Women are not treated as ladies even in developed countries

Published: December 8, 2012

Developed nations and Pakistani NGOs have always painted a dark picture about women’s rights in Pakistan but the above statistics are a clear indication that the required attitude shift is missing in developed countries, too. PHOT0: REUTERS

There is a country where, every six days, a woman is killed by her partner. It is a country where, on any given day, over 3,000 women with their 2,500 children live in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence. It is a country where in just one year, over 0.4 million women over the age of 15 reported that they have been sexually assaulted. Since only 10 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher.

It is a country where half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

Can you guess which country am I talking about?

No, it is not Pakistan.

These statistics represent Canada, one of the most developed countries of the world. The situation is not different in the US either, where, according to the Department of Justice, a sexual assault incident occurs every two minutes.

The reason I searched for these statistics was because of a picture I saw on Facebook recently. It was of the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event in Toronto.

IMG_2354

Here, hundreds of men gathered and walked a mile in high-heeled feminine shoes to support the cause of ending violence against women. The picture took me by surprise as I could not connect Canada with violence against women. The above statistics were another big surprise.

I know the famous old saying that “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” But does it have to be taken in a literal sense? Isn’t it actually about the change of attitude towards women? Developed nations and Pakistani NGOs have always painted a dark picture about women’s rights in Pakistan, but the above statistics are a clear indication that the required attitude shift is missing in developed countries too!

The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them.

We, on the other hand, feel proud in washing our dirty linen on television without thinking of its adverse effects on our national image.

Something to think about, isn’t it?

Read more by Ovais here.

Ovais.Ahmed

Ovais Ahmed Mangalwala

A producer for Express News.

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

  • jgjk

    “The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them”.

    No, that is not the only difference. Here are some other differences. In Canada, my guess is that media attention is not necessary to get the police to do their jobs. In Canada, a battered or raped woman can go to the police station when she finds the strength to do so and not be turned away or arrested instead. And in Canada, are there many people whose culture or religious beliefs tell them that hitting your wife is acceptable, and that women are property?

    If the media is a bit hyper here, it is in part because it is filling a vacuum. The reason why the abuse of women in Pakistan makes a greater news story here is because beneath it is the deeper story of failed institutions and inadequate laws.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/896/ayesha-pervez/ Ayesha Pervez

    I was just reading about the WAlk a Mile program on my college website. Id just like to say that please do not compare Canada with Pakistan because women here in Canada have a lot of back-up support from the government and workplace regarding their personal and professional lives. They have the single mother benefit, alimony laws etc which protect women and do not just leave them at the mercy of their abusers whereas what does the Govt of Pakistan do for women who are abused and/or unemployed?Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Does transparency in rape statistics matter? The rape victims in the developed countries can more easily press charges when they are not at danger of having the lawsuit bounce back at them in the form of lewd behavior. In countries like ours, especially among the poorly-studied rural population, families tend to keep these matters hidden to avoid “dishonor”.

    Not to mention that in Pakistan, unlike Canada, marital rape isn’t recognized as legitimate rape. I guess that’s one way to reduce the incidence of rape!

    And I bet Canada and Pakistan are neck and neck in other forms of violence against women, like honor killings and acid attacks. Yeah, Pakistani media is probably just exaggerating, along with our very own researchers who claim that 4/5 Pakistani women are psychologically or physically abused by their spouses.

    A+ for research.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    I wrote a comment on a similar blog, I’ll post the comment here for your convenience:

    Unfortunately women all over the world are subject to domestic violence, you can not narrow it down to one religion or a geographical area. Having said that, women in the west have FAR more rights than women here. There are strict laws enforced for domestic violence in the west. Can you honestly say the same exists for our women here?

    You wrote:

    Developed nations and Pakistani NGOs have always painted a dark picture about women’s rights in Pakistan, but the above statistics are a clear indication that the required attitude shift is missing in developed countries too!

    Two wrongs NEVER make a write. Women also have a write to divorce there. Women are also granted more rights there. Is this the same for Pakistan? I read a news about a 70 year old was declared ‘karo-kari’. Does this happen with Canadian women? Please let me know.

    You also write:

    The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them.

    I wrote this on the previous blog: The author has touched upon a very taboo topic here (domestic violence). Instead of condemning her for speaking about it, you should be glad she took an initiative. Such evils will not magically disappear if we continue to ignore them for the sake of promoting a ‘better’ image of Pakistan.

