The recent spate of gang rapes in India has once again brought into the spotlight the mounting predicament of sexual assault for South Asian women, with no sign of any let up. Hundreds of women commuting in public transport are harassed and threatened publicly every day; however, the authorities continue to live in denial.

According to the International Labour Organisation, Pakistani women travelling in public transport are susceptible to verbal and physical harassment by fellow passengers, drivers and bus conductors. Women in Pakistan represent 51 per cent of the total population, however out of the 60 seats, less than a dozen are reserved for women in public buses which is why women who either manage to secure a spot over the engine or spots in close proximity to male passengers are repeatedly molested.

It is extremely unfortunate that many Pakistanis fail to understand what harassment really signifies. Many consider it to be an act which involves physical or sexual violence directed towards another person; however, it is important to understand that harassment covers wider issues. Any offensive behaviour, whether it is as insignificant as cracking a sleazy joke or as derogatory as touching someone indecently, qualifies as harassment. However, the level of harassment that women face on South Asian streets is a far more offensive crime.

Shifa Ibrahim, a student of undergraduate program at Government College of Commerce and Economics said, “There is a womens section in most of the buses, however, bus conductors and drivers misbehave and harass all college girls. Some of them try to touch us whilst shifting gears or pass inappropriate remarks. They try to grope young girls and it is extremely troublesome for us. Initially, we started travelling in groups to avoid these incidents but then we decided to use rickshaws as commuting in buses has become a nuisance for all of us.”

Ibrahim never dared to report any incident to the law enforcement agencies as she, along with many other like-minded women, does not trust the authorities. It is a well-established fact that Pakistani women feel threatened by law enforcement agencies and can one blame them for their reservations? Pakistani women have suffered much harm at the hands of policemen in the recent past. Not very long ago, five women who went sightseeing to Fort Munro were brutally raped by personnel of the Border Military Police (BMP). Similar incidents have been reported in various parts of the country, where women have been sexually assaulted by men in uniform. And aware of this, rapists and molesters are encouraged by the deteriorating situation.

A woman who uses public transport frequently, complained, “A few days ago a man flashed me and walked away. Thinking enough is enough, I went to the nearest traffic warden and told him what had happened. He replied whilst staring at me inappropriately, ‘I don’t blame the guy for doing what he did because you entice such emotions in men’.”

“The traffic warden’s words crushed me, as I turned away dejected. I, and many others like me, may not be able to afford the comfort and privacy of our own cars. Does that mean we are to be treated with any less dignity?” she asked.

So, when is enough, enough? In our society, girls are taught to be good daughters, wives and sisters but men are barely ever told to respect women.

More often than not, women are blamed for dressing immodestly and “luring” men to sexually assault them; the point to be noted in the case of most South Asian women who use public transport is that generally all of them are covered properly.

Why is it that we want women to cover themselves because that is deemed respectable but refuse to honour them? Why do we murder innocent women and call that a honour killing when most of us haven't the slightest inclination what honour really means? Why have we regressed to such a point where women are considered nothing but mere commodities?

Many women consider it unnecessary and futile to raise any sort of voice against the molesters because the altercation might result in serious repercussions for them. It would not be unwise to say that every other person in Pakistan has political ties which empower them to use their affiliations unfairly. Unless the government intervenes and passes strict laws to stop street harassment, Pakistani women will continue to face such problems. In year 2010, the Government of Pakistan, passed a historical bill which protected women against sexual harassment at workplace, however, no respite, of any sort has been provided to women who face harassment in other spheres of life.

It is essentially important to understand that harassment is one of the causes which leads to sexual assault and other sex crimes. Unless we all develop a fair understanding of the fact that culprits behind such behaviors must be reprimanded for their misconduct, we will never be able to get rid of street harassment. It is not only the authorities that are responsible for the reprehensible state of affair; we also play an equal part in the crime by showing cowardice and being a victim of bystander apathy.

Women are equally entitled to use public goods and spaces, by harassing them the oppressive men in our society deprive them of a fundamental right: limiting women's ability to be in public as often or as comfortably as most men.

We have to truly understand that street harassment is nothing women enjoy or find flattering and start treating it as grave ordeal with devastating repercussions.

It is now that enough is really enough; stop commodifying women and start respecting them.


Faiza Mirza
The writer is a Reporter at Dawn.com

More From This Section

PM orders judicial probe into attack on Hamid Mir

The government also announced a reward of Rs10 million for any information leading to the arrest of culprits.

UN officials confirm staff members go missing in Pakistan

Two local employees working for the Unicef were suspected to have been kidnapped from Karachi.

Punjab govt accused of being soft on militants

Senior officials say the govt has been “sleeping over” regular intelligence reports on militants' presence in Punjab.

