Durr-e-Shahwar: Television blames working women

Published: April 14, 2012

It's time local channels stopped pandering to society's fears about working women and started projecting their achievements in a positive light. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Last Saturday night, I sat down with my mother-in-law to watch a new television drama serial named “Durr-e-Shahwar” which has come after  the much talked and blogged about “Humsafar”.

She was quite eager to watch this new serial, and I decided to keep her company. However, a few minutes into the show I started feeling anger at the writer and producer. Here’s why:

“Durr-e-Shahwar” portrayed a working woman who was so focused on her career that she ignored everybody around her – her family, her husband and her in-laws. While the show is well-produced and the actors seemed to be doing a fabulous job depicting their characters, what really annoyed me was that it propagated a popular, regressive mindset – that women exist solely to serve their husbands, provide fresh hot meals to them and chase after them, reminding them to do every little thing.

Particularly annoying was one scene where the woman had the insolence to change the curtains in her own home, with her own money, only to incur her husband’s wrath because “now that she had her own money she felt like she could do anything with it.”

The show depicts that financial independence and freedom of choice are definite bars to marital happiness. Worse still was the justification that the husband gave for his chauvinistic attitude:

“Our mothers did these things for our fathers and look  how happy they are.”

Maybe I am taking this one character very seriously when perhaps I shouldn’t, because after all, it’s just television and it can’t really affect me. But the problem is that, in fact, it does.

Television influences mindsets and what it projects affects millions of people across Pakistan – “Humsafar” being a case-in-point. By projecting working women as potentially bad wives, it magnifies the fear that the average Pakistani woman from our mother’s generation has.

Acting on these fears, they are unlikely to encourage their daughters in becoming productive members of the society outside of their homes; this fear might even lead them to believe that a career-oriented woman is less likely to garner good “rishtas” (marriage proposal). I myself  have seen a few women who hold their daughters back from careers and bribe them with stuff like:

Shaadi kay baad jo marzi job karni hai karo, shohar ki marzi hai na.” 

(You can do any job after you get married, it will be up to your husband, right?)

In short, a culture is created where women who work are stigmatised rather than lauded for their contributions and financial independence. Their will power, competence, degrees and intelligence are considered social flaws rather than strengths benefiting society as a whole.

The choice to be a career woman or a home-maker is a personal one; there should be no judgement attached to either and one definitely should not be considered better than the other.

If as a career woman I choose to support my husband as he tries to provide a better future for our children, assist him in taking care of financial responsibilities (while also contributing to the national economy) and at the same time ensure that my home is running smoothly, then how does that make me any less than a traditional home-maker?

I know dozens of dozens of women who work. Instead of focusing exclusively on their careers, they constantly try to juggle all their responsibilities. They work nine to five, look after their husbands, feed their families, pick and drop their children from school, tuitions and play dates and help them with homework. They still manage to maintain close and extended relationships with friends and family regardless of all that they do.

What’s more is that they are doing this at the cost of their own time – time that could otherwise be spent doing what other women do – getting a manicure/pedicure, reading a book, hanging out with friends, maybe even getting a haircut, or taking a shower that is longer than seven minutes.

The question to ask here is then why do working women take on this life of hardship, self-sacrifice and perpetual guilt?

It’s because we are striving for something better; to send our children to better schools, to provide them with facilities that we did not have access to ourselves, to support not only ourselves but our husbands so that they don’t feel that they are solely carrying the burden of the financial future of our family, and yes, also to secure ourselves in case an unfortunate incident leaves us without any kind of support.

I have seen many women who have been either widowed or divorced. Lacking the skills and attitude to support themselves, they are ultimately helpless, at the mercy of their parents and siblings.

Keeping all these things in mind, we choose to become career women and for this we are demonised on national television. We are shown as selfish rather than selfless, and our financial freedom portrayed as a threat. Our ability to think, voice our opinions, and get things done rather than sit around and wait for “our hero on a trusty steed” is taken as a sign of our inability to adjust to marriage and make the compromises that a relationship,whether with husbands or with in-laws, requires.

Since the media plays a critical role in forming opinions and developing attitudes, isn’t it time local channels stopped pandering to society’s fears about working women and started projecting their achievements in a positive light?

It’s time they made serials on the lives and challenges of these brilliant women, instead of creating masala dramas only. I expected the producer of ”Durr-e-Shahwar”, Momina Duraid to acknowledge her own strengths as a woman rather than producing dramas that marginalise working women.

Surely it’s time to look at working women with compassion and acceptance, and it most definitely is time for television to be the agent of change for a progressive culture rather than be a throwback to archaic and regressive times.