    To conclude, shame on you. This sick mentality of keeping things hidden for the sake of a better image is absurd. Please suggest as to what we should do. Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun

    You only present half the picture. While ‘walking in their shoes literally’ is symbolic, it is also to educate men and change their attitudes. Also do realize not just inappropriate touching or worse, but even an off colour remark or sexist joke aimed at a woman is considered a “assault” – and justifiably so. And most importantly, there are rules and laws which protect women and punish the guilty; and these are implemented no matter who the accused is. And yes, even minor assaults are reported in the media!

    Is there room for improvement – absolutely. But trust me, it is way ahead of societies where “Working women: Whose decision is it anyway?” is even considered worth a serious discussion – this by the way is another blog in today’s ET. Recommend

  • Saima

    Thank you. Good read. Recommend

  • gp65

    “The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them”
    I live in US and can see other differences too:
    1) Crime statistics are transparently available on govermnment websites. When information is not hidden, the incentive to report it as breaking news goes away.
    2) Rape is usually reported rather than hidden due to social stigma
    3) Conviction rates are not as low as in Pakistan (which I understand has a 1% conviction rate for rapes). Nor are laws of evidence in matter of rape so highly tilted against the victim.
    4) Society treats rape victims as rape victims rather than treating them as criminals. While the truma of the violence would be the same whichever the contry, the social trauma not just for victim but family als does not exist making rehabilitation of the victim much easier.
    5) Rape/violent crime that happen is regularly reported in local news so the notion that the information is hiden to prmote soft image of te country simply is not true. In any case ordinary rape and assaut stories are not reported in Pakistan either. It is only extreme cases such as karo kari, the girls who were at risk for clapping in a wedding, unusual cases like Mukhtar Mai that are publicized. Unusual cases are publicized in US countries also e.g. Laci Peterson O J SImpson.
    6) Apart from rape, domestic violence against women is treated very seriously by law enforcement agencies unlike our countries where often cases are not even registered saying ‘gharelu maamla hai’. In Pakistan even a legislation similar to Violence Against Women’s Act’ does not exist – it was introduced by PPP but defeated in the house.

    I am sure the situation in Canada is no different.Recommend

  • Concerned

    Your analysis is exceedingly simplistic. It is undoubtedly true that many women in ‘developed’ countries face discrimination and sexual harassment, but I haven’t encountered a case in Canada, for instance, where a woman accused of adultery is made to parade on a donkey in front of villagers, or of shocking failures of justice (Mukhtaran Mai, a prominent example).

    There are instances of shocking brutality in the West too – a man in Austria kept, literally, sex slaves in his basement for almost two decades. The fundamental difference is that these people are punished when caught.

    The ‘glass ceiling’ exists everywhere for women, but it is very low for Pakistani women. These stories are often sensationalized, but perhaps the media here wouldn’t be having a field day if the courts and the government actually did something about them.

    Perhaps the media in Canada exercises some form of self-censorship, but it is more likely that women enjoy more security (social and judicial) than women in ‘less developed’ parts of the world. Recommend

  • Insaan

    Author “We, on the other hand, feel proud in washing our dirty linen on television without thinking of its adverse effects on our national image.”

    You think it is OK to destroy “National image” of a country that has provided you with better and secure life. I don’t think Canadians “hide” news to protect their National image. You are just trying to mislead people about Canada. To be fare you should have quoted comparative figures from Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amonas

    Common are you serious!!! So if it happens there its ok to happen in Pakistan….image is way better then human rights in your eyes…. very ignorant article, based on rhetoric and no consideration of morality…. whats wrong with the media reporting assaults on women? This is the ultimate technique to make oneself feel better… “ohhhh they do it!!! ” what a sham…. in Canada those are reported!! in Pakistan nothing is reported because of the patriarchal nature of our sociaty… so do not compare… and do not make excuses for our own society’s injustices!Recommend

  • Sana

    Oh please the statistics are there so u can point a finger, in pakistan there ARE no statistics, people are too afraid to register complaints of a thing as big as rape, let alone sexual harrasment. Hence when a few brave souls do get to the point of coming forward, they re cursed upon by people like u who say they re bringing shame upon the nation! Shame on US all.Recommend

  • Nadir

    Yeah man! women are treated like crap in developed countries, that helps women in Pakistan how? It doesnt help them at all. Things are bad in the West, so that somehow justifies things in Pakistan right? Everything is a foreign NGO agenda isnt it, I mean women in Pakistan have nothing to worry about?Recommend

