces or in my case the Media houses. In places, where women are in full courage to come forward and work for the community and show real-stories of the world around them. Or it’ll be like this forever, people would believe in sexist stereotypes and the society will lose the capable female employees.

Maybe It’s just my experience, maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m ranting about my bad experiences. But the society always prefer a woman who stays quiet. They don’t like her to express. Maybe because they are scared that if she speaks, she will go a step forward. And society cannot bear a woman who walks a bit forward.

Currently, I am working on an international project as a Researcher and content writer with an NGO, running my own photo art account at Instagram, which is not much good, but I am working on it, also I am leading as a representative of Young social workers clubs in interior Sindh, an environment full of respect and welcoming people. I don’t know where the life would take me in the next 10 years, but the things I’ve done and the things I’m doing right now makes me happy and satisfied. Because I’ll be having a lot of stories to tell people. That’s what a true happiness for a woman is. If she loves herself then nothing can stop her from being happy and making others happy.

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