Slain ANP leader’s house attacked; Police foil terror bid

Unknown gunmen attacked the house of the late Mian Mushtaq late last night and abducted three of his relatives.

Comments are closed.

Comments (112)

February 4, 2013 2:18 pm
"By nature women is an attraction for men"........this is equal to saying "by nature criminals are tempted to commit crime"...so let us all hail all the crimes committed by criminals!!!!!Pathetic! There is a bigger and better virtue granted to all human being by Almighty....self-restraint and a brain for conducting socially acceptable behaviour. Nature is capable of much more than we give it credit for, selecting what better suits our whims and fits the status quo is being untruthful to God and his beings!
Rev. Eldrick Lal
February 4, 2013 6:02 pm
Pakistani society is homogenous and women are under stringent eyes and are always thought doubtful in character.
February 4, 2013 1:01 pm
Not a fair comparison when when comparing the number of seats in a bus with the percentage in population. It would have been fair if you had compared it with estimated women travelers on public transport or something similar. To me, this suggest that this article is biased and should be reviewed by yourself with a bias free mindset. I do however agree that it's a topic that further need to be highlighted in the media.
February 4, 2013 6:06 pm
SO true what you have said here. The worst culprits are the police themselves. When the Law and order keepers are like demons towards what cue will the public take from it. Its sad that the oldest civilisation in the world is highly uncivilised.
Agha Ata (USA)
February 4, 2013 2:39 pm
How true, I just mentioned it in my comments, about lack of tourism in our country, in today's paper. Tourist women are stared at, followed, and harassed all the time.
February 4, 2013 6:18 pm
Most of what you said, Ms. Faiza Mirza, is true. However, the reason why this happens so much more frequently in some societies is because of their undue and unwarranted repressive nature, either due to religious constraints or the culture of the society. Although such acts do happen in the liberal societies too, but to a very limited extent. Far from being as common as in the more restrictive and repressive societal environments. Man is basically a sex animal but he needs to control himself. Otherwise there is no difference between him and an animal. However, culture and to some extent religion too, play a part in giving buoyancy to such despicable acts, especially in more repressive societies where there are very limited or even non existent secondary outlets. Such heinous acts have nothing to do with how women dress up or behave. In more permissive societies, like the western societies for example, it is very common to see women going around in the tiniest of shorts and no body cares, no body stares at them because it is not considered a taboo for women to be dressed this way. I have lived for many years in Sweden, undoubtedly, the most permissive of all the societies in the world. In summer especially, women are known to cover very little, but sex crimes are rare. It is a wrong notion that women bring these acts upon themselves because of the way they dress up. This is an excuse that men give to move the blame away from themselves and rather portray them as the helpless ones.
February 4, 2013 6:39 pm
No need to wrongly insult apes.
February 4, 2013 2:36 pm
Unfortunately for your logic, harassment of women is more in societies when they are more covered up.
February 4, 2013 2:34 pm
We have developed different merits for man and woman in our society. A mother would say her daughter that your brother is man, he can do whatever he wants. A husband/brother wants his wife/sister to cover properly so that no one can have evil eye on them but, he himself would stare or misbehave someone else's wife/sister. These double merits can only improve if our mothers start teaching their sons to respect women.
February 5, 2013 8:32 am
According to the Hudood Ordinance, rape victims have to produce four male eye-witnesses to the crime. If they can’t do so, they can be prosecuted for adultery – a crime that potentially has the punishment of death by stoning. Although the death penalty was never implemented, the prosecuted women were jailed and fined heavily. Hence, we have seen the unfortunate cases like those of Zafran Bibi, Safia Bibi and Mukhtaran Mai. Why don't you ask these women what happened or try to read about them? According to the Constitution, no law in Pakistan should be against the Sharia. If it isn't, that I know you are likely to claim, please submit a petition in your own SC giving your arguments. Don't come to me..
February 4, 2013 8:03 pm
@Rashid Please, don't act funny. Instruments that you are talking about are gift of God. They will always behave the way they are designed and meant to. Do you complain when the sun is hot? You don't, you look for shed. Do you complain when its cold? You don't, you simply cover yourself with woolens. Same is with women. They should know better to protect themselves and the prescribed dress code is guide enough.
February 4, 2013 5:05 pm
Couldn't agree more. God bless you. You are a good son.
February 4, 2013 5:07 pm
Women wearing sexy clothes (suddenly) will cause them to experience "devestation" and they will die and become extinct? And only men will be left?? No, wait, wait. Is it that wearing sexy clothes will cause the sexy women to die off and only the dowdy women will be left? No wait. What???
February 4, 2013 11:10 pm
