Purniya Awan

Purniya Awan

The writer is a Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies graduate from York University. She has been nominated as a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, is a Founding Member of a Pakistani legal blog, Courting The Law, and is also the Co-Founder of The Gender Stories (TGS). She identifies as a feminist, and is currently working in Pakistan as a Senior Account Manager at MINT PR. She tweets @purniyaA (twitter.com/PurniyaA?lang=en)

The plight of the Uighurs

Whether you’re a Pakistani citizen living in Pakistan or in the diaspora, you must be familiar with the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Just a few weeks ago, India decided to revoke Article 370, taking away the special status of the disputed land and of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). After India’s actions in IoK, the Pakistan government and people decided to reach out to the international community for support, using various United Nations platforms to voice their concerns and holding local protests in order to bring attention to this issue. While, as a Pakistani, I empathise ...

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Sadly, when it comes to sexual abuse, predators don’t discriminate

Earlier this month, I wrote about a case of rape against a minor in Kasur and at the end, I wrote with quite some conviction that I would be writing about a similar incident very soon. And, here I am doing just that. Last week, bodies of three minors were recovered by the police who seemed to have been murdered after being raped, in Chunian, Kasur. However, this time, the bodies discovered were not of girls, but of boys. On the Kasur incident: There will be accountability for all. Those who do not perform in the interest of the common man ...

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A rape for a rape: Another child, another case in Kasur’s long list of injustices

As a highly empathic person who is passionate about speaking about deeply-rooted social issues, the fact that I always have an atrocity committed against a girl to write about saddens me extremely. I am, unfortunately, going to shed light upon yet another horrendous incident of rape that took place just a few days ago in Kasur. I remember just last year the country was clouded in shock, disgust and hopelessness when seven-year-old Zainab Amin’s body was found from a heap of trash. Since Zainab’s case was the 12th such incident to take place that year within a 10-kilometer radius of Kasur, it ignited ...

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Amidst feudalism, Umme Rabab marches bare foot to fight for justice

Umme Rabab, a 20-year-old advocate from Sindh, went viral on social media recently after a video of her walking barefoot to and from court was shared widely. The young woman’s family – grandfather, father and uncle – were murdered by powerful tribal chieftains belonging to the Chandio tribe of Sindh; influential men who are serving as MPAs in the Sindh Assembly. Despite being advised to not pursue this case against ‘influential men’, Umme Rabab has taken it upon herself to fight for what is not only her right – justice for her family – but what is right in the ...

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Who faced the music better: Meesha Shafi or Ali Zafar?

This week saw yet another development in Pakistan’s first #MeToo case: Ali Zafar spoke directly to the media for the first time since he filed a defamation case against Meesha Shafi for accusing him of sexual harassment. Zafar confidently told the media that Meesha’s case has been dismissed and he has been proven innocent by the court of law. This is blatantly untrue. In fact, it is a vicious way of misleading common people who are unaware of legal proceedings and only believe what they hear Zafar say on the news. What is actually happening? Firstly, according to Nighat Dad’s statement, Zafar has ...

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Will Uber end up destroying Careem as well?

As a young, 20-something, independent woman living in Lahore, I have made it a point to sustain my life and expenses all on my own. I do still live with my parents, but there is not much I rely on them for except their unwavering and unconditional love and support. This means I take care of my own transport, whether it is to travel to and from my workplace or frequently to run personal errands. A few years ago this was much harder as services like Uber and Careem were not available, but with their wide availability now, it has ...

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The fault in our minds: Bushra Maneka’s attire is her business and choice, and hers alone

While Pakistan’s political fate is changing, the people of this nation believe there is something more important that needs to be focused on. Yes, unfortunately, that topic is Bushra Maneka’s choice of attire. This is not the first time that women’s choice of clothing has become a hot topic of discussion. As a confused country, it seems as though we are never content with anything. When Mahira Khan was spotted in a backless dress with Ranbir Kapoor, people bashed her for wearing a revealing outfit. And here we are, a year later, and we still cannot seem to decide whether ...

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Sara Taseer belittling Baloch women for voting proves money can’t buy integrity

With countless security threats lingering around the time of elections every five years, along with general political uncertainty, many citizens are afraid to step out of their comfort and safety zones in order to fulfil the responsibility of casting their votes. There has been a deadly and heart-breaking series of bomb blasts that have taken place in Quetta, killing numerous civilians and politicians, especially the most recent one taking place directly outside a polling station on Election Day. At a crucial time like this in the country, where voter turnout has been relatively low in the past, perhaps encouragement to ...

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This chaand raat and Eid, give the women a break!

As a long and exhausting month of Ramazan (because of the extreme heat) comes to a close, I am rather grateful for the lavish sehris and iftars I have been blessed with to complete this journey. Every year, Muslims around the world wait for this month to not only repent for their sins but also for the chance to indulge in delicious food at sunrise and sunset. However, only the privileged get to experience this side of Ramazan. There are thousands of people out there who fast with just the intention to fill their stomachs, uncertain of whether they ...

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To eat or not to eat: If you support the ban on eating publically in Ramazan, your faith is weak

Ramazan is a one of the holiest months known to all Muslims. In fact, fasting in Ramazan stands as one of the five most important pillars of Islam; it is an essential act which makes up the religion. There are some very clear guidelines on how to act during this month in order for a person’s fast to be accepted and counted as successful. It is believed that during the fast, one should abstain from all bad deeds. A person fasting should not indulge in arguments and disputes nor use obscene language; should not show bad temper, should be ...

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