Being Woman in Pakistan

Posted on May 26, 2007
Filed Under >Aisha Sarwari, Society, Women
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Guest Post by Aisha Sarwari

“This is why I am not in favor of working women.” Said the Colonel and security in-charge of one of Lahore’s largest office blocks. “Excuse me?” I said.

Before I could unleash my monologue on the tirade of women’s mobility, I am interrupted by the drama unfolding in the Colonel’s office where two security guards, a police man, a fellow plaza worker and the culprit who “teased” me shift uncomfortably in their chairs.

A few moments ago, I was walking up the stairs from the parking lot, late for a board meeting, shoving my car keys in my ancient purse, while two men who appeared to have camaraderie with each other were coming down. As they passed me, the uglier guy with glasses greeted me with strange familiarity and boldness.

I was used to the whistling, the smirks, the humming of latest Bollywood songs or even a religious proclamation of how great God is. But this sort of thing, however, had me stop and take notice. I asked for a clarification from him, and he went on to make generally trivial chit-chat about his friend giving me a call later.

Understanding full well that chauvinists thrive on women’s passivity, I learned to give in to my indignity and forgo the fight of telling random men off. Sometimes even when I want to fight back, their timing is too perfect and their precision that of a seasoned actor on Broadaway. Before I can feel the stab of inferiority and their power to communicate a stark message, they are gone, under the folds of a society that is so sickly South Asian. Everyday it is a battle, but I trivialize the over-sexualization of a partially segregated society whose religion rests on a mother/whore dichotomy. It’s nothing, I say, not worth it. But the truth is its very bloody and it wounds me each time and it leaves its mark every time it happens.

So this time, I fought back. I called for two guards who were directing traffic in the underground basement. New at their job, they refused to budge because they didn’t have “orders” to move from the spot that both of them were designated on to stand. I couldn’t believe it. This was no time for bureaucracy. Exasperated, but still somewhat in control, I let the guys flea, but I went to give the wannabe pedestal guards a piece of my mind. I could hear myself becoming a whiny powerless nagging woman. I hated it, but what could I do? I had to ask them why the hell they didn’t come when I called them, a total idiot just got away.

By then enough men, old men, young men, men with family values, men who believe women need protection and those who just wanted to watch a show from the other side had gathered to catch the “honor-less” folk. They asked me to identify the person. I found myself increasingly being part of a large Victorian drama — Damsels in Distress. I hated this too.

So due to cleaver James Bond action the men caught one of the guys who tried to get away. There was some motorbike skidding involved. Eventually the guy removes his helmet. I ask him if he was the person whose friend was attempting to be entertaining. He said yes and I proceeded to ask him why he was laughing about it and didn’t tell his friend to take a break. At which he became a local Punjabi Sultan Rahi and stopped short of beating his baboon chest, mouth foaming action and all. He asked me who the hell I was to tell him anything, that I should shut up and know my place. I went ahead and told him to talk in English after he learned the language, and also that I was now going to make him regret what he just did.

Thanks to his daring proximity the thought of slapping him did come to mind, but why should I lie, I was scared of him. Taken by the nerve to be so aggressive toward me in front of a crowd of armed guards, I didn’t want to test which of the genders has a knack for violence, it was a well discovered territory for all women.

I took a deep breath and called for Mr. Pathan, the chief security guard who in the true sense of the word was a guard. He arrived on the scene with his 3 inch by 6 inch mustache folded towards the edges in a circle loop. Once he arrived, he grabbed the lad with his neck asked the rest of his supervisors to take care of the bike while he walked briskly toward the Colonel’s office, asked the girl to follow. Once he discovered the girl was me (He thinks I am Syed), he broke into a fit of ass-whopping of the lad, where he asserted who exactly possessed the lion’s mane and where he was in the food chain. This was his territory and there was some order here. The kicking, shoving and slaps continued two floors up via the car slopes and into the office.

I greeted the colonel who was kind enough to keep a reserved parking space for me for the past few months, “because I was a woman” after a couple of vandalism incidents with my car. We sat down and I narrated what happened. The fellow plaza worker talked about what he saw. When I gave my version, I knew I could never explain the concept of “perceived threat” and how much that can terrify a person. It is the unsaid rule that if you dare to report, or take action it’ll be marked as a protest against the status quo and there will be retaliation, and the last word won’t be yours.

The Colonel said that it is hard for these guys to differentiate between the “type” of women they see. Some women hold men’s hand in the parking lot. What he meant to say was, this was a simple case of miscalculation. You lady, are a married woman, with kids, I know your boss, your husband and so via the men associated with you, you deserve respect and I’ll punish these men accordingly.

