Over the past 10 days, Pakistan’s conscious was set ablaze and shaken up when a picture of seven-year-old Zainab’s dead body went viral on the internet. The minor girl from Kasur had been raped, murdered and then thrown in a heap of garbage. Yes, that is the reality of many countless girls (and boys) in this country. Kasur has already been under the spotlight previously for birthing and remaining the largest child pornography hub in the nation, supplying illegal child porn worldwide, making those very videos by continuously raping young boys and girls. The one positive thing that we all ...Read Full Post
Whether for smoking, wearing jeans or saying #MeToo, 2017 was a year of constant harassment for Pakistani women
It’s finally that time of the year, when you get to cuddle up in a blanket on the sofa while you sip on hot chai (tea), and reflect on the past year. In fact, I’m doing just that as I write this. As we get through the very last days of 2017, a year that went by rather swiftly, it’s time for an important recap. For me, a great part of the year was spent writing about and highlighting human rights injustices, not just in Pakistan but globally. By far, what throws me off every time is the sheer ...Read Full Post
As 16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence came to a close on December 10th, World Human Rights Day, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) launched its #ChangeTheClap campaign. This campaign comes at an imperative time, considering that gender-based violence is on the rise and atrocities against the trans community, especially, are extremely prevalent. The campaign aims to directly challenge the way people perceive transgender people in Pakistan. Brutality and humiliation towards members of the transgender community is something every citizen of Pakistan is aware of, or has taken part in, directly or indirectly, in some form or the other. ...Read Full Post
I was waiting to board a bus to Boston to attend a Model United Nations (MUN) conference, when one of my fellow teammates enquired about my undergraduate major. I excitedly and proudly exclaimed, “Gender, sexuality and women’s studies!” Considering that I was the only women’s studies major among the many political science majors, I took pride in that little piece of diversity that set me apart from the rest. Surprised at my response, she asked me, “On a scale of one to 10, how big of a feminist are you?” Assuming that she was joking, I let out a laugh, until I saw a serious ...Read Full Post
A man raped a woman in public in broad daylight while bystanders did nothing but film it – where the hell is your empathy, India?
With the growing number of harassment cases, especially ones that involve men as the perpetrators, it has become relatively easier to identify them in online and offline spaces alike. Considering that nearly everyone, old and young, has access to smartphones with cameras, the probability of evidence being widely shared is now very high. A video surfaced recently in which a woman is seen being raped on a busy walkway in broad daylight in the city of Vishakhapatnam, India. While this atrocious crime was taking place, an autorickshaw driver managed to record a video from his phone, making evident not ...Read Full Post
A video recently became viral in which an official from the Chitral Health Department is seen disposing off a van full of hospital waste in the already ecologically threatened Chitral River. At a time when pollution and global warming is already causing environmental disasters, this video is yet another example to what extent humans are responsible for causing these disasters. Anyone in their right mind would know how lethal healthcare waste is, considering used medical instruments, especially needles, contain various types of bacteria and viruses. The healthcare waste generated from healthcare facilities is not only hazardous for the environment, but poses a serious threat to ...Read Full Post
Body-shaming Kareena Kapoor’s “fat legs” post pregnancy? Because giving birth to a human being isn’t painful enough for women?
To think that after the global backlash against the shamers of Mahira Khan, the world of shamers would take the back seat, is indeed just a hopeful thought. Khan got slut-shamed over her choice of clothes (the dress, by the way, is really sexy!) and for smoking a cigarette because smoking cigarettes automatically turns women into ‘unreputable women’. Kareena Kapoor was shamed on Instagram shortly after the Khan incident for having ‘fat legs’. The Indian actress, who just gave birth to her son Taimur Ali Khan, has remained an inspiration for new moms as well as moms-to-be. During her pregnancy, she flaunted her baby bump unapologetically when ...Read Full Post
Scars of Partition: A Muslim and a Hindu walk into a dhabba to have a cup of chai, and all hell breaks loose
Recently, a video went viral on social media which shows a young Indian girl being physically assaulted by a female leader of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly having tea with a Muslim boy in public. मुस्लिम लड़के के साथ चाय पीने पर BJP की महिला नेता ने लड़की को… मुस्लिम लड़के के साथ चाय पीने पर BJP की महिला नेता ने लड़की को सरेआम मारा चांटा, वीडियो हुआ वायरल Posted by जनता का रिपोर्टर on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 This incident took place in Aligarh’s city of Uttar Pradesh (UP), which is one of the largest states in North India. The BJP leader who assaulted the ...Read Full Post
For Muslims in Pakistan, providing food for guests at funerals is a cultural obligation, not an Islamic one
Recently, my friend attended the funeral of her grandfather, the former Federal Minister Khalid Kharal. During the funeral, she realised the immense pressure on the family of the deceased to provide food for the mourners and the people attending. When she came back home and discussed this with me, we both concluded that the idea of providing food for the guests at funerals is more of a growing cultural obligation for Muslims in Pakistan rather than an Islamic one. The death of a loved one in the family or close friends is already the cause of severe grief and pain. Adding another responsibility of ...Read Full Post
When models are seen and treated as professional hangers, and young impressionable girls want to be just like them
The fashion industry is a confusing place. On one hand, it empowers women by employing them, giving them space in the public sphere and by creating an area ruled by women. On the other hand, while it does all those wonderful things, it also puts women in the public eye (literally) in order to be judged and scrutinized. In order for models to stay in the modelling business, they have to isolate themselves from their desires, especially if their desire is to have the food of their choice. The obsession with being a size zero has spiralled out of control. Being slim and skinny ...Read Full Post