 

Afshan Khan

Afshan Khan

A marketing professional, a traditional wife, and a daughter-in-law.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Icydevil

    Relax it’s just a serial. No need to take it to your heart ;) Though I agree that they have portrayed that headstrong, working women are not good home makers which is totally out of context and can not be accepted a universal principle. If the husband acts like a pig all the time then the fights WOULD occur no matter what.Recommend

  • Nadeem Naqvi

    it’s dramas such as this one that actively promote misogyny in our society. Showing working women as evil and uncaring and painting lthe controlling misogynistic husband as the masoom bichara victim creates another generation of pakistanis who view self-reliant women as something bad and evil.
    Every woman has a right to work ,infact, she should work. As long as women are dependent on the pocket money from their husbands they remain at the mercy of their majazi khudas.
    Our media has been promoting patriarchy and misogyny in the shape of such bigoted dramas.Recommend

  • Asif Khan

    The men in our society need to get out of their caveman mentality. A woman does not exist to act as a slave to men. Pathetic, insecure husbands as the one shown in this serial need to be condemned, they can’t accept their wives earning because this hurts their male ego.
    It’s high time PEMRA took action against the people behind such misogynistic propaganda.
    Women have a right to exist as equal human beings, reducing them to baby producing factories is cruel and uncivilised.
    Nadia Jamil’s character has all the right in the world to work and have a career of her own. It’s the husband who has to come out of his insecurities and inferiority complex of his earning wife.
    Working women are the real heroes of pakistani society, they work in terrible conditions while facing hate and ridicule from all sections of a patriarchal society. Recommend

  • Zeeshan Mir

    Men like to keep their wives under their feet and so they can’t stand having a working wife because then the woman will have her own money, won’t have to beg her husband for meeting her expenses.
    And this is what pakistani men cannot tolerate that their wife is not their private property , that she can buy things she wants herself. The women who keep on putting up with such hubands,fiances and boyfriends are only digging an early grave for themselves. Such men always like to keep women under their total control like pet animals, they can’t see a strong, independent, self-earning woman.Recommend

  • http://www.mzahoor.blogspot.com maryam zahoor

    TV serials indeed set mindsets. And they affect women more than they do men. Unfortunately, women play a very significant role in developing the mindsets of their sons who grow up to be chauvinistic husbands.Recommend

  • WhoWasThatMaskedMan

    Good piece, but when I watched the drama I didn’t feel it ‘blames’ working women or promotes misogyny or some sort, rather tells how woman are treated by their husbands, what goes around in their lives. So far I think it highlights what woman goes through and what are her issues.Recommend

  • Ebtesam

    Ms Khan, You spoke my heart!!Recommend

  • http://fareehaakhtar85@gmail.com Fareeha

    I cannot agree with you more. I thank Allah everyday for giving me a mother that refused to back down and supported herself along with three daughters with her own income. What many people fail (or refuse to) realize is that by working, women are not trying to project themselves as ironclad and ‘butter won’t melt in their mouth’ human beings, but as individuals who would suffer ADDITIONAL physical and mental stress for the sake of her family!
    However, this does not mean that men are wholly to blame. Yes, there are those who try and keep their wives under their influence (by physical or financial means) but such men usually are sons of mothers who weathered storms of their own without trying to change their situations. In other words, both men AND women are to blame for this mindset, but it’s quite refreshing to see so many women working now than ever before. Perhaps there is hope for us yet. Recommend

  • Uzair

    As a typical misogynistic dominating masochistic fragile ego _ghairatmand_ MAN I approve of this drama and its message.Recommend

  • Sick of hyper women

    You really need to sit n watch more of it ! A few minutes n u judged everybody in the effort of not being judged ur self:p craziness ! N Recommend

  • Sana

    Exactly my sentiments. I watched this drama in the repeat today, and was thinking exactly the same. And you know what the irony is, that all the women playing such roles are themselves working women and role models to alot other in real life. They should put their foot down and put an end to such shows. Recommend

  • Saba Fatima Ali

    Lol did you just watch one episode? Who ever said that the husband was right? It shows no where in the drama that that the husband is right and the wife wrong. Infact its a pretty female dominated one as Samina peerzada reminisces her story and her husbands injustice. Till now there has just been depiction, no judgement. Too early to form an opinion my friend :) Recommend

  • Sarah

    I completely agree with your write up.

    Most of us working females watch these dramas with our mother inlaw at 8pm so that we can spend good quality time with them.

    All the actors and actresses are doing a wonderful job but unfortunately I cannot watch this show with my mother inlaw anyomore. It is not comfortable.
    No one wants to listen to their mother-inlaw saying, ” Daikhaain aajkal yahee ho raha hai .. sub sahee dikhaa rahaa hain .. ye tou apki kahani hai”.

    I work and my husband has always been kind and supportive. My humble request to all writers/producers/directors is that please try and focus on the fact that at 8pm most family members sit down together to watch the dramas … please do not make the scenes so uncomfortable.

    There are families where everyone supports eachothers efforts. A women tries to work hard on job, tries to give quality time to her husband .. even though she is tired. She tries to give time to her inlaws and the maximum time to her children. I do not have any children yet – I am sure its hard but it all works out once everyone accepts eachother and helps out.

    To a certain extent yes, the dramas do make the society aware of what is happening but on the other hand it is also giving too much information. People extract the negetives and then talk about it all over the town.

    A very close acquantence of mine said to me ” Job chor dou .. shohor ki kamai kaafi nahe lagti?” …. I had no reply to give to this Aunty of mine else that my husband wants me to keep working, it keeps both of us healthy, updated and on the same frequency.