  • http://Louisville,Kentucky,USA. Siddique Malik

    What a nutty logic. Taking well-kept crime statistics of a country, Canada, and comparing them with equally criminal and disgusting behavior — on which sound statistics are not available — of some people in another country shows only thing: the writer suddenly had a divine instruction to glorify the “Islamic” republic and disparage a “Kafristan,” to which, by the way, all self-declared custodians of morality and righteousness will shamelessly flock when it is time to collect dollars, and they will bring their wives with them so they could shop and stock up on the luxurious items. What does the writer think of a government taking a helpless woman to a stadium and stoning her to death because she dared venture outside the home to earn a living? What about the young housemaids and servants who are almost routinely tortured and killed in some houses in the “land of the pure” and throughout the Middle East? What about women being dragged naked in streets? Just because sound statistics do not exist on gang-rapes/sexual assaults on women — young and old — and for that matter even men and boys and other criminal activities against women that go on in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, it does not mean that these crimes against humanity don’t occur. The tragedy is that these crimes are not perpetrated by criminal gangs but by those who call themselves “honoruable” members of society and tragically are treated by society as such. But to me they are criminals, who should be removed from society.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.Recommend

  • http://uptonogood.tumblr.com Red

    Umm, no. They don’t brush their bad news under the carpet. Quite the contrary. You will never hear a Canadian say that we shouldn’t bring awareness to an issue because it makes us look bad. That walk is proof of it. If you were unaware of facts, that is your ignorance. It is not a result of the developing world hiding their crime rates. Quite the contrary. You don’t even have to look for news to be aware actually. I will give an example of the States because that is where I am currently living though I have spent time in Canada as well.

    I am living in New York and I get mails, personal mails, regarding all crimes in my neighborhood from my university as per NYPD guidelines. When I go to the health clinic, I have to fill in a questionnaire about sexual assault so they know if I need help. They make sure you know they are taking care of the situation, are looking to apprehend perpetrators and are there for you if you need any help. New York subways are plastered with the line “If you see something, say something” followed by a list of people you can contact to report crimes. Hardly covering the fact that crimes occur in the metropolis, wouldn’t you agree?

    Kindly don’t insinuate that sharing news is equal to feeling “proud” about a crime’s prevalence. It is to spread knowledge and awareness, to start discussions, give victims a voice should they want publicity and work towards solving a problem. Women, indeed all potential victims, are worth a lot more than some abstract “national image”. Hiding crimes does nothing to resolve the situation. It only helps support and propagate harmful ideas. I like the fact that crimes get attention. I like it even more when the news tells me the culprits were apprehended and are now behind bars. A friend of mine has been happily sharing such news with the comment: “The law actually works.” Women need to know that they can get assistance and justice.

    More than anything, I hate it when a country’s citizens imply that so-and-so crime happens in other places as well so we don’t have to devote attention to it, essentially normalizing a situation which is anything but the work of deviants and criminals. You won’t see a Canadian comparing his country to another that way. They want to be better, not worse, and they will work towards that change, rather than bury their head under the sand. Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    what to do…!!??Recommend

  • Saif M

    This article nothing but crap. Just to please yourself that since crime happens in other countries, it’s O.K. to beat up and rape women in Pakistan. Every crime is reported in the US, Canada and other developed countries. Suspects are usually caught, prosecuted and punished. Not so in Pakistan.Recommend

  • GS@Y

    What an idiotic blog. The writer is completely clueless about what equal right for women mean. Mistreating them or putting them on a pedestal are essentially the same things: women are to be treated as equal human beings, not as deserving of special respect (treated like “ladies”) or subject to special restrictions and penalties.

    The only difference, dear author, is that women in Canada are recognized as equal by law. Their abuse is not systematic in the sense that that of women in Pakistan is. Canadian women can take control of their lives and make choices for themselves as all human beings have the right to. Also, Canadian media is not a centrally-controlled fascist machine obsessed with projecting all-is-well images; it has the freedom to highlight abuses as matters of both public policy and gruesome intrigue, which it exercises liberally.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma

    So, dear author crimes committed by Muslims against women in Muslim societies is somehow o.k because crimes against women are also committed in Western societies ? The difference is that Westerns societies will hunt down and persecute the perpetrator – where in Muslim societies, we will only hear platitudes about how Islam is the only religion to have truely liberated women.Recommend

  • ramanan

    This guy will soon be a ‘defence analyst’ in Pakistan, considering his ability for analysis and reasoning!!Recommend

  • salmanzq

    I’m not going to bother with trying to make you understand how ridiculous your analysis is. Instead I will bang my head against the table for the next 5 minutes as it will probably be more useful. Recommend

  • Cynical

    How conceited on can get? Is there a limit?Recommend

  • Sheikh Ali Tariq

    There is a misconception that I want to bring under discussion here:

    Bashing Islam is not gonna solve the problem of Pakistani women. Recently I was at Darul Uloom for Juma (Friday) prayers and the Mufti (Rafi Usmani) spoke about how women in rural Pakistan work in the fields, prepare meals and dress children, do the domestic chores and end up not evening getting due respect and money (Mehr) which they deserve.