And then the western world moans at Iran , such things would not happen there at all. Serves the Pakistanis right as they forget their own culture and follow the west. Indians deserve it too as their so called Bollywood is the right place to teach such activities . I am not surprised at all for the vulgar dancing in their films provokes such behaviour.
February 4, 2013 7:18 pm
YES!!! And the same man dare not lay his hands on himself or another person on the streets of LA or London. And women dress however they life. It is primarily the ummat of Ram and Rasool Allah that is sick in the head.
February 4, 2013 12:21 pm
Yes, it's a compliment when the woman welcomes it, and harassment when she does not. Is this simple enough for you to understand?
February 4, 2013 7:08 pm
Nicely written. It's time we stopped the rhetoric about respecting a woman because she's a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter and start respecting her BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN.
February 5, 2013 12:26 pm
Both men n women have their hunger.....agree Nasir sahib?
February 4, 2013 3:34 pm
There is one thing for women also. Again teasing is never to be allowed but then professional discussion should not be taken as teasing. I work in Canada and found South Asian girls most hard to work with. There is always that unknown tension working with them which I dont find when working with other girls. Even saying good morning to them is labourous event as they will either not respond or will respond with no interest when done by south asian guys. With other guys they are good though. So well there is something wrong in development of relationships all over and most of this tension is the reason why we end up in this bad situation. Just put it this way, guys and girls are never allowed to play or talk to each other during childhood. They grow up and now are faced with working with opposite sex. So even little move by opposite sex is taken as doubtful move. There are also other social norms that cause this issues. Unless some of this norms are changed things will not improve.
Nasir Abbas
February 4, 2013 10:49 pm
BIBI I agree with you. Unfortunately Pakistanis in general are S.. thirsty from top to bottom. No exception
February 4, 2013 5:00 pm
In that case I would pray for their total eradication. At least men like you will not be born.
February 4, 2013 4:44 pm
You seem to be the man on the street.
February 4, 2013 4:41 pm
You mean I can enter a house and rob it of its valuables if the owner left the door open. The owner is at fault, not me, right? Brilliant. With men like you around my mother, sister, daughter are destined to find their place in jannat.
February 4, 2013 12:03 pm
You are the definition of the problem.
February 5, 2013 12:25 pm
Seema Mam, do you know which country watches/downloads the maximum porn from internet? So i am sure that is much more 'vulgar' than Bollywood dances. And what do you mean "follow the west?" How come the same men become soooo civilized when they come to the west. They see more flesh here than in south asia.
Abdullah Hussain
February 4, 2013 12:09 pm
Although it is a sour truth still it cannot be ignored "women are also partly responsible for crime against them" By nature women is an attraction for men, this becomes extreme for some when they see women with improper dress. In south east asia bollywood is the main igniter of crime against women of the region. The type of films produceed these days are bound to create problems for womens on the street.
Lakhkar Khan
February 5, 2013 3:37 pm
Ali, get some help.
February 5, 2013 11:43 am
Mr Ali Abdullah is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with madrassah education.
February 4, 2013 10:57 pm
So it can only be decided later by the woman whether it was a compliment or harassment even if intention was of compliment. This means that even a derogatory comment , if a woman welcomes it from man of her choice becomes a compliment. Super logic ! even if he intended it to be derogatory. Is it really that simple?
Julie C
February 4, 2013 9:50 pm
Rape and harassment is about control and violence, NOT sex .. and it's not unique to Pakistan .. has existed from time immemorial and happens to varying degrees in all parts of the world. The best way to stem this 'animal' behavior is to have tough laws, quick prosecution and across the board punishment of the perpetrators .. sorry to say but rape, wherever it happens, is the ideal situation for some Taliban-style decapitations .. punishment must fit the crime!
February 5, 2013 7:52 am
I do think you get it.
Sharad Pandey
February 5, 2013 3:35 pm
why is it that an event in india makes pakistanis think about such issues? OK, Now that there are people in pakistan thinking about it and discussing it and writing blogs, let us see Pakistan as a nation do something about it!! Merely discussing the events in India and highlighting it in front of the rest of the world will serve no good unless Pakistan can do something about it. Gone are the days when any nation will keep quiet when you are highlighting such issues happening in india- they will in turn ask you "what have you done about it in your own country?"
February 4, 2013 2:43 pm
"More often than not, women are blamed for dressing immodestly and “luring” men to sexually assault them; the point to be noted in the case of most South Asian women who use public transport is that generally all of them are covered properly" Not sure what dressing as to do with Molestation. Not your problem what girl desses up like. No one is stopping guys to dress well.
Zakir 00
February 5, 2013 7:12 am