Already the guy, thanks to Mr. Pathan’s mighty blows was a lamb, apologizing profusely after he heard the police man suggest jail, where he’d eventually call in his friend and settle the score. I asked him to define what he was sorry for, and it was quiet clear he was sorry about landing in the crap that he found himself in, not for the harm caused to me. The fellow plaza office worker, though harsh with the guy, was ultimately asking me to forgive and let him go. Men, after all have to protect other men, it was harmless, understandably a misjudgment that should not get you in so much trouble for. You can get into trouble for theft, murder and burglary but this is just a woman.

The Colonel asked me. What do you want to do?

Men oppress women because that’s how it is. Its more natural for a woman to clean shoes apparently than it is for a man, that is in women’s nature, the cooking, cleaning and the menial tasks the surround child rearing, as well as the overwhelmingly huge ones that need emotional strength of an elephant, business intelligence of a working woman and those that require spiritual stability and nurturing forgiveness. All this time, no one asked us what we want to do.

Colonel Saab, I want him and his friend to know, that sometimes you can pick on the wrong woman, a pissed off one. Can you do that please? I asked him.

He placed his cigar on the ashtray and sighed.

Artwork by Abro.

166 Comments on “Being Woman in Pakistan”

  1. Eidee Man says:
    May 26th, 2007 2:50 am

    As a Pakistani man, I am ashamed to read yet another reminder of the chauvinism in our society. Credit to you for standing up and attempting to set him straight.

    The colonel’s response tells you quite clearly that is problem is not confined to the uneducated sectors of society.

    I must add, however, that I was disappointed with the way you described the “pathan’s” mustache. He was the only one who had the decency and character to give the guy a taste of the same intimidation that he tried on you.

  2. May 26th, 2007 2:57 am

    Foundations of an inherent inferiority complex among some male homo sapiens, leads them to assert their mis-led machismo on the female of the species, in often times, the most crass manner.

    A decent and perhaps repeated ass-whoopin’ from their mothers could actually help address this unpleasant behaviour.

  3. Abramovich says:
    May 26th, 2007 3:28 am

    I am also ashamed of what has happened to you, but am happy that you emerged as you did out of this situation.
    But I would also say that our society is not to blame for this, as you cannot prove that the society wants or encourages such behavior. Its these coward men who are to blame,and you can find such cowards all over the world!
    I work in a multinational company in western-Europe. Statics say that every one in three of working professional women are harassed yearly by the same type of cowards here too. And believe me, here, its not easy to wehr them off!
    As I was seeing on TV about a week ago, they were advising women about protecting themselves in such a office environment and asking them to park only in places reserved exclusively for women.
    What they showed on TV is actually a lot harder to put through, even for I think a person like me. Their advice was that the women should possibly physically answer back and/or create enough havoc in order to have a psychological upper-hand in the long-term basis. And don’t think that the cowards here get beaten-up or are fired on the spot, your aim is just to get the sympathies of your office mates, in-order to make this guy feel as if he were alone, and to make everyone thinks he were an idiot!
    So we thank the good natured pathan, and the other people who helped you out there, and hope that this never happens again…

  4. May 26th, 2007 3:36 am

    do you know what happen with the women in elevators in USA if electric power went off. we are far better, it does not mean i am supporting what the ugliest man did, indeed it should not happen.

    the Pakistani Spectator
    http://pakspectator.blogspot.com

  5. Eidee Man says:
    May 26th, 2007 5:27 am

    [quote comment="48650"]do you know what happen with the women in elevators in USA if electric power went off.[/quote]

    and you do?…..i don’t want to know how you know this!

  6. Oshake says:
    May 26th, 2007 6:20 am

    Amazing argument in defence of Pakistani society [quote comment="48648"]
    But I would also say that our society is not to blame for this, as you cannot prove that the society wants or encourages such behavior. Its these coward men who are to blame,…[/quote].

    Likewise, I do not think its fair to blame Israel for what they have done in Palestine, its some cunning men amongst them who are to blame. I do not think its fair to blame India for the mayhem in Kashmir, its some men in their military who are to blame. And so on.

