Stories about violence against women

Yasir Shah is Pakistan’s key to win against Ireland

After defeating the Proteas in Auckland, Pakistan has its sight set on yet another ‘do-or-die’ encounter with the giant-killers, Ireland, in Adelaide on March 15, 2015. Amongst a group of seven, Pakistan is on the third position, one step ahead of Ireland, ready to qualify for the quarterfinals. In any other sport, this would be a favourable position to be in, but sadly, this is cricket. Unlike football, Pakistan cannot qualify for the next round with a nil draw. Photo: AFP The game of cricket is cruel. Pakistan has yet to make it through the next round, and if things ...

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Can you see black and blue?

“Must be your fault.” “You must have done something to provoke him.” “You must have not done enough.” “Maybe you could try harder at home, give him more attention?” “Look, this is stuff happens, I knew someone who…” “But what else are you going to do? Except put on a brave face?” The above statements are all examples, and very basic ones, of how we speak to victims of domestic violence. And this is not just Pakistan or India or sub-continental patriarchal cultural biases that propagate such statements/mind-sets. Domestic violence and crimes against women are a global problem. According to a report on women, the United Nations ...

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Why do jihadists hate women but love pornography?

One of the defining aspects of our culture right now, though it is rarely acknowledged and discussed, is the problem of the young man. We often reflect as a society on the way in which our culture, especially as it is articulated in the media, has very strong and very negative consequences for our young women. From the way in which our media is affecting our cultural understanding of normal body image, to the psychiatric disorders (including but not limited to eating disorders) that ravage a shocking proportion of our teenage daughters, to the ways in which this new ...

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Dear Indonesia, rejecting the “condomisation of society” is not the solution

“We reject the condomisation of society.” Nope, that’s not a headline from The Onion or The Oatmeal. And it’s not taken from any satirical website. I am quoting directly from the Wall Street Journal’s report on Indonesia’s top Islamic authority, Indonesian Council of Ulema. Local news daily Republika reported that there is a ‘crackdown’ on shops to check whether, in effect of Valentine’s Day, shops are selling condoms with chocolates. Ma’ruf Amein, the man who uttered the golden words quoted above, insisted that if shopkeepers sold condoms to unmarried couples, it would increase the chance of sex out of wedlock. I hate to break this to you, Mr Amein, ...

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Willful ignorance

What do you want, God? What do you need? Submission, obedience and blind faith; is that all you require of me?   I am sorry, my Lord; this dogma I refuse to accept, From the Master of the universe, more compassion do I expect, You are the Vicegerent, the Supreme and the Omnipotent, Am I alive to live in fear? Is that how I am supposed to view your strength?   My heart does not believe it! It does not concur, It trusts a God of mercy and benignity, not tyranny and terror, They kill in Your name; they torment and subjugate, Will bigotry prevail over forbearance? Is that our fate?   They shed ...

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“This isn’t Hollywood. Stop trying to save the girl!”

You only caught a glimpse of the girl as she walked down the corridor. She had short hair. You reverted the news back to your friends. “A girl has moved into the room next door.” You live in a shared apartment. Everyone was excited. Your friends had called to congratulate you. “What does she look like?” “She has short hair.” “That’s a good start.” You heard the sounds of cardboard boxes being dragged down the corridor, and you realised that this is the most opportune time to clear your room off the dishes that had been piling up in one corner. You take your glasses off, ...

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Another untold story

I walk down the road, Alone in the dark, Hiding my past, Hiding my face, Hiding what has left a mark.   Pointing fingers, Hurting words and each curse. All faith dies, Strength drown, And hopes disperse.   A blot has nested, A taint that is so weak yet so strong, I knock doors, Search whither I link, To whom I belong?   They left me forgotten, Forsaken in the crowd, To die with charge, To bury my voice under the shroud.   To conceal all secrets, To tuck away each word, To masquerade the truth, To let the story stay blurred.   My arms were locked and I tried to get lose, Holding on to my popping hopes, Burning with ...

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Does Pakistan’s media encourage sexism?

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 ...

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Our honour was saved

I am a woman, But you could give me any name.   I am Bhavna; They named me desire. How ironic! Small desires I had, Sipping some wine and Seeing a beach. My love became my bane My rebellion, my curse. I challenged their honour So, something had to be done. They strangled my wishes And cremated my dreams.   I am Farzana; I carved a life And fought for it. They pelted my choice, They battered my soul, Their honour survived But my baby died.   I am the letter peeping through brackets; Reported often in the news, Shrouded in sheen, meem, kaaf, My story ensues.   I am the nanhi kali violated; They talk about in the news, My name is hushed, My identity draped, But we must thank our lucky stars, Our honour is ...

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Reyhaneh Jabbari lives on – even today

“The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died ...

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