    It is tough. Many of us come across questions like .. job kar rahee ho? Kab tak Karti raho gi?… kiooon? .. miaan tou theek thaak kamata hai phir kioon?

    Ignore Ignore Ignore … that is what we all do but till when?

    Working women are normal women. ,They care about their home, their life, their future, their surroundings. Here I talk for a women who goes and works in a corporate environment, one who teaches in scool and comes home at 2, all those who work in call centers, night shifts, shops, as tailors, nurses, airhostesses, waitresses and those who work as maids in our houses. Each of us are trying at our own pace to make ourselves a better member of the society — a better individual in the family so that they get the best of everything.

    Maybe I do a hundred things wrong at home. But please, do not make my job a reason for the mistakes.

    I also want to say that lets keep ourselves restricted to our own immediate families. Lets not get in to others. Lets make dramas that do not involve family matters … every channel you flip there is a drama showing a family with romance issues, inlaws issues, divorces, extra marital affairs …. I do not know what we gain watching all of this. Just tells how much we enjoy all of this rubbish.

    May ALLAH help us all and keep us on the right track.Recommend

  • Kanwal

    I think this is an exaggeration on part of Umera Ahmad, the write. She just takes things to extremes. I am a career woman and my husband is also extremely hard working. Politeness and consideration makes a relationship. Does nt matter the woman is working or not. I have seen at least as stupid and arrogant women who are house wives. So i guess Umera Ahmad should sit back, take a breath and try to focus on quality, not the ratings. This serial has DRAMA written all over it. You want to watch Ashir Azeem’s Dhuwan, Umera. To learn how to be effective for ALL sections of the society. Recommend

  • Palwasha

    I find nothing wrong with that serial. The writer probably watched this drama because she wanted something to write on-something controversial. This drama serial is a very beautiful depiction of our society. It gives an answer to why most of the married couples lose their spark soon after they get married. Both the characters, husband and wife, are mistasken equally. The husband wants to be pampered all the time and the wife is unable to manage her responsibilities as a working mother and wife.
    I am not promoting this serial or anything but I just want to say that we should always have a positive approach towards everything. Indeed, media affects people and this drama should influence everyone because if it does then we can actually solve many of our domestic issues.Recommend

  • NT

    @ Saba Fatima Ali
    Exactly…I agree with you. I think the writer should have watched this drama from the beginning, I did not feel that its against working women. Rather I think its about a man’s ego, when he is a husband, he can do anything to his wife and when he is a father, its unthinkable for him to see his daughter suffering by another man. Majority of Pakistani dramas are about house wives, and we really have watched terrible house wife character portraying but can you say that they are creating a mind set against house wives in Pakistan? I think its a beautiful drama.Recommend

  • http://None Nadia Jamil

    I am playing the role of Shandana in this serial and would NEVER have done the serial if it was against women working. Shandana has problems a lot of modern marriages do whether the wife works or not. Her husband and her egos clash. She never gives up her job and she learns the hard way, as does he, that marriage is not simple and relationships too fragile to neglect the way Shandana & Haider neglected theirs. Regards Nadia JamilRecommend

  • Fatimah

    how can you even think of writing about something when you don’t even watch it.. i mean just for the sake of it.. get your details first… Recommend

  • Narjis Fatima

    oh c’mon…. wat the story is trying to suggest is the mismatch of the couple not that working women cannot be good wives….. both the characters have completely varied mindsets, world views and expectations ….. it was shown in the initial episodes when the wife recounts her honeymoon and how they had a disagreement on a petty issue……… if u look at samina peerzada’s character u find a different story… she is shown as a typical wife yet was not treated well and ignored by her husband…. so please… view it in the context of the narrative…. :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    Very passionate write up, but possibly you’ve jumped the gun. Let the story develope and have some faith and a little tolerance with our TV drama people.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Agree with @NadiaJamil – firstly by the writer’s submission, she just saw a few minutes of the show and decided to write a whole blog about it based on her own (not to mention WRONG) assumptions? secondly, if one does watch the show they realise it shows both the husband and wife to have certain problems that doesn’t let the marriage flourish and so does sameena pirzada’s marriage- where is the sexism in this?Recommend

  • http://uptonogood.tumblr.com/ Red

    You were doing great till you got to this point:

    “I know dozens of dozens of women who work. Instead of focusing exclusively on their careers, they constantly try to juggle all their responsibilities. They work nine to five, look after their husbands, feed their families, pick and drop their children from school, tuitions and play dates and help them with homework. They still manage to maintain close and extended relationships with friends and family regardless of all that they do.”

