We live in a “global village”, where everyone is connected through various means including but not limited to computers, Android phones, Newspapers, Television, Radio, and the Internet. The sophisticated technology we use has reduced the distance, the internet we search through google engine has brought us closer and the TV and radio newspaper we read keep informing us of our surroundings.
The industrial revolution enhanced human lives on a vast scale, but at the same time has had its drastic impact on the atmosphere supporting human existence. Many criticize the exploitation of nature and call it men’s selfishness that is destroying the nature.
Environmentalists say humans should see themselves as an integral part of nature. Yet, they state that the planet is also being exploited due to natural happenings. They say we should see every factor of this universe not only the ‘gender’ about which we have been discussing. The living and non-living organs should be protected, it must be the duty of every individual to protect them for the upcoming generation. They believe ecologists are ethically right, and the above-mentioned measures are essential for our survival. They are concerned with the rapid changes made by industrialization and urbanization. They say that humans irrespective of Gender, have wrongfully overstepped nature with the endeavors to become its master.
The notion of this school of thought puts forth that the fate of the universe and the fate of women are intertwined, and the salvation of each is dependent upon the same thing: eradicating patriarchy. They blame capitalism for destroying the universe. The same approach, however, is followed by ‘International Marxist’ in a different perspective. Marxist blame capitalism for the devastation of the Universe and demand a complete change in world politics. On the other hand, Environmentalists blame men’s selfish attitude responsible for the exploitation of the planet.
Amidst these numerous ways in which feminism is contested, the Baloch women are faced with different challenges altogether.
In other societies, in general, women struggle to achieve their rights from men, however, in the Baloch society we have witnessed women demanding the protection of the rights of men. In this context, postcolonialism has been analyzed to discern Baloch feminism.
Postcolonial Feminism helps describe Baloch feminism in a better way. As postcolonial feminism points out that the suppression of women is not due to patriarchy alone but a complete social structure where both males and females are restrained. Postcolonial feminism is critical of Western forms of feminism. As we have seen in the works of Audre Lorde, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and many others critical of ‘Mainstream feminism’.
It becomes essential to understand colonialism to comprehend the subject matter. According to postcolonial literature and its interpretation that Euro-centric feminism had no understanding of the diverse nature of the Non-Western nations. Their language, Religion, Culture, Lifestyle altogether are different from that of Western women. The issues faced by Western feminists were ‘Individualist’ in nature, in contrast, the issues here in this part of the world for women are not identical to that of their counterparts in the West.
For example, the first wave of feminism was only concerned with women’s right to vote. The second wave of feminism arose in the 1960s to liberate women from discrimination in workplaces, offices and mobilized women on other fronts of life.
As we are now in a different world having different approaches, doctrines, beliefs, and their own proportions, these issues can neither only be resolved through socialistic approaches nor on capitalistic Iines. We have to scrutinize every issue facing a particular Region, Nationality, Ethnicity, etc, according to its material reasonings. This realization led to the emergence of the third wave of feminism concerning mainly non-Western women for a brighter future, and a better world.
The third wave of feminism started in the 1990s and is still going on. They believe the second wave of feminism has failed to holistically define the issues faced by women in third-world nations.
According to Sherin Saadallah, when we define ‘third world feminism’ we mean to redefine feminism, reshape and provide it a comprehensive definition that is not only based on the issues concerning western women but the indigenous Women. Postcolonial theory suggests that the women in this part of the world are fighting a ‘two-sided war’. Moreover, both conflicts, insider and outsider, patriarchy has to be combated by the third world feminists. The women in third-world countries were firstly exploited by foreign forces and now by the local forces.
One can comprehend the miseries the Baloch women confront by keeping in mind the postcolonial literature. Relatively, the majority of the issues facing the Baloch women are the result of the imperialistic and colonialistic approaches initiated by the British to exploit the vast region of Balochistan for their own interests, and later the same approaches were adopted by Islamabad and Tehran with no regards to the consequences of their approaches on the indigenous people.
It is the continuation of the policies practiced in Balochistan by Islamabad and Tehran that affect women the most. Unlike in other parts of the world, the Baloch women today are being subjected to various abuses because of their nationality.
The mysterious death of Karima Baloch represents the actual issues facing the Baloch women. Her death was not only politically motivated but her gender also played a role in her murder. She was killed because of race, language, ethnicity, Nationality, and activism. Apart from Karima’s death, there have occurred numerous other such cases in Balochistan which went unreported, neglected because of the war going on there. Due to military operations in Balochistan, the Baloch women are being targeted along with men.
In fact, women are the first target. On a daily basis, Baloch women protest for their loved ones who have been forcibly disappeared by the state authorities. On the other hand, they also have become the first victim of the rebellion. The men in Baloch society no doubt are killed, and their mutilated bodies are thrown across Balochistan, but these unfortunate happenings have a long-lasting psychological impact on the women. The activism of Mahrang Baloch, Haseeba Qambrani, Horan, Hani Baloch, and many other non-prominent Baloch women are the ones who are currently the face of Baloch feminism. Therefore, scholars, writers, and feminists discussing Baloch feminism should take into account Baloch geography, demography, history, culture, and the current war of liberation.
No doubt, the land on which the Baloch women are residing today, has not been ruled and governed by them whether it was Kalat State’s elite or the foreign forces in power. Today, the Baloch women are increasingly appearing in mainstream politics, not to secure their interests as women, but rather for their national interests, they have become the voice of the unheard men of their society.
These add to the responsibilities of feminists across the world to understand the difficulties and challenges confronting Baloch women, who need to be represented in a broader feminist movement.
Until and unless, these issues facing the Baloch women are taken into consideration, no feminist theory can bring a feminist revolution in the Baloch society.
The writer hails from Turbat, Kech and is a student of Mass Communication.