Stories about women empowerment

What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?

“What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?” is perhaps what the poster for the new Snow White film should have said. Instead it said, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the seven dwarfs not so short?” What if the marketing team of the South Korean children’s movie, Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs had more sense? The movie seems to have taken a rather strong and suggestive tone regarding breaking stereotypes, showing a version of Snow White that is a heavier girl unperturbed by the notion of “proper” behaviour that is commonly expected of ...

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Why Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a slap on the faces of Palestinian girls in Gaza

This past week, viewers from all across the globe flocked to their nearby cinemas to catch the first female superhero movie, Wonder Woman. People leaving the cinema published accounts of inspiration and motivation. Some even spoke of a rekindled sense of purpose and drive in their individual feminism.  Yet in the same news cycle, you could also find a piece or two decrying some ban on this blockbuster placed by Lebanon and then followed by a suspension in Tunisia and Algeria. Naturally, as every ban does, it piqued the reader’s interest. After all, what would the Lebanese, Algerians or the Tunisians have against women empowerment? It made little sense until you opened the closet and ...

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While boys remain boys, girls become immoral and should be slut-shamed

Apart from trolling, social media also has the power of setting standards for women on the internet. By acting as moral warriors on social media, these stooges of patriarchy continue to perpetuate their misogyny by slut-shaming successful independent women; something that they can’t do at their home, workplace and/or any civilised social setting. With the rise of social media, these blabbermouths, with their prejudices concealed under the mask of culture and mannerism, mock, stigmatise and pass derogatory remarks on women. …And the worst affected are celebrities, especially Bollywood actresses. Recently, when Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, she was criticised for dressing indecently and showing her ...

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Dear Vogue India, we don’t need fashion magazines to remind us of colonisation

No woman across the world would hear the words, “women’s fashion bible” and not equate them with the most eminent fashion magazine globally, Vogue. Today, Vogue is not just a fashion magazine but a source of inspiration for women across the planet. One of the most significant aspects about the magazine (published in 23 countries) is that it has become a synonym of women empowerment, their individuality, their success, and also a testament of how important they are and how far they can go. Apparently, Vogue presents that exclusive world. It is a voice that talks to millions of women. The magazine was launched in India 10 years ago to ...

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The only nation where Malala Yousafzai is a contentious figure is her own

Of the numerous fault lines that exist in our society, none is as divisive as society’s opinion about Malala Yousafzai. A revered symbol of liberation and women empowerment across the world, sadly the only nation where she is a contentious figure is her own. But why would anyone have a negative opinion about a teenage girl who stood up to the Taliban and even took a bullet for her convictions?  In the following lines, I shall respond to some of the accusations presented against her by her critics. Perhaps the most pervasive sentiment observed is, “why only her”? The argument goes that Pakistan has lost more than 60,000 ...

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Rabi Pirzada’s creepy version of ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’ is torture to the ears and eyes

There is nothing more annoying than listening to one of the great classics being slayed by its rendition. One particular example is Rabi Pirzada’s adaptation of Mere Rashke Qamar, originally sung by the king of qawwali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  Indisputably, Khan’s most popular composition, Mere Rashke Qamar has drawn the attention of many artists throughout the years but none of the renditions have been as bad as this one. The original had the perfect blend of a soothing melody, emotional lyrics and a commanding voice that made it an unforgettable classic. Pirzada’s creepy version, however, has none of these components. It’s an awful attempt ...

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And they will say, ‘Remember what happened to Naila’

She hailed from Qambar Shahdadkot, where the literacy rate is 44%, according to a report published in 2012. She came from an area where only 33% of the female population has completed higher education. Against all odds, she left her hometown and enrolled herself in the Sindhi Department at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, to continue her studies. Currently in her final year, Naila Rind was not just an average student; she was an award winning student in her Masters class. Naila had returned early from her hometown during her winter vacations in order to work on her final year thesis, which was due on ...

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I’m masculine enough to admit that I love watching Pakistani dramas, are you?

Being the eldest in the family, I have always been very close to my mother. This is perhaps why I hold a keen interest in watching dramas. Usually, watching Pakistani dramas is seen as a “fluff” activity – something that is specific to women. But I remain unapologetic about being a drama buff and see no harm to it. Pakistani society, at large, is messed up about its values. We are okay with men being physically abusive, but we are not accepting when a woman answers us back. We proudly succumb to societal pressures and gender stereotypes, but we are not okay with a man being ...

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Pink: No, she does not want to have sex with ‘you’!

How do you break a woman who has the audacity to have a spine to stand up for herself? What does it take to knock her down if she has the gall and gumption to fight against all that’s wrong? How do you shut a girl who has the temerity to have a rational mouth on her? Well, you can’t! And B-Town has finally manifested the point in all its cinematic mightiness. In the prevailing culture of putrid patriarchy, if a female refuses to submit, it is considered as an attack on the male ego. You label her a slut, ...

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Ek Thi Marium – this is what empowerment looks like

Steering away from the melodramatic genre of our drama industry – which continually encircles around the ‘bechari aurat’ (oppressed woman) – projects like Ek Thi Marium attempt to bring about a much needed change showcasing the true meaning of the commonly misused term: woman empowerment. The project is a biopic of the first Pakistani woman fighter pilot, Marium Mukhtar, who was martyred whilst in the line of duty. The gripping narrative, crisp direction, and deep dialogues have made this telefilm both moving and inspirational; two qualities which our monotonous sagas continually lack. Pakistani woman fighter pilot, Marium MukhtarPhoto: Reuters Ek thi Marium narrates the story ...

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