    You essentially said career women should be left alone because they still fulfill traditional roles as well. What you should have talked about was both husbands AND wives taking on responsibilities for their house and children jointly since both are working.Recommend

  • Amna

    Please stop seeing things in black or white, the writers usually weave the stories to bring out the complexities of the characters and mirror what is already happening in the society, And in this particular serial, the focus is on marriage, a union of two genders and what it takes to make it work, parallels are drawn, different perspectives are shown, demands of modern life and comparison that of older times,gives a rich experience. There is always something to learn from how relationships become stronger or fade away over time.Recommend

  • sana

    what u so called liberals find hard to believe is that in todays world women no matter how educated and independent face such challenges, i being an engineer and living in london face what shandana faces everyday. its hard fr our men to get used to the fact that their wives can earn n spend on themselves. its not always easy to get OUT of a relationship to make things right fr yrself but at times u have to live the life and deal with the problems if u want to make the marriage work. its not something out of the writer’s head but what a real woman faces everyday that is shown in the drama. i seriously feel like i am shandana and her mother is my mom. i just cant believe the mentality of ppl living in pakistan when they write these kind of artices as it seems like u guys are living in a parallel universe oblivious to what REAL people go through in their lives!Recommend

  • http://www.insaf.pk Antebellum

    Durr-e-Shahwar” portrayed a working woman who was so focused on her career that she ignored everybody around her – her family, her husband and her in-laws

    Seems legit!Recommend

  • Amrita

    I don’t see how “now that she had her own money she felt like she could do anything with it.” attitude on part of the husband is wrong. In a healthy relationship, the wife and husband should collaborate on how to spend their income together. How would a wife feel if her husband bought a new TV under the pretext of it’s my money, who are you to ask me how to spend it. Recommend

  • sara

    It’s pretty disappointing and hypocritical for working women like Umera Ahmed and Momina Duraid to create something like this.Recommend

  • C’mon

    @Afshan Khan, C’mon.
    You missed the whole point of the story. It is portraying what is happening and, therefore, showing how wrong the man is. It is not against working women. it is actually about people realising how wrong men are when they behave this way. This is about stirring a debate. A very good storyline about problems working women are facing. so please, next time, watch it with that sense. Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750600082 Qurat ul Ain Salman

    i dunno, but my opinion is that the writer really needs to see the show. i didnt bother reading the whole thing cuz frankly the writer reduced the whole show’s storyline to something trite and cliched and into something that it totally isnt.
    show mai working women problem naheen hain. show mai ye dekhaya hai k logon ki expectations diffrent hotin hain, logon ki bardasht kam ho gayee hai and why does a marriage die. why does a marriage die in any era, not just ours. no one is blaming anyone. yes, durre’s son in law blames her daughter cuz she works and doesnt give him time, but that’s just the part of the problem. and that is only one character’s opinion. durre is proud that her daughter works. her family’s friends’ daughter works too. there are other women in her office too. the culuture of working women isnt looked down upon. it is a sensitive play with many layers, i dont know what the writer is trying to say. he or she saw one episode maybe and made up his or her mindRecommend

  • Qurat ul Ain Salman

    show mai working women problem naheen hain. show mai ye dekhaya hai k logon ki expectations diffrent hotin hain, logon ki bardasht kam ho gayee hai and why does a marriage die. why does a marriage die in any era, not just ours. no one is blaming anyone. yes, durre’s son in law blames her daughter cuz she works and doesnt give him time, but that’s just the part of the problem. and that is only one character’s opinion. durre is proud that her daughter works. her family’s friends’ daughter works too. there are other women in her office too. the culuture of working women isnt looked down upon. it is a sensitive play with many layers, i dont know what the writer is trying to say. he or she saw one episode maybe and made up his or her mind.

    i dunno, but my opinion is that the writer really needs to see the show. i didnt bother reading the whole thing cuz frankly the writer reduced the whole show’s storyline to something trite and cliched and into something that it totally isntRecommend

  • sick n tired

    how many times are we gonna have u women whining about the same thing again n again n again.. get over it!.. its not in our minds to control you but more in ur own minds, the fear to be controlled.. and for God sake, watch the full drama first please this is one of the major problems u women have, “baat puri sunni nahi, bus shru ho jana, jab dekho bus mazloom ban jana”Recommend

  • i_wont_carry_ur_baby

    if this keeps going on like this, there will come a time when women will start complaining about how unfair it is on them to have to carry men’s baby for nine months.. “men should carry it if they want it!” :S .. the concept of surrogate mothers dont look that far away to me now.. infact, i wont be surprised if i find a comment in below mine saying, “whats wrong with surrogate mothers??”..Recommend

  • http://tasmeena-m.blogspot.com TM

    hey. i don’t think that’s what the drama’s about. Firstly, the character you’re referring to isn’t even called Durr-e-Shahwar. Durr-e-Shahwar is actually her mother (Samina Pirzada) and the drama is mostly about her and how she had to deal with her husband and in-laws who were very different from her. It also shows how different yet how similar things still are. Like Shandana (the character you’re calling Durr-e-Shahwar) thinks her father is perfect and only her mother knows that she had her own problems…the same way her daughter thinks her father (Nauman Ijaz) is perfect when he has his issues too…i really dont think the show’s about working women not being good mothers n wives…the main character (so far) isn’t even working…if anything, i think the drama shows what issues educated women in our society (then and now) go through…
    I think you’re missing the point here. :)

    the rest of the article is true though. :)Recommend

  • Sania

    I’m honestly shocked at the level of irresponsible journalism exercised by Express Tribune-even if it is related to a blog. The serial in no way demonises women who are career-oriented and the writer of the above blog needs to relax her baseless feminist sentiments and understand the logic behind this serial. I would personally applaud Umera Ahmed and Momina for coming up with this brilliant concept and mind you it does act as an agent of change: solely because it highlights one fundamental reality that no matter how liberated or progressive two individuals in a marital bond are, there is a basic requirement when it comes to maintaining the balance of power and role play. This is not restricted to the Pakistani society alone and you just need to look at examples elsewhere and understand that radical behavioural problems related to money, children, work, home decisions will inevitably scar the love and dedication of both the partners.