    Islam or for that matter any Islamic country does not encourage abuse of women rights. Its the lack of understanding of Islam and the lack of implementing laws of the state which lead to women rights violation.

    The issue at hand is that women are mistreated in our society because of lack of law enforcement. Law enforcement requires adequate legal infrastructure and resources; these will include witness protection laws, solid police service which can protect neighborhoods and hence the victim and witnesses once the case is in court and finally enough lawyers and judges to give the verdict within a reasonable time frame.

    Now We all know that there isn’t enough judicial and police infrastructure in Pakistan to cater to 200 million people.

    We as Pakistanis need to ask ourselves one question:

    Are we sincere to our country?

    If yes, then we should be paying our taxes no matter how corrupt the government (moral reasoning: do your thing and expect later)

    Secondly we should be honest to our jobs (a father to his children, a mother to her children, a banker to his/her job, a doctor to her patients, a teacher to students and a policeman to the complainant so on and so forth)

    My point is, we are the problem and the solution is also in our hands.

    And the fact is somebody somewhere needs to start this process of self improvement; there are many examples of such people in my 25 year life in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Maalay

    I have lived more than half of my life in Pakistan and now living in Canada. While comparing both countries you should point out that how they define sexual assault. Here in Canada, using foul language and groping incidents are filed under sexual assaults and physical abuse. Whereas, number of such incidents is way higher in Pakistan and are experienced by women on daily basis while walking down the streets and are not reported.

    This explains one reason for higher statistics in Canada and other reason is that every women is free to call police for whatever reason she feels unsafe and her report is fully listened to and is investigated. All kinds of support system is available for victims and they do not feel insecure after filing a complaint in court.

    Please present both sides of story for a fair comparison between any two countries. Recommend

  • Asma

    The Irony is that developed countries have full literacy rate, people call themselves “Civilized” but they (some) still behave like beasts. And if we talk about Pakistan, most cases happen in rural areas, where people are extremely uneducated, backward and uncivilized. That’s not ironic ’cause they accept it. In Urban areas of Pakistan men are much decent and women are much respected. I can proudly say that I’ve never ever been sexually harassed. Imagine if whole Pakistan becomes educated.. What we can become.

    @Arijit Sharma:
    No, crime against women, or anyone can never be justified. This article was written because you non-Muslims always pick Muslim countries and ignore the violence against women in Non-Muslim countries.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Thank God for these comments. It proves that there is sanity in Pakistan :)Recommend

  • Uzair

    The author has made some excellent points, and he will be happy to read today’s news http://tribune.com.pk/story/476761/under-attack-journalists-threatened-for-reporting-rape-case/ about journalists who report on rape being threatened.

    We should absolutely not follow the (dirty-secular) west, and instead of helping rape victims and treating them as human beings who deserve compassion and justice (since most rape victims are women who obviously – as per our traditions – are less human then men), they should be told to shut up and be glad they are not punished for getting raped in the first place.

    Bravo Ovas, bravo! What a shining example of manhood you are for the rest of the cowardly, secularized, liberal beghairat men in our society!Recommend

  • Haris

    and crime can’t be justified with a crime. no matter, what is intensity and magnitude of crime, it is still crime. yes women are assaulted and harassed in developed countries and their media might not be talking about it.
    it means, we should do the same, Pakistani media is young and here Police is not as professional as in Canada,and i don’t think i need to say, aware of their duties as well.
    so if media is educating people about a crime and making school of thought,this crime must stop.
    and no Canadian or american is going to help us, problem is here and we have to work on it.
    its solely our responsibility to fight against it. and we can’t fight against it unless we accept this does exist in our society. and our sick society have false excuses to justify it Recommend

  • Sindhu

    I think your blog itself includes what the difference between the two societies is.In Canada,men walked in heels to show solidarity with women,while intelligent Pakistani men ,like your good self ,are busy writing blogs calling a national debate on women’s rights as washing your dirty linen in public.
    One of the most idiotic blogs I’ve read,lately.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I think you wrote this to make yourself feel good…………brother reality check needed.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    For Shiekh ALi Tariq:

