by Dr. Fouzia Saeed
I would like to congratulate all the women in Pakistan on the passage of two significant pieces of legislation. The issue of sexual harassment had pained us for just too long. I learnt from my mother and other elders, and I am sure all the other Pakistani women learnt it from their mothers that, Ghar se bahir niklo gi to aiesa to ho ga” (If you will go out of the home you are bound to face it). Sexual harassment, every time we went out anywhere, was taken as a given phenomenon, a constant in our lives. The burden was always on us to devise ways to handle it. Of course, these ways only restricted our own lives. No one in my life ever said that it was wrong and should not happen. The focus was how I can dress properly, not go out alone, not go out in the dark, take my brother along or even better not go out at all. Thus, the bottom line being that this teasing, intimidation and humiliation is there to stay. It was not until later in my life that I started to wonder if there could be a possibility that men could be prevented from harassing me. I am sure many other women have thought about this and, at least on some occasions, have challenged this humiliation.
No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of their houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live.– Mohammad Ali Jinnah 1944
When Pakistan came into existence in 1947, Russia was known as the Godless Empire of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under brutal dictator Joseph Stalin. This inherent difference in ideologies resulted in tensions from the very start, but the refusal of the first prime minister of Pakistan to accept the cordial invitation of the Soviet leadership to visit USSR started the full scale Cold War. The rest, as they say, is history.
Pakistan decided to accept the invitation of United States of America (the head of ‘Free’ Capitalist and Godly world).Pakistan joined anti-communist military pacts and gave its logistic support for Korean War in 1950s.Despite the unwavering loyalty of Pakistani military and landlord elite, USA refused to provide military assistance and spare parts during 1965 Kashmir war with India. The Pakistani dictator of the time was madly in love with USA, titling his ghost written biography, ‘Friends not Masters’. Continue reading
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During the last 10 years Pakistani women have come a long way. They been inducted in the air force as pilots (the second Muslim majority nation after Turkey to do so) and are today part and parcel of the Pakistani Armed forces. Now women are taking potentially hazardous jobs traditionally for men like a lead role in the Police. Jinnah famously said “No nation can rise to the heights of glory unless your women are side by side you“. Long Live Jinnah’s Pakistan-YLH
NAWABSHAH: Feminism got a boost recently when two sisters were appointed Station House Officers at predominantly male police stations.
The sisters are the first two women SHOs in the country, barring those who have held the position in women police stations. Continue reading
Pakistan is a country that lives in many different eras simultaneously. Since we at PTH have been inundated with requests to showcase how various sections of Pakistani society live their lives and because there are many other sites who have showcased Pakistan’s various classes (as Arundhati would say nothing sells like poverty does), we reproduce here some images from Daily Times’ Sunday Magazine. We believe this image most strongly contrasts the Taliban and Swat related issues and shows the changing trends of women’s wear (and roles) from the traditional bride to the modern party girl in Pakistan. Is Pakistan a society on collision with itself? For rest of the images visit the website.