    Seriously speaking I will be brutally honest to say that it is writers like you who disrepute feminist efforts on Pakistan. get a grip over your emotions and understand the essence of such media portrayals.Recommend

  • enileo

    I do not agree with what the writer said about this drama. I can bet she hasn’t watched even one full episode, what to talk of the half dozen episodes that have aired so far. No where does this drama depict what the woman is doing is wrong. In fact it shows what the husband’s attitude is like towards her and how her father’s attitude was towards her mother. That the woman is expected to go to work and come back home and do all the work too, while the husband will do nothing to help out around the house etc. And about what she wrote at the end….from nowhere is this a ‘masala drama’ at all! The writer of this drama is one of the best in Pak. I think the writer of this article just wanted to write on this particular topic and just needlessly dragged this specific drama into it. Its really sad that people like her don’t bother to watch or appreciate good Pak plays!!Recommend

  • monaza

    dureeshehwar is just a drama and definitely should not be taken so seriously ya! since the media plays a critical role in forming opinions and developing attitudes,dis drama is actually not trying to demonise de working women but giving a moral lesson how relationships could be made stronger by being lil bit accomodating in accordance to each others individual nature.”Shandana” da working women portrayed in da drama always keep on arguing on equal footings wid her husband.. o come’on one has to bend and usually women has to take dis step.its about understanding natures ,rather than being extremist its not bad to be career oriented but its bad when it starts to influence ur relationship dat is offcourse more prior..gud management and bending lil bit offcourse will prove effective..if changing curtains 3 to 4 times is not evitable for ur partner so don’t take dis as his complex instead be positive.Recommend

  • socialist

    although it has come from the horses mouth now that the play is not misogynistic at all but on the very out set i could not help feeling that it will churn the same run of the mill propaganda about working women.why it seemed so because they always show Haider as having an excuseRecommend

  • Zeeshan

    Dur-e- Shalwar? nice nameRecommend

  • Meem

    I am a woman and I just hate it when people, especially women themselves, make an issue about their rights being violated in some way when in reality there is nothing like that. And your write up is a case in point. This is exactly what you call creating a mountain out of a mole hill.

    I agree with most of the posters here. You need to start watching the drama from the beginning to know what it is all about and not just write something without having any prior knowledge of it or even bothering to know about it. The drama is more like a comparison between two generations, highlights how the society discriminates between a working man and a woman, and does not in any way denounce working women. In fact, if you would have bothered to watch it closely or without jumping to conclusion within the first few minutes of the drama, you would have realized that it presents both sides of the argument.

    The fact that her husband never supported her job is one side of the coin. The other is that the girl is shown managing everything, right from her pregnancy to job to house to her daughter all by herself with very little support from her husband. The husband is portrayed as a typical chauvinist who thinks that if he is working, he is doing a huge favor to the world. In other words, it highlights the unfairness of this whole setup.

    To other posters who jump the ‘misogyny’ wagon the moment someone writes something about women’s right (in this case, a completely baseless and uninformed opinion expressed by the writer), please hold your horses before you know the whole story.Recommend

  • msahmed

    I agree with most commentators on here. I am a working married woman and I think the drama so far is illustrating very beautifully the delicate and intricate nature of marriage and the relationships that come with it.

    ” I am playing the role of Shandana in this serial and would NEVER have done the serial if it was against women working. Shandana has problems a lot of modern marriages do whether the wife works or not. Her husband and her egos clash. She never gives up her job and she learns the hard way, as does he, that marriage is not simple and relationships too fragile to neglect the way Shandana & Haider neglected theirs. Regards Nadia Jamil”

    Thank you so much for posting this comment Ms Nadia Jamil. I think you are doing an amazing job playing the character of Shandana and so are all the other actors/actresses.

    Cant wait to see how this drama unfolds!Recommend

  • hallaj

    I think, theme of this drama is natural justice (Makafat-e-Jamal). The behaviors men usually see ‘fit’ for their wives are not the same what they like for daughters.