    Sir, no one is directly bashing Islam for women’s rights. What irritates people is how some people can justify their violence & suppression of women based on Islam. You have quoted an example of Darul Uloom for Juma. Similarly I can find many other clerics who justify violence against women using false religion principles. You believe that it is lack of law enforcement which is responsible for women’s violence. I disagree. I believe it’s a lack of awareness about women’s right, coupled with the state of our male dominated society which is responsible for the violence these women are subjected to. We may agree or disagree!Recommend

  • Mariam

    Abuse is everywhere, the only difference is that in developed countries they have help available to them without fear of ridicule and humiliation. If these are the statistics of Canada then in Pakistan they must be even higher.Recommend

  • Nydah

    After reading this blog, I am in a complete state of shock. Needless to say, I am at a loss for words for describing how ludicrous this blog seems to me. The synopsis of the writer’s analysis amounts to being absurd, incongruous and deprived of any logic. Well done for misleading people and inadvertently, encouraging the concept of violence against women. I am also deeply offended by the writers inappropriate analogy of “dirty linen” for the victims–such mindset is the hindrance to progress & prosperity in our country. Recommend

  • Govind Mathur

    Govind Mathur ” The only difference is that their media does not make breaking news about every assaulted woman. They keep the stories and figures mostly to themselves so that the world gets a positive image about them.
    We, on the other hand, feel proud in washing our dirty linen on television without thinking of its adverse effects on our national image.” May it be Pakistan or India , It’s better to wash the dirty linen then to hide pathetic conditions of women . Principle issue is dignity of woman and not the national image . We want to practice democracy with feudal values , we wish a happy woman without keeping democratic relations with her . For us woman is either a slave or a commodity . We have to eradicate feudal and consumer values if we want a successful democracy with happy n peaceful society . Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Do not compare your statistics with theirs. In South Asia there is a huge stigma attached to rape unlike in the West and here nobody likes to report rape fearing further humiliation. Recommend

  • usman bukhari

    oh come on wake up … you dont wanna compare to US or Canada … in USA, rapists are trying and asking for to claim their babies in almost 40 states from Govt and where there is NO religion there is CHAOS. you ll now act strange and weird that NOT every solution comes from RELIGION. many of you ll do it, i know.
    the constant liberalism and the matter of ENLIGHTENED MODERATION is all over our societies … what would be more good if people had some good education at homes like OLDIES at home who would tell you something like you and your minds DONT accept NOWADAYS.
    sorry but this is SADLY true what i said… at least try to practice some PRINCIPLES of ISLAM and then see the change and make others practice slowly and gradually , feel the change … i admit here : “believing is change, joy is future proof”.Recommend

  • Yaqub

    If i may say so. Women are mistreated all over the world by other WOMEN and men alike. This is a fact. This has got nothing to do with Human Rights or privileges or restrictions on humans.
    Why men DONOT mistreat women is because of 2 things.Firstly, is how they are brought up. Secondly is the fear of the Law, whether it is the Divine law or the law of the state or society where one lives. Period.Recommend

  • disgusted

    wow reading these comments makes me lose hope in humanity. seems like you guys are all so angered to hear your god of the west insulted. can’t even stand someone criticizing the west can you? mental slaves to the core.

    violence against women is a daily occurrence in the west too. and a LOT of rapes go unreported in the west as well. and the men women equality is a myth in the west.
    surprise. now go find another god. im sorry your idols were not as perfect as you thought them to be.

    good article bro. don’t let these comments get to you. people just can’t stand it when something so dear to them is criticized.Recommend

  • disgusted

    and there’s still a stigma attached to being raped here in the west as well. seriously.

    http://www.rainn.org/statistics

    54% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical average of the past 5 years. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 3% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.Recommend

  • Zach Khan

    Yes, lets ignore the fact that our women are generally harassed in public and there is not much they can do about it. Let’s ignore the fact that there is a stigma attached to rape victims. Let’s ignore the fact that most rape victims would never dare to report the incident of rape or harassment. Let’s ignore the formal hudood laws which exposed rape victims to accusation of adultery. Let’s ignore how narrowly rape and harassment are defined by Pakistani penal code when compared to Canadian laws. Let’s ignore the fact that those rape victims who do come forward to tell their stories have to face every bit of discouragement and demonization from the “ghairat brigade”. Let’s ignore the fact that at least in Canada, statistics are available, while in Pakistan, they are not. Let’s ignore the fact that after finishing her education, an average Pakistani woman is expected become a stay at home mother instead of building her career… since that’s what she was created for by God. Lets ignore the fact that in Canada a few men walked in a mile in heels to show solidarity with women, while in Pakistan, a few men write blogs telling themselves “we are not as bad as NGOs make us look”, and compare news of women’s assault to cleaning dirty linen. It’s a question of our honor. Women may be suffering due to domestic violence and harassment, but we can’t talk about it…it makes us look bad. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Asma says: Urban areas of Pakistan men are much decent and women are much respected. I can proudly say that I’ve never ever been sexually harassed. Imagine if whole Pakistan becomes educated

    These decent men are the ones who watch porn on the net. Talking about education, looks like you never read any news about girls/women being harassed in the universities in Pakistan
    for grades or jobs. Please see and share this video.