Once upon a time, I was watching a cricket match between PK and SA in 'Pindi and they were the policemen of the Elite unit who were harassing women nonstop.
February 4, 2013 8:09 pm
I spent 20 years in Africa. I have the same experience as your daughter. And some of us have the gal to call Africa a dark continent.
February 5, 2013 2:14 pm
Disgusting, disgusting and more disgusting. It is always the other person's fault, never ever mine!!! If I smoke and get cancer, it is the cigarette manufacturers's fault. If I jump from the top of a multistory building and break my neck it is the fault of the builder as to why he made such high buildings. Mr. Ali, God has also given us an instrument that is in our heads. There is nothing embarrasing or bashful or sinful in using it. Please for God's sake use it some times!! Once in a gathering several people were talking and discussing some subject but a very notable person was completely quit. Then a person asked this guy as to why he is not saying any thing, to which he replied "It is better to keep quit and let people think that I am a fool than to open my mouth and remove all doubts". How true for so many people today!!!! Nothing personal intended.
Vaqar Ahmed
February 4, 2013 3:42 pm
I have visited over 30 countries and will say that Pakistan is the worst place for women. My wife and daughter have exactly the same opinion. My daughter was in Uganda by herself for 3 months and she found Uganda a far better place than Pakistan as a woman. Most comments on the article clearly indicate that men think that women have brought harassment upon themselves by not wearing Islamic dress etc. This is a shocking example of blaming the victim.
February 4, 2013 3:14 pm
It appears to be a predominately south Asian thing for the sex starved male of the species to grope and mentally rape the female of the species especially when unaccompanied even when she is not provocatively dressed! It's probably caused by the constant bombardment all that surrounds us, media and entertainment - Bollywood/Hollywood, advertisements - is there any promotional agency that does not use sexual references to promote products! Society has trivialized "women" as a commodity without proper law enforcements to protect their liberty while our "men" still have some distance to go before becoming civilized!
February 4, 2013 4:36 pm
Why not you tell your menfolk not to watch these Bollywood or whateverwood movie so that they can keep their instruments under control.
February 4, 2013 4:37 pm
"International culture of Bangalore"? Are you kidding me?
February 4, 2013 4:36 pm
Faiza - Most unfortunately, the subject you write about is the shame of India. I wish we had a system of justice that punished these crimes swiftly, without delay and in a manner that discouraged these crimes altogether. I also wish that we didn't blindly adopt Western culture without thinking. I wish our new modern cities (e.g. Bangalore, etc.) took pride in themselves instead of blindly rushing to embrace everything western just so others call them more International. It's a shame really.
Ali Abdullah
February 4, 2013 10:06 am
A nice article covering one side story. The writer should also focus the reason as to why this happens. Showing the women as a product almost in every telecasted material, in films, advertisements, drama, media (journalism), megazine ..so on n so forth. This is also women harrassment. dressing with all modern gadgets which invites the attention of man is the oerder of the day. When women are self exposing themself is not a social issue and just blamming the man all the time. The writer says'' Why is it that we want women to cover themselves '' seems she is totally unaware of islamic laws for women dress code; Read and do a reaserach why in Sura e Ehzaab, sura e Noor and Sura e Nisa women is asked to cover. even women's hair must not be revealed and whats these so called educated women are doing. They have studies all the books except Qurán and just portaying one side story. Going outside with mehrum male is also one of the rule for muslim women but who follows. Dear righter first study the islam being a muslim women. I dont really appreciate what man are doing its rediculous but i blame all those men who allow thier women to go out without following the islamic dress code. One should be realistic, and always try to know and inform the route cause not only the problem. Then the whole picture comes to light not an isolated one.
February 4, 2013 2:02 pm
women ask for it by dressing provocatively - specially those in buses but what about men on the streets with their hands in their shalwars - scratching their genitles? why this is not commented on?
M. Khalil ur Rahman
February 4, 2013 9:17 am
When shall we be able to change our species from apes to Human beings, I wonder. Reminds me of Intizar Hussain's short story "The Last Man" . We can proudly say that we have killed the Last Man.
February 4, 2013 9:00 am
Not true. It only happens in India. We are pure
February 4, 2013 3:06 pm
It is not because your society is filled with sexually frustrated mail animals that a woman should do exactly what you are saying. In any civilized society, women demand as much respect as men. Men don't have any special rights on their women.You have just to learn to control your sexual impulsions and this does not require reading religeous scriptures. Just learn to be more civilized.
February 4, 2013 3:07 pm
The triple Talaq scene in anti-Quranic, anti-Mohammedan. It is not a part of Islam.
PhD Bio
February 5, 2013 7:07 am