    To writer of this Blog: most of the dramas, now days, are selling story of ‘suffering woman’ which is unnecessarily giving rise to feminist feelings and definitely not helping any cause than that of ‘Producers’. Why don’t you write about it as well?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    afshan if u can go beyond wat u obviously thought was unfair …u wuld realiz that the show is potrayin both the man & the woman in their true light…i mean luk around u…isnt that wat is happenin to relationships today…the clash of egos…”i would b dyin to talk to him..but wuldnt do that” …he wuld b missing the woman but wuld obviously never say it…n both of them tryin to use anger as a shield…thats wat the drama is more about…trust me tryin followin the serial while tryin to luk beyond the obvious!!!! u mite actually like itRecommend

  • Sana khan

    Although it’s just a drama but i would agree with the fact that majority of the working women tend to behave as projected in this serial. I am myself a working woman and i know not all of us are like that but trust me this is how majority of working women that i have experienced start behaving…..Recommend

  • Saima

    I totally disagree with the author here. The drama does not potray working women as bad but rather it shows how things can go wrong in a marriage if husband and wife have egos and clashes. How the story of a typical woman (Dure Shahwar) and a working woman (Shandana) parallel each other shows that the story is about marriage and the sacrifices both husband and wife have to make for the relationship to work. The author should really see the whole story before commenting.Recommend

  • xyqs

    LOL. Really LOL.

    I haven’t watched this serial yet, but I don’t think so that their point is to ‘blame’ the working women; well maybe they’re just communicating to the society that working women are blamed all the time, despite the hardships they pass themselves through. And yes, may be at later stages the drama starts turning out in the lady’s direction. Who knows about these serials!

    I’d suggest you should give your mother company every Saturday evening. :)Recommend

  • ahmed

    you have totally missed the point. it does not blame the working women but blames the mindset of our male population. the actor in the drama noman ijaz feels insecure that is the reason they are not happy together.Recommend

  • Zee

    Everybody is talking about husband and wife….. have you guyz seen the little girl…? if mother works all day out and only come home at night to give her kid a meals and good night kiss then how the kids will feel? you guyz have no idea how the kids feel when they spend their childhood only with housemaids. women first responsibilty is her husband and kids. how can you go out for whole day when your kids need you at home. Just Think… as a mother…!!!Recommend

  • Sahar

    The author has completely misunderstood the serial. I have been watching it from the first episode. This drama does not demonise working women infact it is potryaing the prejudiced, unreasonable and unfair attitude towards wives by their husbands, family and society – whether they are working women, young women of the new generation or women of the old generation. How can Tribune print an article without bothering to check if the author got the facts right?Recommend

  • Arooj Khan

    I agree with the writer,since Nadia Jamil character is portrayed as miserable and frustrated due to her marital problems and the way she is seen working on her job as a dedicated working women.However since our society is very stereotypical, this attitude predominates through every core of it, and it would be a very difficult task to change it.Attitudes are changing since many women do manage to work through the aid of their supportive family and husbands.The intelligent Paki women should know that Pakistani males are very dominating and chauvinistic and if they do want to work they should not keep reminding their husbands of their marital independance but discuss all things in due harmony and cooperation.Instead of bragging about their cleverness, and their abilities they should adopt a meek and submissive attitude.Recommend

  • rafazliban

    Another reason why I think we need to impose an embargo on freedom of speech and in place, release the use of consultation.

    Darn, you women. Its just a play. I was laughing the whole time watching their silly arguments. That’s it. I dont know why your feminism and your women rights debate has to be brought up on every little thing these days. Jeeez.Recommend

  • R.Khan

    sadly i soo want to work but thanks to my inlaws that they are not supportive in this matter,and my husband is toooo lalu that he cant take permission from thm so that i can keep wrking…tears:(Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Zee:
    I know plenty of mothers who work full time and manage to give time to their children, as should working fathers. This idea of a woman’s place being within the home is archaic and it’s time for Pakistan and the like to join the rest of the world in the 21st century. Let the barrage of anti-western replies begin…. Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Arooj Khan:
    Women should do the exact opposite if they plan on changing anything at all, my dear. Change is slow and often difficult, but in order for it to happen, one cannot be meek or submissive in attitude or action. Pakistani women have spent far too long being meek and submissive. Recommend

  • durrain samreen

    Dear blogger, I humbly request you to watch the whole drama,I know its hard to get time to watch dramas when you have a job and all but I still suggest that you watch this whole serial and then post a review.You write with passion I request you that you watch it the whole thing and then write again. I am pretty sure you will come up with a totally new review. As for Umera Ahmed we Pakstani people still don’t realize what a gem we have found in her.Each drama that she writes her scripts her dialouges,its gems sewn all over. I wish and pray that more and more writers like Umera Ahmed will come forward. Wishing the team of Durre shahwar all the best!
    Regards and Best
    DurrainRecommend

  • FS

    Relax, it is a typical masala drama with cultural values of society shown. women have burden by society and society demands take care of family and pressures women to abide the family needs, this doesn’t matter either to family is rich or poor. Enjoy such masala drams with nice dinner and lot of gup shup around.Recommend

  • Saima

    @FS:
    Thats not the only reason for dramas. Sometimes they are thought provoking and we should take good lessons from wherever we can. Better to learn from dramas and others rather than make the mistakes over and over again.Recommend

  • eman

    what i understand from this drama as i watched few episodes the director and producer didn’t want to show negative about working women, they wanted to show the ego problem between a couple, that they never tried to give up, when they started an argument it never ended. Neither wife nor husband wanted to drop out of that argument. A relationship needs patience and serenity. Which both of them never showed. And its not the duty of a women to be patient all the time, men should be patient too. Recommend

  • Hasan Umar

    Such a prejudiced biased and judgmental article and that too just because you saw few minutes of drama and not bothered to watch all the episodes.
    I advice u to watch it right from the beginning and then come up with any article..Recommend

  • http://dramapakistani.net Drama Buff

    As someone who has been reviewing Durre-Shehwar since the day the promos went on air, let me say this loud and clear that this drama serial is about ‘attitude’ and the key role it plays in the quality of a marriage. This drama serial is NOT about why women should not work. It encourages viewers to rise beyond external factors when analyzing marriages. A marriage goes on the rocks NOT because of a working wife, NOT because of in-laws – it goes on the rocks when the spouses are not willing to communicate, when they stop listening and start shouting, and when they bring their egos into every little argument.