    Sex Scandals of Pakistani Teachers in Universities
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCfz8HZpzQQRecommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    I think the author is getting a rough deal. Aren’t these women getting out of their stilettos?
    .
    If not in exactly the same words but the logic used is very much nearer to bizarre. If God had wanted women to be equal to men, they too would have mustaches. God believes in division of labour. The women are not designed properly even to pillion -ride, they keep their legs to one side of the scooter. It won’t surprising if they are all left-handed. (The word “left” has roots in “sinister”).
    .
    Men don’t beat up their wives just as a sport besidez they just use Miswak for beating, all according to religious instructions. One ought to have a copy of Hadis next to the bed so as not violate religious instruction about your very very private life.
    .
    .Instructions about beating.
    .

    It not the author’s fault that most of the sources of information make sweeping generalisations about everything they mention. Nationalism and faith both are followed unquestioningly. The clerics should lead the prayers only. The onus would lie on the school teachers who should inspire their charge, instead of repeating the same old garbage full of parochial values.
    .
    To credit Zia for all the evil is lazy, .though his regime was a watershed. The whole society was turned into a caricature by him. The middle class chose not to protest. Some whimpering was heard but not much more. Somewhere deeply in the conscience sits the idea of original sin a la Christianity suffering is justified and can not be avoided as, “Thou Hast Sinned.”
    .
    The author is handing out the same nonsense one would hear from a pulpit in Akora Khatak. He apparently has made no attempt to peep into the reality abroad. Tribune’s pages produced digitally are no fire-walls against manifestations of intellectual paucity.
    . Recommend

  • K. Alice

    I’m currently living in Toronto and I can confirm it’s surprising how everyday there are sexual assalts being reported in the news, I think my hometown Belo Horizonte (also a big city) in Brazil is not that violentRecommend

  • MAS

    Brilliant broRecommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    How many percentage of these sex crimes in west are comitted by muslim men? Any data? They are quite high. ESP in UK.Recommend

  • S.Iqbal

    Read Quran & Islam about the rights of your Wife.Sisters,Mother & daughter, and let them read about yours, no dispute no tension.Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    @ S.Iqbal

    they get only 50% of what you get. They wear burqah, you dont.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Hush, little rape victim. Don’t cry out loud of the injustice done to you, lest it gives your country a bad name. Be a patriotic Pakistani and remain silent. Shhh….good girl!Recommend

  • Unacceptable

    It doesnt matter where the rapes are happening, the fact that they are happening are an atrocity in themselves. And I never really understood the holding up the west to a pedestal when it came to cases like these. Disgusting things like this happen everyday. The women being gang raped in Egypt during the revolution protests, between ten to twenty men ripping the clothes off her and all this happening and being recorded….I’ve lost all faith in men unfortunately. It’s upsetting and im angry that people think it’s ok to do this to a fellow human being. Not even animals resolve to behaviour like this.

    One thing that has to be pointed out in the west though, is even if she is walking out naked, men shouldn’t even look at her in a disgusting way. Maybe this is a law that should be considered as implementing in the east? According to law: Men aren’t allowed to so much as look at women without her permission, let alone comment about her, no matter how little shes wearing. But rapes STILL happen.

    Recommend

  • Insaan

    @S.Iqbal: “Read Quran & Islam about the rights of your Wife.Sisters,Mother & daughter, and let them read about yours, no dispute no tension.”

    Most Pakistanis and Afghanis read Quran and Islam and also pray 5 times a day, many go to Hajj also. Why not just look at what rights, wives, mothers and daughters have in these Muslim countries? What Muslims do is Islam.Recommend

  • Katarina

    Violence all human beings is wrong and the fight against domestic violence should continue and be made visible. I would though want to comment on the header, women should not be treated as ladies, they should be treated as human beings. Women are not vulnerable, fragile things that needs to be taken care of. Women are strong, intelligent people with the same rights as men. Recommend

  • JG

    @Asma, you are one of the lucky ones, so count your blessings. But don’t presume to speak on behalf of the rest of the Pakistani women! Education helps, but not always. Rapes are committed in cities as well. Educated men are also quite likely to harass and assault women. You may want to read up on the statistics.