Rapists are genetically and/or environmentally programmed to target girls/women; there is hardly any evidence that so-called 'closed' societies are more vulnerable. India (New Delhi) is a far cry from being a restrictive and repressive culture. There are stares and glares in 'ultra-religious' Saudi Arabia but rapes are virtually non-existent. While the (male) clergy is known to prey on boys, there is little evidence, if any that they harass and/or rape women. By virtue of exposure to their peculiar environment, the western (men) are become "tolerized or desensitized". They, however, do use alternative outlets, such as pornography and incest, to satisfy their animal instincts; something far more common in Sweden than the rest of the west. In my view, the solution to this problem is enactment of tough laws and their enforcement as well as biological therapies, such as anti-androgens, volunatry/mandated orchiectomy, etc.
February 4, 2013 8:15 am
I don't think the rapes in India have increased dramatically, but just that its being reported more and more and the traditional taboos associated with rape being ignored. While proper reporting of rape is good and appreciated, we have to turn out attentions on the attitude towards women in India. India has many nations within it and I have heard since long that Delhi is this testoterone filled place, where women are unsafe. But, I don't get the same feeling in Bangalore. The reason might be because of the cosmopolitan and international culture of Bangalore, which might be absent in Delhi. The next step is the Justice system. I am glad India has set up fast track courts to try rape cases and new procedures are being implemented which help the victim, rather than harass her even more. With more education, more exposure to modern ideas, these tribal-styled injustices will vanish. Speaking of South Asian women, its really sad that in Pakistan the victim has to produce 4 male witnesses to establish rape, as per Sharia, as if Rapes happen in the middle of the street. No wonder Rape numbers seem low in Pakistan. What incentive is there for a woman to report a crime, when she knows she will be convicted of adultery, if she doesn't produce 4 male witnesses? Don't even get me started on this triple talaak scene in Muslim societies in India and the whole of Pakistan.
Zobia R
February 5, 2013 7:04 am
Apparently, you expected Africans to be animals but you expect Pakistanis to be saints .. may I say that you are a 'victim' of stereotyping.
February 4, 2013 3:08 pm
What do you expect? Bollywood, once a paragon of pudeur has taken off its clothes. The street has taken notice.
February 4, 2013 7:45 am
Miss Faiza Mirza, the snap you have pasted is attracting me. do you cover your body or face, or think this is unnecessary because you do not travel on public transport or walk street wise. The ratio of these ladies who cover properly is very low. i am not talking about the little piece of Dupatta but the Burka. How we can blame the illiterate people who involve in harassment, the literate people, the media and the respectable society people are equally responsible in exploring Vulgarity, which results this kind of harassment. Do you think that the fashion industry channels, the dramas and other media sources representing our Islamic culture, WHO PROTECT THE WISDOM OF WOMEN or even representing The Pakistani culture. ABSOLUTELY NOT. We have very little hope that the authorities will implement the rule of Law, so we have the responsibility to take some positive step under the light of Islamic studies.
February 4, 2013 7:40 am
In a sexually deprived country like Pakistan and India where sex segregation is order of day a girl roaming around in over-exposing cloths is a risk. Feminists need to learn hard truth. Reality demands them not to propagate things that can beget "devastation" for women on broader level. If sex was not such a big deal, sexy cloths erotic dances would not be a big industry. Feminists must realize that it's all about co-existence. Learn to adapt and evolve gradually. A sudden change can force total eradication. Survival of fittest.
February 4, 2013 7:35 am
A society that does not give protection to its weak, its minorities, its artists and those just plainly different, is doomed to become an unlivable hell. While the weak suffer first, all suffer eventually. Laws have not only to be formulated but rigorously upheld and enforced to create a prevalent mentality of tolerance and equality in the minds of people. But even if we start today (not happening), it will take a generation or more likely two to instill this in the minds of people.
February 4, 2013 7:32 am
....and this has nothing to do with "only india's problem". This phenomenon covers total south asia.
February 4, 2013 7:30 am
Is not it amazing that even in 21st century we need to remind men time and again that what is inappropriate towards their behavior for woman and what is appropriate. I feel ashamed to be part of such society.
February 4, 2013 9:35 am
Have women decided as to when it is a complement and when it is harassment ? When a well dressed good looking man passes a remark, its compliment. When man on the street does it his way, its harassment. One cannot compartmentalize morality.
Ali Bajwa
February 4, 2013 6:58 am
Agreed !!!
February 4, 2013 1:39 pm
In India It was reported 68000 case during the during certain period and 16000 convicted i.e. 23.5 % conviction rate is poor though it is ggod sign convictionrate is increasing due to awareness of society and refused to submit the all kind of pressure. Somebody can give the states of the rape and convition rate in Pakistan and other asean country That will show in which direction country is going and how far they are serious about their women problem.