    I for one have seen few dramas like Durre-Shehwar that analyze relationships so deeply and portray empowered women.Recommend

  • maria

    Umaira Ji is showing the facts of marrital life issues..that man use to irritate a woman in these ways.its not an insult of any working woman..its justt she is showing the ugly face of a man dominant nature persons….On the other hand..even shandana is not completely right on her place..she use to provoke haider for little things…Marriage should be a delightfull act ..not a prison…or a tortuure..what if he got late with his freinds…What if he have not called her..she was in her own home…Never ever shouts a person when he leaves the home or just step in the home.Recommend

  • Moniza Haq

    @ Afshan Khan
    DurreShewar is not against working women but rather how a man & wife have to make their marriage work by having a give & take relationship.

    @ Express Tribune; This is Horrible Journalism. Reshearch !st & Print later.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    This serial is not at all against working women! It highlights their problems as per you wish which the writer of this blog has expressed herself in these words: “It’s time they made serials on the lives and challenges of these brilliant women, instead of creating masala dramas only….
    Surely it’s time to look at working women with compassion and acceptance, and it most definitely is time for television to be the agent of change for a progressive culture rather than be a throwback to archaic and regressive times.”

    Isn’t it serving exactly the same purpose? Even the little girl Sofia understands that her baba is hurting her mother. Yes I agree that Shandana is neglecting her responsibilities to some extent by not paying proper attention to her child and husband, but isn’t Haider’s behaviour discouraging too? They have highlighted his non cooperative attitude too. Didn’t they? Shandana should try to balance her work and family life–a quality Ms Khan herself admires while praising working women she knows. To quote her “I know dozens of dozens of women who work. Instead of focusing exclusively on their careers, they constantly try to juggle all their responsibilities. They work nine to five, look after their husbands, feed their families, pick and drop their children from school, tuitions and play dates and help them with homework. They still manage to maintain close and extended relationships with friends and family regardless of all that they do.” Is Shandana doing the same quite successfully?? She refuses to cook for her husband and the child herself even when the maid is on leave for 1 day and that can’t be justified on her part by any means either by herself or any1 else!

    On the other hand Haider is not demanding of her to sit at home leaving her job but he is not cooperating with her either, not understanding her double responsibilities and I don’t see any bias in writer’s approach to highlights the faults of both the spouses.

    It always two to clap and that’s the message of this drama. If that doesn’t seem to happen for sometime one of the two has to offer sacrifice because sacrifice with good intention never goes wasted. Why go far? her own mother’s life is a prime example-in-case.Recommend

  • K SHAH

    ufff U R CRITICISING durr e shehwaar….u r being judgemental…infinite times I dislike ur dis foolish review….n doing job is not included in the women rights….unless she is facing any financial problem….u need to first watch dis drama till da end den should comment on it….n UMERA AHMED is the writer of dis drama….u cant even imagine to reach to her intellectual level ………Recommend

  • s

    i hate those women who like to do jobs without financial problemsRecommend

  • Fatima

    @Nadia Jamil:
    I am with you 100./. You are doing a great job, love your character and the play. Some people are too quick to judge. Writing an article needs a little more research than watching one episode!Recommend

  • leila rage

    @ the author: Absolutely right! In particular, in Humsafar, it was the jeans-wearing, English speaking working woman, Sara who was a villainous psychotic stalker. And the stay at home, innocent to the point of stupidity wife Khirad was the oh so wonderful heroine.

    Yes, this is just a serial, BUT it is promoting and encouraging these stereotypes.Recommend

  • Faiza Rasheed

    I am very upset what the role of ” Working women” shandana is depicting…..it will tell to all mother in laws all over the world that working daughter in law will be like this…This is TOTALLY WRONG!!!…………my mother is a working women,she cooks,she washes clothes,she do every household work by herself and manage everything beautifully Alhamdolillah……its not the working women…shandana is a sense-lense working women,failed to make her husband happy….by her mis managment….plus she humiliate him infront of her friends…which is TOTALLY WRONG……..expecting too much…..it is giving a bad impact of working women…Recommend

  • DSviewer

    I have a feeling there’s more to the story. Let’s wait and see what happens before we make a judgement about how they are portraying women who work. At this point in the drama it’s unclear what is causing the issues in their marriage and how it will be resolved, if at all.Recommend

  • Baseema

    I am a working woman of the west and I watch this drama religiously and I would completely have to disagree with this article. I think it is showing how a man has that typical attitude and can’t handle a working woman. I don’t think it portrays women as evil, I think it just shows that a typical Pakistani man wants a typical Pakistani woman which in his mind is a house wife. I think this drama is an excellent story and is a lesson for all men and women to bring up these issues before hand. If a man doesn’t want his wife to work then he should find himself a wife who is accepting of staying at home, and if a woman does desire to work then she should find a man who would appreciate and encourage that.