    The way to change this culture of sexual inequality and harassment/assault is from the change men bring about in their attitude. Children learn more from their father how to treat women.Recommend

  • Rambino

    Yes, women are abused in developing countries; we all knew that. How that makes the situation in Pakistan appear better, I do not know. Pakistan’s rape statistics are unreliable and do not include a number of crimes that would constitute rape in Canada. How could you possibly compare the two and then come to the conclusion that Canada’s rape statistics look shocking and so that clearly means that the situation is not too bad in Pakistan? You should really attend a course on statistics, as this whole argument is nonsensical. Worse, it could be harmful to the wellbeing of women in Pakistan if someone who has the power to influence this supports your misguided views.

    Frankly, this article is a disgrace and you should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Recommend

  • kamran Lakhani

    every woman should be looked as we want our mother and sister to be looked upon by societyRecommend

  • Nobody

    Civilized behavior in a country is not always evident among it’s people; often it’s seen in what happens AFTER such crimes, or among law enforcement. There are junglee people everywhere. Men who hurt women, women who hurt men, men who rape, both men and women who hurt children or other innocent people, etc. Just because a country is developed doesn’t mean there is a shortage of crazies. Just means the perpetrators are brought to justice in most cases. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of domestic abuse in the US (or Canada as we see here), but at least you won’t find anyone here justifying it or brushing it off as normal or culturally acceptable as you will among many eastern countries, middle east, subcontinent and far east included. And someone on here already mentioned marital rape. I can only imagine how big of a percentage that is considering too many people in slow developing countries still consider a wife your sexual property to do with as you please. When will people realize a marriage license is NOT a hall pass to abuse your wife (or husband)? Religious folks like to ignore that or insist on calling it something else because in a marriage it can’t possibly be “rape.” Call it whatever you want, it’s rape whether a stranger does it or your own husband does it. Not even recognizing marital rape as rape skews the already small number of reported rapes in slow developing countries, or heavily conservative countries. Countries like Canada do NOT paint a rosy picture of these stats; they simply handle them better so it doesn’t have to become a news headline about the mishandling of (or lack of) justice. Recommend

  • Aly Sakhi

    I don’t understand what the author wanted to portrait. Probably the soft image of Pakistan by remaining silence on such insane..lol.. I think Pakistani media do not report hundreds of violence/incidents against women. Recommend

  • Rija

    It really surprises me to see how people in their comments ans even the blogger are trying to justify/criticize about what happens in either Pakistan or what happens in Canada instead of civilly accepting that wrong can happen anywhere no matter in which part of the world we reside. The point is what can we do individually as a human being to bring about a change within our own family. I am sure if even a single person vows to fight domestic violence at their own level a lot can change.
    p.s i think women just want to be treated as human beings, setting the bar to treat them as ladies is way too much.Recommend

  • MYB

    @Zalim singh:

    FYI its 50% from both sides !! Your family and your In-laws. And if you count the ‘Mehr’ etc etc the Muslim women ends up getting much more than a man !!
    Also not even 20% of Muslim women wear the Burqa. And 99% of them do not expose their bodies in public !! Recommend

  • sars

    Very unimpressed by this blog. Recommend

  • FML

    Exactly what we need. Idiots telling the public that we DON’T have a problem in terms of how we treat women. Yeah. That’ll fix everything. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @FML:
    “Exactly what we need. Idiots telling the public that we DON’T have a problem in terms of how we treat women. Yeah. That’ll fix everything.”
    .
    Denial, denial denial (thrice, thus valid), keep it up buddy. Someone is going to believe you someday. Chances are that one would be you.Recommend

  • Siddique Malik

    @S.Iqbal:
    Are you saying that it is the right of a wife to get hit by her husband? Don’t ignore a problem by unintelligently invoking religion when you don’t have a logical argument. Recommend

  • Saima

    I see nothing wrong with this post. In fact it is essential to bring into conversation if we are really serious about solving these problems and ending women abuse. We often cite modernization an westernization as the cure to all social evils (ha! What a joke) and believe that the abuse against women etc that exists in our societies is a result of cultural and religious attitudes and influence. This article however should serve as an eyeopener that even countries that have reached the peak of modernization today are not free from such. Perhaps then the cure does not lie on their systems but in something else altogether. Perhaps if Pakistan does ever fully achieve “modernization” whatever it is, these problems will remain.
    This is what we should be thinking about instead of being so defensive and going out of our way to defend a nation that is also guilty.
    This article does not trivialize the plight of abused women in Pakistan in anyway. Just serves to show that maybe the problem is bigger than Pakistani culture. Recommend

