Stories about misogyny

Why did PTI so strongly oppose the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill?

The Punjab Assembly unanimously approved the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, calling for an end to all criminalities against women, such as, domestic violence, acid attack, rape, psychological and economic abuse, stalking, and cyber-crimes. The 31 clauses of the new bill provide an efficient system for complaint registration and penalties for offenders. According to the clauses, a toll-free helpline (UAN number) will be launched to receive direct complaints. It also calls for the creation of protection centres and shelters homes, where conflicts and misunderstandings can be settled and help partners reach reconciliation. Under the law, those convicted of life-threatening crimes against women will ...

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I do not think my female friends should come back to Pakistan

“It is hard being back. It’s like every decision I make is not my own. I cannot even walk on the streets or go out late without my mom worrying. And do not even get me started on the questions I face about my marriage plans.” These words from my friend, who recently returned from her graduate degree in the UK, have become a recurring theme in my conversations with all my female friends going back home to Pakistan after living abroad. I currently happen to live in New York, with quite a few graduate students from Pakistan. And I do not want ...

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Revisiting Islamabad’s Hotspot: The obvious sexism that no one notices

Hotspot – the place where all the brats and burgers of Islamabad ‘hang out’ Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bash these brats and burgers. Half of my friends come under this category and I love them. I’m not here to criticise Hotspot ice cream or food either. Their food is actually not bad. In fact, I’m not here to talk about any issue of importance. I’m here to talk about something insignificant. Something no one cares about because they don’t believe it is a problem. Something all these brats and burgers just accept and, consequently, condone. Something that these ...

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Trivialising rape: A guide for the ‘enlightened’ elite

A 15-year-old girl was kidnapped, drugged and gang raped in a hotel on Mall Road, Lahore a few days ago. The rapists later texted the parents to come pick up their unconscious child from the hotel room. The girl was rushed to Services Hospital where initial medical examination revealed that she had been raped by six to eight men. Eight suspects have been arrested so far. The main accused, Mian Adnan Sanaullah, is the Additional Secretary General of PML-N Youth Wing. In addition to the usual sensational media coverage, shots of weeping parents played on a loop over cringe-worthy melodramatic music, ...

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Why was Nirbhaya’s most vicious and barbaric rapist set free?

The gang rape on that fateful night of December 16, 2012 sent shock waves across India and the world. It was not just the brutality or brazenness of the assault that was terrifying, but it was also the fact that it happened in the heart of the country’s capital, right in the midst of its usual hustle and bustle. It wasn’t perceived as a stray incident of rape in an isolated outpost, it was an assault on the people’s sense of security. Middle class India identified with Nirbhaya, and a society that is normally divided over most issues suddenly coalesced in ...

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Pakistanis pushing boundaries – An ode to my people!

I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of Khayaal Arts Festival 2014 as one of four keynote speakers. The theme of the festival was ‘Pushing Boundaries’ and I was asked to discuss how I attempt to push boundaries in my life. However, I’m of the view that enough has been written and said about my work. It is unfair that we develop a habit of only recognising a select few as people doing good work in the country. I, myself, have benefited from the contributions of countless Pakistanis who have made this country prosper and become better for me to live, grow, ...

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This restaurant in Islamabad thinks misogyny is an acceptable marketing tactic

This Islamabad-based eatery is named ‘Table No. 5’, but perhaps they should call themselves ‘Mentally Unstable No. 5’. If you thought that joke was bad, then get a load of these.   If their sexist ‘humour’ wasn’t nauseating enough, their food is named after celebrities such as Sean Penn and Bill Cosby. You know, men who have a record of physically and emotionally abusing women. Take Sean Penn for example: Cracked: “After he got good and drunk (again), Penn climbed into Madonna’s house, where she was alone. He then grabbed her, tied her to a chair, and assaulted her for hours, both physically and emotionally. He then went out ...

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Fathers will continue to murder their 12-year-old daughters

The statistics available on domestic violence and other forms of violence against women are startling. According to a NIPS survey, 37 per cent of those surveyed experienced violence – 57 per cent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). More than half of the women who have ever experienced physical violence have never sought help or told anyone about the violence. Forty three per cent of women stated that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she argues with him, neglects the children, refuses to have sex with him, goes out without telling him, neglects the in-laws, or burns the food. The stories highlighted by the media ...

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Dear Faisal Qureshi, just stop the hypocrisy. Please.

Dear Faisal Qureshi, Let me start by saying that while I am a film critic whose reviews are published weekly in Pakistan, I rarely watch Bollywood ‘films’. In fact, the last time I tried, my brain snapped shut, and I vomited uncontrollably for a few minutes. Later, I was diagnosed with Post Bollywood Stress Disorder (PBSD), a mental health condition provoked by a shockingly bad Bollywood film. I was sure I would never watch something as horrific again, until I saw your video response to Indian actor Saif Ali Khan’s comments on the Pakistani ban on his film, Phantom.

Now, I must admit, at the very least, you ...

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Let’s address our own double standards before blaming Ayaan Ali

The University of Karachi (KU) has been home to intellectual discussions and scholarly rendezvous since time immemorial. Academic finesse is ubiquitous here and I have always found myself inspired while walking through its corridors and thinking about all the greats who have walked the same path before me. The university has had the privilege to host esteemed guests at its various ceremonies – it has seen the likes of Haseena Moin, Ibne Insha, Zia Mohyeddin and many other legends who have come and inspired students with their lectures. Contemporary celebrities like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Kamila Shamsie, Sania Saeed, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and others have also recently shown their support ...

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