    Drama isn’t even over yet, and I think you are taking this too personally. I see a lot of positives in this drama and believe the outcome would result in greater good in society. Recommend

  • umar

    Its a Stupid Blog…..The Drama doesn’t hi lights the issue a working woman has u totaaly missed the point…it is about making adjustments and sacrifices in marriage… for instance when nadia jameel slashes her husband about the change in curtains she says thats its her choice and money she can do whatever she wants thats completely ridiculous if the same thing is said by husbands the women take offence the lesson here is whether u r working woman or not you have to work on ur marriage patiently if ur spouse is angry or upset then u hav to keep mum for a bit rather then nag about stupid issues this will make him more frustrated and annoyed.
    so its better for both the spouses to be patient some times and give margin to ur spouses if u want it to work out…other wise it will fall out hard.Recommend

  • http://rorolia.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/bcb-blames-zaid-hamids-deceptive-propaganda-for-asia-cup-loss/ Xain Gardezi

    You need to lok into dictionary meaning of ‘fiction’Recommend

  • Regina John

    Its not JUST a PLAY!! It carries a lot of ill of our social and cultural evils. Men and their mind-sets. Also many a times these reflect bad on people in person. HUMSAFAR carried the the same evil…. MEN and thier MOTHERS and the very devilsh domestic dirty politics that they engage themselves in.

    We would hence remain the same (20 years back) from the rest of the world and still feel PROUD to have a ‘culture’ a ‘society’ and our darned ‘values’ that have all been set for only one class of social beings MEN! Who can mould and mind them the way they feel comfortable. Our men lack decency and dignity both and such viewing encourage their selfish attributes, Recommend

  • Mehak

    the writer seriously needs to sit n watch the drama again..n the ones who can’t watch this drama with their in laws needs to think y is it so..coz this drama is depicting the real image of our society… its too early to judge n say something…Recommend

  • Waqar Saleem

    ET’s editing disappoints again. Here, we have a misinformed rant posted on the ET website, for probably no other reason than that it is written in reasonable English. Really, editor?Recommend

  • tehreem jafri

    It is evident that you have watched only one episode plus who said that she was wrong in buying the curtains? who said that she was not a good home maker!!!! they are just showing characters and have not given any statement as to who is good or bad.
    They have shown that the husband has insecurities regarding his wife’s job!!!! Not that he’s right and she’s wrong! That is the actual class of the play – the fact that no one has been labelled good or bad!! No one said that haider is an awesome husband!!! and whenever she defends herself in front of her husband the author is actually showing her side of the story as to how she works and comes back home to take care of the daughter as well, the daughter for whom the husband has no time and even then she is unappreciated!!!
    The play also points out how the work of housewives goes unnoticed and unappreciated! This play has not given any statement against working women!!! It would be totally wrong to say so.I think people should research more before giving such verdicts, esp. if they plan to do so publically! Recommend

  • sara

    i have studied almost all novels by umera and thought them to be just stories but duree shawar recites me my past as i have experienced same problems created by my ex mother in low and ex husband .and some arguments were same good show umera as u have shown truely that why sometimes some spark is missing from married lifeRecommend

  • yasmin

    Most people comment that ” it is just a drama ” they donnot know the impact of drama on society. I like that they are portraying the life of a housewife but that should not be done at the cost of life of working women specially in our narrow minded society. In my opinion Actually the success of a women lies in khusamad of her husband whether she is housewife or working. Always husbands like it whether they deserve it or not. Recommend

  • Amer ali

    This show must be watch by all the girls who wants to get married. Marriage is not a fairy tale. You must do your part as wife. In the end they both blossom with time, but to all girls dont expect anything. This drama is particular important especially for those NGO’s who are promoting divorse over small issue. Recommend

  • Kanwal

    The drama is not about whether a working woman has a successful marriage life or a house wife. Its about husband and wife sorting their problems together, keeping their personal male-ego and working woman-ego aside when raising a child. If the drama had been about working woman not being able to handle marriage life along with work, then I am sure durr-e-shahwar on the first instant would have asked her daughter to quit her job. The story revolves around patience. I am not a man but to some extend I support mansoor as well (although he is faulty at number of places). If he had fought for his fight the very first time, he would definately have lost respect in the eyes of his parents. If he would have fought for durr-e-shehwar, he might have become her hero at that time but then durr-e-shehwar woldnt have gained the respect that she gets finally from her mother-in-law for all her hard work.
    So lets enjoy the amazingly directed drama and learn the “actual” lesson that its giving…be patient, always respect elders and marriage doesnt have “I, me, Myself” in it. Its all about thinking about “us”. Recommend