Stories about womens rights

Did Pakistan really top the ‘porn-searching’ list?

Pakistan (also referred to as ‘Pornistan’ in recent time) has topped the list of Porn-searching countries in the world yet again, as revealed by news website Salon. That’s not it – it gets even more disturbing when the story states that, “It leads the way in porn searches for animals like pigs, donkeys, cats, dogs and snakes.” Snakes? Are you kidding me?! I really wouldn’t want to get into the details of that. Following us, on the list, were countries like Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. This list insinuates that Muslim countries are goldmines for porn companies and sites. Today, however, I will not ...

Read Full Post

Do human rights activists hate Imran Khan because he is not a leftist?

The young girl who works as domestic help for me said, “Baji, do you know why our men don’t want Imran Khan to come into power? It is because they are scared that women in the villages will gain strength if he becomes our prime minister. Already, he supports women standing up for their rights. The jalsas are a proof of this. But we will make sure he wins. We are by his side.” This was the morning after Imran gave an inspiring and honest talk from his container as PTI celebrated “Justice for Women Day”. I had heard that Pakistan ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Why was Dr Shakil Auj shot?

A year ago, I began working on a small report about various Islamic Studies syllabi at public universities (which, unfortunately, never made it to print owing to some editorial bottlenecks). I rang up Dr Shakil Auj, the dean of the Islamic Learning department of Karachi University, and asked if I could bring some questions to him. “No beta, I am very busy these days, maybe next week.” “Please, it won’t take long.” He agreed. I reached the Karachi University’s Islamic Learning department on a Friday morning. Not many classes are scheduled for Fridays. Girls, most of them heavily veiled, were perched on benches, ...

Read Full Post

10 things Pakistani and Indian drama industries need to do

Pakistani dramas are suddenly all the rage across the border yet again. Indian actors like Paresh Rawal, Kajol and Javed Jaffrey have praised them as a new channel, Zee Zindagi, is playing the best Pakistani dramas for Indian audiences who are happily lapping them up. There was always a cross-cultural exchange between India and Pakistan, but with the Pakistani film industry in the doldrums, and the Ekta Kapoor-style serials’ overwhelming popularity, it had become a one way street. Before this channel arrived, Indian fans, and indeed the entire sub-continental diaspora, used to watch Pakistani dramas over the internet just as we ...

Read Full Post

“I was raped hundreds of times, by the man I was married to”

That phase of her life ended three years ago with her divorce, but 35-year-old Naila* will never be healed of what she went through during the nine years of her marriage. This is a true story; the true story of a woman who suffered a plight faced by so many women. Sadly, the crime committed against them is not even considered a crime. “Every time my husband approached me, it was sheer torture. Sometimes physical, and forever mental and emotional torture. He was physically brutal and wanted me to indulge in behaviour I was not okay with. He never cared about ...

Read Full Post

All PTI did was talk about alternatives

I write this piece as I see tear gas shelling and aerial firing towards massive crowds that are protesting peacefully outside the Prime Minister House. I write this as we hear of a girl from Dera Ghazi Khan who set herself on fire after not getting justice from the police for gang rape, and now her mother is part of the Azadi dharna in hope that her daughter’s death would not go to waste. I write this as I see our police become a mercenary force for a ‘supposedly’ democratic government that has taken on the role of, what I have often heard ...

Read Full Post

I will not quit my job just because I am married

“Yes, I cannot quit my job. I am a career-oriented woman, and I have put in years and years of hard work to get to where I am today.” Rija’s fiancé decided to end their relationship when she explained to him that her career would hold a certain amount of priority in her life after they tie the knot. “Why are careers important for men only? Why do most Pakistani men not want their women to work and excel in their profession?” asked Rija sadly. I didn’t know what to say to her, but am thankful that their relationship ended before they got married. Things ...

Read Full Post

‘Baby doll mein sonay di’… really?

Here is a question for all the women out there – what is more heart-warming, being called a Chikni Chameli (sexy woman) or an Atom Bomb (bombshell)? Baffled? I am not surprised… Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy upbeat Bollywood music as much as the next person. Any wedding seems mute and dull without it. However, there should be a line drawn somewhere, don’t you think? How long can we let this spicy (and derogatory) lyricism go on? In every single Bollywood movie we watch, we see girls dancing vivaciously to something that they ridiculously believe to be an ode to their beauty while reality is much plainer and ...

Read Full Post

The ‘frandship’ caller conundrum

It might be odd for many but a guy like me has also gotten frandship calls over the years. Partly because my voice didn’t break for the longest time and the pervert on the other end didn’t believe that he was, in fact, talking to a guy. Similarly, I had to pretend to be my sister when the pizza delivery guy called confirming the address. Pizza guy: Aap Mr Ali kay ghar say baat kar rahi hain? Me: Jee, main Ali ki behen hoon. However, though the history of my former voice seems interesting, it is not the point of this blog. It is in fact, about the annoyance of frandship calls that ...

Read Full Post