A Rehman
February 4, 2013 6:53 am
How can recent spate of gang rapes in India instantaneously become a matter a concern for women in entire South Asia? Don't forget that Delhi is the Rape Capital of the World, a unique status no other city could acquire in history of mankind so lets call a spade, a spade without any sensationalism. Truly all men and women in our country must respect women folk, this is not only a social and moral obligation but a religious one as well. However, my humble suggestion would be to stop displaying women in immodest and revealing outfits on TV, films and advertisement hoardings on roadside. Unless we do it we can't make our young generation realize the respectable a women should enjoy in the society. Lets see a new beginning.
Syeda Jafri
February 4, 2013 6:48 am
Its really sad indeed. But more alarming is the mindset of our so called 'educated' bunch of people. Harassment in educational institutes & in offices reflects this. We need to take immediate & strong actions in this regard.
February 4, 2013 6:40 am
Nice article
February 4, 2013 6:29 am
Here in India, travelling in crowded buses or in the general compartment of a local train can be a woman's worst nightmare. It is not about any country or city, it is just about societal attitude. There are scores of people who shamelessly say that it is fine to push/pinch or whistle at young girls, because it is part of the growing up-behaviour of a young boy. Even though we do complain to the police in certain cases, one can be rest assured that no action would be taken.
February 4, 2013 6:23 am
it all starts at home - if parents cannot teach their sons that their girl siblings are equally worthy, and must be respected, and appreciated and cherished, the same sons are likely to look at women as a weaker sex, ready for exploitation, and unable to push back. The way sons are raised says a lot on how they treat others, especially women, later in life. If a father abuses his wife and female children, his sons are likely to do the same.
February 4, 2013 2:44 pm
I am eyewitness to one case in Pakistan where woman was in proper burqa and she was physically harassed (man touched her indecently) by man. She was so much frightened that she couldn't say a single word to the man and he did that twice and thrice. What would you say in this situation ?
February 4, 2013 2:54 pm
A H, I am afraid you are still living in stone age please come out of this savagery you are born as human being not as an animal who acts on the spur of its instinct
February 4, 2013 11:57 am
Are you kidding me? There's a big difference between being told you look nice and when you're 'complimented' with the intent to make you uneasy and demean you. This isn't about compartmentalizing morality... if a well-dressed wealthy man told me it was justified that someone flashed me, he'd be thought of exactly the same as someone on the street. Remember, rape and sexual harassment is NEVER justified.
February 4, 2013 10:45 am
u r right ...
Wajiha Saqib
February 4, 2013 2:45 pm
Really good article. But I believe that such an article should be published in an Urdu newspaper too. Because, English Newspapers have a specific educated audience, and the wider population of Pakistan reads Urdu newspapers and these are the people who need to be made aware of these issues more. I agree that such an article is really helpful for an English newspaper too, but I believe that it would have more impact if we can publish such articles in Urdu newspapers too. I would urge the writer and like minded people to think about publishing such stuff in Urdu too.
Cyrus Howell
February 4, 2013 11:47 am
I can answer that one. Woman want those attentions, but only from the right man. The man of their choice. At the same time women are more likely to dress for other women than for men. It is usually about standards of dress. The good daughter always must pass inspection by Mother before she leaves the house.
February 4, 2013 11:42 pm
It is women's fault as they raise their son in such a way that after becoming adult he become problem for women. In India we have saying that a mother is equivalent to 100 teachers. So if they differentiate between their daughter and sons they they are the first culprit of the rough society. This is little bit hard to digest but women should think over it. Most of Asian women wants baby boy and not baby girl as their first born child. Why ???
February 5, 2013 12:11 am
why is that most writers dont want to touch the real reason ? i believe, the real reason is, we(india/pak) dont understand the concept of liberty. you can pretty much solve all the problems in india/pak if only more people were made to understand what liberty is. this is why some goons can kill people over a movie or a cartoon. if a girl wants to wear jeans, what right does anyone have to prevent her from doing that ? if i want to watch a movie, what right does another person have in preventing me from watching that movie. asking women to cover up is like a thief telling judge, that he stole only because he say the owner with a gold necklace. no one has the right to dictate how others should lead their lives.
February 5, 2013 12:59 am
@Saqib You seem to be promoting the notion that Faiza should be wearing a burqa at all times and/or not post her 'snap.' You can look at a pretty face and let your mind run riot with all sorts of ashleel thoughts; or you can go down on your knees and thank the good lord for creating beauty in His/Her own image and recite these lines from Mughlay Azam: Hazaaron saal nargis apni be-noori pe rooti hai; tab hota hai chaman mein ik deedavar paida. If your wife/girlfriend looks like Baitullah Mehsud, by all means keep her covered under a double burqa. Personally, I would rather look at a 'snap' of Faiza, or Heena, or Veena, or Nusarrat, or,....,or,....or....
