I was recently asked to write a piece about immigrant women in Canada and their empowerment subsequent to the move. I am supposed to speak to other women from my country and refer to studies that claim that they are more empowered in this modern society compared to their primitive one.

A Pakistani woman who has been living in Canada for 20 years does everything you cannot do in a conservative and severely patriarchal society. Yet, in her current opinion a wife is supposed to ‘serve’ her husband and marital rape is a non-existent concept. Another Pakistani woman who has been living here for 5 years still believes she is ‘just’ a woman. She continues to judge women in the Western society who are untamed in her assessment.  I wonder if empowerment comes just from the law. I wonder if a modern and largely secular system can really affect the social cues one has grown up with and accepted. I wonder if we can ever really change.

We travel with our limitations and perceive them as our limits. We move with our restraints and claim it our freedom. Empowerment comes from within as much as it does from the external environment.

I don’t think I will write that piece. But the thought inspired me to create a photograph. It is called Collision.


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