Does Pakistan’s media encourage sexism?

Published: December 8, 2014

It would be hard to blame it on any specific instance but these statements simply perpetuate the gender hegemony present in our society. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

The recent controversy surrounding Junaid Jamshed has dominated social media over the weekend. The matter is between him and God; I am in no position to comment on the apology or the blasphemy issue at all. Maybe this incident will open a conversation about the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. However, I am surprised at the lack of a conversation around the casual sexist remarks passed by public personalities in the media in Pakistan.

Junaid Jamshed has previously suggested that men should not teach their wives how to drive. In response to the recent controversy, Aamir Liaquat responded in kind with comments about Junaid Jamshed’s mother. We live in a country where the most common abusive words involve a person’s mother and sister.

There are numerous instances of casual sexism in our media that we largely ignore, or accept. Shahid Afridi might as well have said that women belong in the kitchen when he was asked about the girls’ cricket trials in Peshawar. Our most famous stage show, Baqra Kistoon Par, opens with a joke about Umar Sharif tying the woman to the house instead of the cow. Shaikh Rasheed repeatedly ridicules Bilawal Bhutto for being feminine. Rana Sanaullah appeared on television defending the son of a MNA, accused of rape, by putting the blame on the girl for willingly being in a room with the man.

When Jasmeen Manzoor tweeted about being in a meeting with Zardari, Abid Sher Ali responded with a

“Are u alone :-)”

  • jee non

    These Video’s proves they are sexist,what about poor girls who don’t have either video proof or 4 male witness…Recommend

  • Aftab Riaz

    By the way, our media pays no attention on such things and are free to show/write or broadcast enything or everything ignoring the aweful impacts on an individual or a nation as a whole. Our Print/Electronic media is free to write show anything…so in becharon ke comments se kuch nahi badalna.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    You BETCHA it does. Tbh you can write your next article titled “HOW MUCH” sexist the Pakistani media is. Kinda off topic but I’m sure some mullah is scratching his head how we lost the top(or bottom) spot to Yemen. Time to call the saudis for more advise on how to make life even more intolerable for women.Recommend

  • Babar Khan

    Of all the employees at ET, how many are women. Do you reserve them for secretarial, research and anchor roles or is there some diversity? How many female camera professionals do you hire per year? How many heads of departments are female? Put your values where your money is.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Simple answer to the question asked…….is YES.
    We can take a bit of comfort from the fact that Pakistan’s media is not alone in this, its an issue that apparently gets ratings but when badly handled it can backfire …..but surprisingly the media house almost never suffers.Recommend

  • Noor

    long time is needed man to comprehend the point you raise. We are way backward to understand sexism.Recommend

  • MK

    ‘Does Pakistan’s media encourage sexism?’…of course it does, Pakistan is a disgustingly sexist society – so the media is of course going to reflect this.
    – Love, a Pakistani woman.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I am not sure of other roles but here on their blogs I have seen lots of women from their staff.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Positions should be given on merit, not gender. He is talking about the sexism where they are intentionally playing down the capabilities of women.Recommend

  • Feya

    Per Islam, you do not need 4 male witnesses – the rule only being applicable as evidence of adultery/fornication.
    Our great ‘Shariah based’ ordinance on the other hand…Recommend

  • AA

    There is also very strong sexism promoted in Hindi movies, actually harassment. A heroin is often shown being stalked and obsessively pursued, harassed and cajoled to marry the limmering hero. The strong influence of these movies in our culture has made impossible for young girls to be alone.Recommend