February 5, 2013 1:07 am
Somehow we forget if we do not give respect to other women then how come our women will get respect in society, we are the society and we need to change ourselves. I agree that author made mistake in statistics for bus seats but anybody can make that mistake. But care should be taken in throwing numbers even if they are for a good cause. Number of male vs. female travelers in bus is far different than number of male vs. female population in Pakistan. On the other hand there are men, few, who give utmost respect to women and stand up respectfully to give up their seat to women, there are men who will let women go in front of line purely for respect. They are few but I think those men deserved to be mentioned in this article.
February 5, 2013 1:18 am
majority didnt understand ur sarcastic views
February 5, 2013 2:00 am
Have to connect anything and everything to Pakistan..... Has the writer ever...ever travelled in bus herself... I doubt... Pakistani girls donot take any touch by anyone and nobody dares to pass any comment in a bus to any lady traveling in the women compartment just for the reason that he will be bitten up if caught misbehaving in any way with our ladies... Pakistani men are sensitive about women in at-least this regard. Yes rapes do happen but harassment on a public bus is impossible in Pakistan....but you have to keep your Indian readers happy....
Zakir 00
February 5, 2013 11:55 am
There are men and then there are women, both should respect each other, realize the fact that they ARE different; anatomically and physiologically and know that both have strengths and weaknesses .. it should never be about if he can have it, she must too and vice versa!
February 5, 2013 3:23 am
So true!! I completely agree with you! I wish we would start discussing the problem as it is!! In cultures of the east, its even a taboo to discuss sexuality and related things within the family. These are natural biological processes and people should talk about it in an open respectful way. A man who respects a women can respect a women irrespective of how she dresses. And he will not feel aroused by women id he is used to seeing them around. That will happen if gender equality is engendered right from school to workplace, politics and just about everything else.
February 5, 2013 3:27 am
What has western culture got to do with respecting women? Men in the west BTW are very respectful of women. I have been to the US and I can vouch for that. And that is in-spite of what women wear!! This is just another instance of blaming everything outside to cover up for our own weaknesses. We have spineless men, because they were not taught how to respect women. Not because they are aping west!!!
February 5, 2013 3:40 am
And simultaneously telling the daughter that she can go out and play, work, watch movies, be in a sports team, have an ambition, have a career and all that she tells her son!!
February 5, 2013 3:46 am
Please explain to me then how is it that many many men outside of South Asia can actually see women wearing shorter clothes and not grope her or harass her or even stare at her?? Are they biologically any different from South Asian men?? A superior species? How is it that when they look at her, they can talk to her just like they would talk to another boy? Are they gay? Men can control themselves. Its not difficult. It just requires growing up with women as equals and learning to respect them as equals. Once men do that, they will not see a women as necessarily a sexual mate, but as a friend or a colleague or just another citizen of the country!
February 5, 2013 4:00 am
Who is forcing you to watch bollywood?
February 5, 2013 4:08 am
People who are quoting religious books about decree guiding women dressing up and do's and dont for women, forget that the same book says that ALWAYS respect a woman. I ask them only one question: Read me a scripture which advocates harassment of women at ANY context. Stop preaching half baked things.
February 5, 2013 4:11 am
Sir you say "By nature women is an attraction for men", it is same the other way around too. So it would be natural for you if your female relative also teased or physically teased a male in public? Bollywood does not pay you to watch their movies, people pay money to watch them!
February 5, 2013 4:14 am
Sir, where in Koran is it written that if you see a women NOT in a dress which is as per Sura e Ehzaab, sura e Noor and Sura e Nisa etc, should you go ahead and start teasing or harassing her?
February 5, 2013 4:16 am
But, it is practiced in all Islamic nations and in places like India, despite it being "un-Islamic". The question is if its un-Islamic or do you want it to be un-Islamic?
February 5, 2013 4:17 am
Try asking that question to your mother wife sister or daughter and let us know the answer.
February 5, 2013 4:17 am
Dude, you have to know which places to go man..
February 5, 2013 4:18 am
So you mean those who practice triple Talaq are Anti-Islamic? Any one issued a Fatwa against triple Talaq?
February 5, 2013 4:21 am
Sir please shine the light on the Islamic studies and enlighten us where in Koran is it written that verbally or physically harass,tease, rape women at ANY pretext.
February 5, 2013 4:24 am
