Harassment doesn’t stop us

Published: February 20, 2012

A recent news story published in The Express Tribune reported a female traffic warden in Lahore who had to get transferred from road duty after she was groped by a man on a motorbike. She said:

 “I cried at the CTO’s office and he ordered me transferred to the Ticketing Branch. The same thing happened to several other wardens.”

The idea of including female traffic wardens in to the field was to make society a safer place for women. Officers thought that once the commuters saw a lady in charge, they would behave themselves. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It is a sad fact that women  are choosing to stay away from the jobs they want to pursue due to similar incidents of harassment.

Discrimination and harassment are not new for the working woman in Pakistan. Be it a traffic police warden or a doctor, life is not easy for women once they step out of the four walls of their homes – which, many in our society believe is their rightful place in the first place.

The video also talks about a variety of problems and challenges that working women have to face in our country. Not only do they face discrimination at work, where men are often given preferential treatment, but they also have to deal with the pressure of single-handedly managing both professional and domestic life.

Once outside the house, women are not treated with the respect that they deserve. They can tell for sure if a public place will be safe for them or not.

“While we wait at the bus stop, men throw their numbers at us and try to take our pictures from their cell phones,” tell two medical students who normally travel by public transport.

Is a ‘woman’s place’ truly at home?


Maati TV

A community journalism website that aims to provide an alternative voice for people.

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

  • umarz

    “life is not easy for women once they step out of the four walls of their homes”
    Life is not easy for anyone living in Pakistan its not only that matters to women of Pak but also men, but i would say HUMANS.. it’s only women of pak who thinks they are being discriminated in every field of life? can’t you just stop thinking of it and struggle more harder, life in Pak offers more hardships than anywhere that includes EVERYONE..

    I don’t understand after being employed to such good jobs they still have to say they are being discriminated :(
    There is a big sea we have to cross over and we can’t expect big tides not strike against usRecommend

  • mehwishhhh

    time z changing…and no doubt tht women r the futureRecommend

  • Ali

    Quote – “While we wait at the bus stop, men throw their numbers at us and try to take our pictures from their cell phones,” tell two medical students who normally travel by public transport.”

    Unfortunately they throw numbers at you because the bus stop has become a pickup spot for women of certain profession who pick those numbers, and thats just sad.Recommend

  • maria

    pakistan is a safe n worth living place only for MUSLIM MENRecommend

  • http://www.wowelldone.blogspot.com Baji

    As I walk the roads around my university without being harassed by anyone , I feel like saluting the women who first stood up for women’s right to step out of the narrow circle of preset boundaries of their house.Recommend

  • Parvez

    With every female warden there should be a back-up male warden. Any misbehaviour must be dealt with in a manner that the message spreads to the public. The process to instill discipline has to start somewhere, avoiding it is not the answer.Recommend

  • Saira

    Most men in Pakistan think that any woman who steps outside her home becomes public property, is faif game and that if the men in their family were so concerned about protecting their ”izzat” they shoild have kept the ”zanani” at home. Its very sad how most Muslim men are so lecherous.Recommend

  • umarz

    Saira no body thinks that way except the few dont count all men in, its like every where there are good and bad. But shouldn’t spend you all life on speculations Recommend

  • Sarah

    @ maria, depends on how you define MUSLIM MEN. Pakistan isn’t safe for any civil, sane person now – & that’s a harsh reality we live with everyday.Recommend

  • syed hussain

    i think there are both types of men and women,neither men are noble, nor women are very sacred these days. When a lady is walking on the street with half sleeves, very short Kamiz, hanging Dupata (if there is any) in her neck, then what do you expect a passerby??. On the other hand when a man is misbehaving a lady then why does’nt he think for a moment that his sister also lives in the same society, why does he forget, as you sow, so shall you reap.
    No doubt, woman is more secure inside the boundary of a house but if she covers herself while stepping out of her home, she become less vulnerable unlike those girls who try to tempt men by their half naked bodyRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/10269/harassment-doesnt-stop-us/ samo awan

    Actually we the musalmans leaving our islamic studies and act….. which result that we want to see others sisters and wives behind 7 curtains but want to hide ours under many curtains. The respect should be in peoples mind. But unfortunately we called ourselves Muslims but not in act. But in real, As compared to Pakistan western is safest than it.Recommend

  • AZ

    @Syed Hussain
    My friend’s and me all wear scarfs but boys and men still stare at us. In fact my friend’s mom doesn’t step out without a burqa and a scarf still she says that every time she goes out men stare at her because she looks younger than her age. What do you argue now? Even while she is properly dressed she is still ogled at like some shiny new vase at a shop. What do you want her to do cover her face? Her eyes will still be revealed let’s cover them too. How far will this go? Why are even modestly dressed women harassed? Looks like what women wear isn’t really making a diffrence to the mind of men.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/10269/harassment-doesnt-stop-us/ samo awan

    It can be solved if islamic studies refreshed in peoples mind. This will help in giving respect to womens as islam says. We should respect our womens whether they are relatives or not but they are muslims and as a muslim we should care them as Allah said in Quran “man’s are the protector of womens”.Recommend

  • Natasha

    no matter what you wear or how modestly you are dressed.. men will still stare! this happens with every lady no matter if she is wearing jeans and a shirt or a burqa. this has to stop! and why are women always blamed for this kind of behavior by men? why cant men lower their eyes when they see a girl? Compare the number of women u see commenting and harrassing men to the number of men doing the same to the women! i m sure men will outnumber women with a high difference!Recommend

  • Irfan

    Please correct the spelling mistakes in the video..for example Lecturar is Lecturer and trafic is traffic…Recommend

  • haseeb zahid

    the issue raised is true and base on reality but we totally forgot the other side of the picture……………. we always talk about negative side of the picture we should also talk about positive side ……… like even there are so much problems in the society majority people still respect women
    !: if a girl or aunty traveling in the bus and if she unable to find seat the man will stand up usually and provide her seat
    2: if a women is going to pay bill there are separate lines for them
    i think still a lot to be done but the things that are done should be appreciatedRecommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    A majority of Pakistani men will stare at any kind of woman – any kind! But what we women can do is to dress modestly to atleast save ourselves from being the centre of any obscene thoughts.Recommend

  • Ahsan221

    All those ladies above complaining about men staring then let me tell u tat many of women want to be center of attention the burqas they wear are to tight to there bodies, the color is way more attrative, then the makeup and kajal etc, long ago men were gud they could diffrienate between gud looking and bad looking grls now a days all look same beause they are wearing the same thing, chardiwari is no dout the safest place for womens, but wat about those who provoke men to do stupid things? Our society is very imbalanced there are people of modren age and people from stoneage, i am talking about the mentalty… Unless the distance between these two extrems are not fullfilled these things will happen. Sory for spelling mistakesRecommend

  • Vikram

    Pakistan is land of pure.Recommend

  • soniya

    well if a traffic warden police is unable to protect herself from harrasement and cut the culprits to size im afraid its not a very good example being set for the women folk of the country.Recommend