Stories about women empowerment

Shoaib Mansoor’s most anticipated movie, Verna, is yet another example of his anger towards social injustice

After hits like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol revived Pakistani cinema, Shoaib Mansoor is all set to return with another potential box office hit, Verna. Directed by Mansoor and produced by Showman Productions, the trailer has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release. #Verna Trailer – 1 Million Views on YouTube!!! A film by Shoaib MansoorReleasing on 17.11.17#HUMFilms #Shoman #MahiraKhan pic.twitter.com/I9UAEIpFz4 — Verna The Movie (@VernaTheMovie) October 19, 2017 Not only have Mansoor’s previous films been considered monumental for Pakistani cinema, he is also the brains behind classic drama serials in Pakistan like Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Fifty Fifty and Ankahi. It is thus unsurprising that news of ...

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Secret Superstar: A 15-year old rookie overshadows superstar Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan’s roles define him in every movie. Whether he played Raja in Dil, Amar Manohar in Andaaz Apna Apna, Bhuvan in Lagaan, Rehan in Fanaa or Rancho in 3 Idiots, his performances leave a mark on the audience. His latest release, Secret Superstar, also falls in the same ‘hit’ category where Khan displays yet another side of himself to take over the minds and hearts of his viewers. However, this time, he is accompanied by a young actor, Zaira Wasim, playing the role of Insia, who wishes to become a singer but finds her father standing in between her dreams of stardom. The story shows that it is ...

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Saudi women are eager to take the wheel, but are they ready to be harassed even more?

On September 26th, a much-awaited milestone was achieved in Saudi Arabia – a royal decree issued by King Salman that allows Saudi women to drive. The Kingdom, which received much backlash for being the only country in the world that doesn’t already allow women to drive, has finally been relieved of this tarnish. Saudi women will no longer need their guardians’ permission to obtain a driving license nor need a man present with them in the car. After decades of struggle to get the ban uplifted, people took to social media to welcome the landmark decision, which is part of new reforms in the ...

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What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?

“What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?” is perhaps what the poster for the new Snow White film should have said. Instead it said, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the seven dwarfs not so short?” What if the marketing team of the South Korean children’s movie, Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs had more sense? The movie seems to have taken a rather strong and suggestive tone regarding breaking stereotypes, showing a version of Snow White that is a heavier girl unperturbed by the notion of “proper” behaviour that is commonly expected of ...

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Why Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a slap on the faces of Palestinian girls in Gaza

This past week, viewers from all across the globe flocked to their nearby cinemas to catch the first female superhero movie, Wonder Woman. People leaving the cinema published accounts of inspiration and motivation. Some even spoke of a rekindled sense of purpose and drive in their individual feminism.  Yet in the same news cycle, you could also find a piece or two decrying some ban on this blockbuster placed by Lebanon and then followed by a suspension in Tunisia and Algeria. Naturally, as every ban does, it piqued the reader’s interest. After all, what would the Lebanese, Algerians or the Tunisians have against women empowerment? It made little sense until you opened the closet and ...

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While boys remain boys, girls become immoral and should be slut-shamed

Apart from trolling, social media also has the power of setting standards for women on the internet. By acting as moral warriors on social media, these stooges of patriarchy continue to perpetuate their misogyny by slut-shaming successful independent women; something that they can’t do at their home, workplace and/or any civilised social setting. With the rise of social media, these blabbermouths, with their prejudices concealed under the mask of culture and mannerism, mock, stigmatise and pass derogatory remarks on women. …And the worst affected are celebrities, especially Bollywood actresses. Recently, when Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, she was criticised for dressing indecently and showing her ...

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Dear Vogue India, we don’t need fashion magazines to remind us of colonisation

No woman across the world would hear the words, “women’s fashion bible” and not equate them with the most eminent fashion magazine globally, Vogue. Today, Vogue is not just a fashion magazine but a source of inspiration for women across the planet. One of the most significant aspects about the magazine (published in 23 countries) is that it has become a synonym of women empowerment, their individuality, their success, and also a testament of how important they are and how far they can go. Apparently, Vogue presents that exclusive world. It is a voice that talks to millions of women. The magazine was launched in India 10 years ago to ...

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The only nation where Malala Yousafzai is a contentious figure is her own

Of the numerous fault lines that exist in our society, none is as divisive as society’s opinion about Malala Yousafzai. A revered symbol of liberation and women empowerment across the world, sadly the only nation where she is a contentious figure is her own. But why would anyone have a negative opinion about a teenage girl who stood up to the Taliban and even took a bullet for her convictions?  In the following lines, I shall respond to some of the accusations presented against her by her critics. Perhaps the most pervasive sentiment observed is, “why only her”? The argument goes that Pakistan has lost more than 60,000 ...

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Rabi Pirzada’s creepy version of ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’ is torture to the ears and eyes

There is nothing more annoying than listening to one of the great classics being slayed by its rendition. One particular example is Rabi Pirzada’s adaptation of Mere Rashke Qamar, originally sung by the king of qawwali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  Indisputably, Khan’s most popular composition, Mere Rashke Qamar has drawn the attention of many artists throughout the years but none of the renditions have been as bad as this one. The original had the perfect blend of a soothing melody, emotional lyrics and a commanding voice that made it an unforgettable classic. Pirzada’s creepy version, however, has none of these components. It’s an awful attempt ...

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And they will say, ‘Remember what happened to Naila’

She hailed from Qambar Shahdadkot, where the literacy rate is 44%, according to a report published in 2012. She came from an area where only 33% of the female population has completed higher education. Against all odds, she left her hometown and enrolled herself in the Sindhi Department at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, to continue her studies. Currently in her final year, Naila Rind was not just an average student; she was an award winning student in her Masters class. Naila had returned early from her hometown during her winter vacations in order to work on her final year thesis, which was due on ...

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