Then, when Heriones were fully dressed in movies in the 1960s this problem was not existent? Do you realise the biggest Movie Industry in Bangalore and Mysore is the Kannada Movie industry, not Bollywood? India can only be understood by Indians alone. You never knew 40 Million South Indians speak a language called Kannada, did you! Stop judging and bringing your tribal mindset. It was people like you who stopped those poor girls in Kashmir from forming a Music band.. There is no justification for Rape or Violence, be it portrayal in movies, music or whatever your ancient mind tells you.. Movies are not widely seen nor made in Pakistan and women roam around in a Burqa, have rapes and molestation completely disappeared from pakistan?
February 5, 2013 5:22 am
Please go to a good mental facility. You are welcome in Agra
February 5, 2013 7:30 am
The way a man treats women can be entirely guaged by how he was brought up. Unless women do not drill into their child's head that they are not to touch or demean women no matter what the situation, we will continue to have men thinking that women invite rapes. A woman wearing a skimpy outfit does not still give a man the right to misbehave with her. Any man justifying rape of a woman is nothing more than a product of a sick upbringing.
February 5, 2013 5:46 am
Islam teaches utmost respect for women, however Pakistan perhaps is one of the worst place when it comes to respect for women, specially in streets and public places. Harrassment is everywhere and ogling is a common practice in our society. Thanks Faiza for writing about this social evil. This issue needs more attention in media and should be taken up by the people to their law-makers to update and implement the law. Also, parents of male youth should explicitly discuss the menance of this attitude at home and it should formally be part of discussion in the classroom by the teachers.
February 5, 2013 1:17 pm
@Vijay All the women you named are honourable Muslim women. Dare you look at them. If are so desparate go have look at dancing bollywwod girls.
February 5, 2013 5:56 am
Everything is green and pure in Pakistan. Just say Pakistan zindabad, if you want to live in Pakistan.
Lisa Malik
February 5, 2013 6:53 am
@peddarowdy: All your statements about Islam are false. You are simply generating/spreading rumors.
February 5, 2013 6:09 am
@peddarowdy; “its really sad that in Pakistan the victim has to produce 4 male witnesses to establish rape, as per Sharia,” Your statement is false. Yours is a 'Straw Man' invented by Anti-Muslim websites, hate-groups and Islamapobes and people spread that rumor without referencing Islam's primary scripture the Noble Qur’an. The Qur'an categorically states that if ONE good man accuses a women of adultery than he is to be given eighty lashes in public. If TWO good men accuse a woman of adultery than both have to be given eighty lashes in public. If THREE good men witness that a women has committed adultery than the three of them must be given eighty lashes each in public. If FOUR good men accuse a women of adultery than the Shariah Court takes the case. If the women has no defense witness or evidence to disprove the four men than she can deny ALL four witnesses by calling on Allah as witness and the case moves to the Judgment Day and Shariah court dismisses the case in this life. This is Shariah Law. There is no religion or legal system that gives total absolute power to a woman to over-ride four good men and their witness in a court of law. And have them punished by eighty lashes each. In case of rape the woman's testimony is sufficient to take her case to Shariah Court...and it is the rapist who must prove his innocence. A convicted rapist is punished by death. Mandatory. [PS: This all detailed in the Noble Qur'an. If the moderator allows I can cite these references Sura and verse]
Amit Singh
February 5, 2013 6:11 am
Doesn't matter weather it is India, Pakistan or any other Asian Country, It crime has become the order of the day. less or more, every where females have to face this.
Ye Z
February 5, 2013 6:14 am
Hefty restitution for harassment, gonad ablation for rape!
February 5, 2013 6:25 am
@Arim; Are you suggesting female promiscuity reduces rape and society should gradually evolve and adapt into it? I have to guess that your are from India...
February 5, 2013 6:28 am
They don't read the Quran but spread rumors as part of the anti-Muslim propaganda machine.
February 5, 2013 6:30 am
Not pure but India takes in to quite another level.
T Celtic
February 5, 2013 6:35 am
"victim has to produce 4 male witnesses to establish rape, as per Sharia" This is a false statement, as are most of your other ones,
February 5, 2013 6:38 am
Please check your statements with the Qur'an. All most all tht you have stated is incorrect.
February 5, 2013 6:40 am
You have hit the nail on the head.
February 6, 2013 4:22 am
This was in response to abbasitronto.I agree with abbaitronto and condemn peddarowdy creating confusion and disinformation in all his posts.
February 6, 2013 4:24 am
He is not watching it, he is making an observation about the effect and affect bollywood ia having on the immature mind.
February 6, 2013 4:53 am
Enough is enough
February 6, 2013 5:00 am
How do you know?
February 6, 2013 5:02 am
Wow London...! Enough said.
February 6, 2013 5:27 am
The physiological and biological cost of making a 'mistake' is enormous for a women, as compared to a man; they are astronomical. The parents, the mother specially who always knows better, advices accordingly. Same responsibility is observable in most mammalian species. Evolution makes the female more precious than the male if the species is to survive. What youn observe is the surface...the evolutionary forces lie deep.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?