  • Book-keeper

    ..”The further the people are from their religion, higher would be the number of society-crimes or social-evils.”Recommend

  • gp65

    @Abid P Khan “Denial, denial denial (thrice, thus valid), keep it up buddy. Someone is going to believe you someday. Chances are that one would be you”

    Not sure I followed your comment. @FML was chiding the blog author for indulging in denial. S/He did not seem to indulge in it herself/himself..Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @Saima:
    “…We often cite modernization an westernization as the cure to all social evils (ha! What a joke) …”
    .
    It would rather be a stupid assumption that Westernisation is a cure-all solution. Turkey is a good example of that thinking.
    .
    In a country where a 3 year old girl approaches a man to smile and say Hello, without any hesitation something is right. If an 18 year old girl at 2 o’clock in the night walks on a dimly-lit path in a park, accompanied just by a poodle, This means that she feels very secure and trusts in the gentlemanly behaviour of other members of the society.
    .
    We fail terribly in providing a sense of security to our citizen.Recommend

  • Izzah Khan

    You have clearly not done sufficient research on the topic. It is important to note that given the law and order situation in the country, countless sexual assaults are not reported. Additionally, the stigma that attaches itself to a Pakistani woman is far deeper than it is in Canada or the States. Those countries at least have support groups that help women through the traumatic phase. In Pakistan, rape is for the most part still a taboo subject many people do not want to touch. And thus, countless sexual assault cases are buried by consent of the family.
    Also, you mention “We, on the other hand, feel proud in washing our dirty linen on television without thinking of its adverse effects on our national image.”
    I have never seen sexual assaults reported on T.V. except may be in very rare cases. Your comment suggests that it is a regular occurrence. I wish you would do a bit more research before blogging on such a topic.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Saima
    I see nothing wrong with this post. In fact it is essential to bring into conversation if we are really serious about solving these problems and ending women abuse. We often cite modernization an westernization as the cure to all social evils (ha! What a joke) and believe that the abuse against women etc that exists in our societies is a result of cultural and religious attitudes and influence. This article however should serve as an eyeopener that even countries that have reached the peak of modernization today are not free from such. Perhaps then the cure does not lie on their systems but in something else altogether. Perhaps if Pakistan does ever fully achieve “modernization” whatever it is, these problems will remain.

    Seriously, I will never understand the obsession of Pakistani people with the ‘West’.
    “West is bad; West is blah blah blah…”

    If I get the time, I want to compile a list of wonder quotes used by “intellectual” Pakistanis whilst indulging in a “debate”. Recommend

  • Kindness

    Its quite sad. Maltreatment of women and children is bad. But worst is killing them. Militants in Balochistan are planting land mines in and around villages of Dera Bugti to target security forces but unfortunately most of the victims are women and children who have died overstepping these unknown deadly mines. Too bad.Recommend

  • Nishant

    yes it happens everywhere
    .
    but the difference
    .
    in west the crimes are reported, and the women is not forced to produce 4 witness, and is not labelled a “loose character” by her own family
    her character is not questioned , i guess there is a qualifying criteria for being a rape victim, else she is labelled as a “paid”
    .
    There is a reason why prostitution and liquor bars are legal in the west, it is only to control and regulate it, because you cannot stop it, it will happen, under cover, down low….either way
    .
    besides two wrongs do not make a right, what example is our region setting up I wonder Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Book-keeper: “The further the people are from their religion, higher would be the number of society-crimes or social-evils.”

    Yes, that is likely the reason the most secular nations are least corrupt in the world. And Sweden with a 85% non-religious population is one of the world’s most renowned welfare states.Recommend

  • MYB

    ALL WOMEN ARE NOT LADIES !! Anywhere in the world !Recommend

  • Barney

    @Yaqub: very well said Yaqub. It is the upbringin of the man and not he machismo that most pakistani men want to portray and protect.Recommend

  • http://slimmingtips4you.com/ Shirish

    very well written…Recommend

  • http://www.ovaismangalwala.info Ovais Ahmed Mangalwala

    Dear all,

    This article does not suggest anywhere that we should not report problems in our society. It only suggests that those who are trying to teach us about women’s rights have the same problems in their society, and that too, at a much higher level as compared to us. Since they are unable to solve the same problem in their homes, it means the solution lies somewhere else, not with them.Recommend