  7. younas says:
    May 26th, 2007 7:33 am

    GoD Bless PAKISTAN & Its ARMY

  8. umar khan says:
    May 26th, 2007 7:52 am

    hmm, there z no denial of gross violation of womens dignity, honour and rights in pakistan.

    however, i wonder why couldnt benazir in her twice elected regime do something about it?

    why r the new private tvs repeating the same mistake which the west n india has made i.e. crossing the limits of decency in the name of modernism and liberalism by showing all these dramas about pre-marial datings and sexual encounters! same goes for the music channels, the way they portray how cooooooool karachi n lahore is, simply by reason of guys n girls hanging-out together.

    may God save my kids from such modernism and ill-defined liberalism.

    whatelse can 1 expect from the new generation who watches these so called modern private channels, no wonder these kids now treat women as objects of amusement who have to be interfered with for the sake of it.

    whereas i am not in favour of taliban/iran style crackdown on channels, i am sceptical of such obscene and midplaced liberalism.

    whereas the extreme conservatism of nwfp at times feels suffocating, atleast i am so much glad that we havent forgotten what our values are! though, women’s liberties r crushed, which is an unwelcomed consequene.

    it is bcoz of this very rightly placed conservatism that the PATHAN security guard was the only with the guts 2 fix the guy who was being problematic!

  9. Zia says:
    May 26th, 2007 9:24 am

    No other words except..Sorry.

  10. May 26th, 2007 10:02 am

    I don’t know how in such a ‘pissed-off’ mood you managed to bring romanticism in your prose. Very well expressed.

    I was once in an ethics class at a university in Karachi where our lady teacher, a feminist by many standards, used to argue very well on topics in her prescribed moral ethics text book. She covered all chapters except for one titled ‘Women as sex objects’.

    I didn’t know why she removed this chapter and added an outside chapter, was it the administration who supervise the course content or was it due to the boys in the class always enthusiastic about that particular chapter but I feel it was on that day when during a debate on some other topic, the teacher quite loudly asked the students: “Tum aurton ko kia samajhtay ho”, someone at the back replied quite loudly as well: “bachay paida karnay ki machine”. there was a pathetic laughter bursting in the left side benches while the right side benches were all silent, so was the teacher. the class ratio was about 40-25 boy-girls. That was five years ago…

  11. May 26th, 2007 10:11 am

    Utterly disgraceful behavior on the part of the two idiots.

    Having said that, we need to look at the roots of their disgusting behavior. It’s important to realize that patriarchy is not merely an idea in their head, or the product of their individual egos.
    Patriarchy is an institution, and as such, must be dismantled as an INSTITUTION. That would mean widespread social changes, and it would require nation-wide efforts aimed at providing women equality with men.

    We must respect the author of this piece for her courage in standing up to this disgusting behavior, but we must also realize that most Pakistani women are brought up in an environment where they simply cannot imagine standing up to patriarchy like the author did.

    Think of the author’s response to this incident. She stood up to their bullying because she was educated and she knew her rights. When all women here are educated, when they all know their rights AND when they are no longer economically downtrodden, only then can we expect to see changes in the attitude of the average Pakistani male.

    Good work, Aisha.

  12. ranasrule says:
    May 26th, 2007 10:12 am

    Iam ashmaed to call myself a Pakistani MAN when i hear of tales like this.

  13. May 26th, 2007 10:14 am

    [quote comment="48685"]
    however, i wonder why couldnt benazir in her twice elected regime do something about it?
    [/quote]

    Feminism in Pakistan is a very skewed concept where most of the ‘active’ feminists r talking about western feminist values, Benezir was one of them. Thats y she failed, first of all such a concept is too much to implement too soon and secondly, change has to be brought up keeping the cultural and religious aspects in mind.
    We need feminists like Assimah Asilmi for instance, or practicing muslim women like those in the US/UK for instance. powerful yet graceful.

    [quote]
    why r the new private tvs repeating the same mistake which the west n india has made i.e. crossing the limits of decency in the name of modernism and liberalism by showing all these dramas about pre-marial datings and sexual encounters! same goes for the music channels, the way they portray how cooooooool karachi n lahore is, simply by reason of guys n girls hanging-out together.

    may God save my kids from such modernism and ill-defined liberalism.
    [/quote]
    they all want burqa clad women to become meera/reema/sheema overnight :)

    [quote]
    whereas i am not in favour of taliban/iran style crackdown on channels, i am sceptical of such obscene and midplaced liberalism.
    [/quote]

    me too :)

    [quote]
    whereas the extreme conservatism of nwfp at times feels suffocating, atleast i am so much glad that we havent forgotten what our values are! though, women’s liberties r crushed, which is an unwelcomed consequene.

    it is bcoz of this very rightly placed conservatism that the PATHAN security guard was the only with the guts 2 fix the guy who was being problematic![/quote]

    I have a close friend from Hangu who once were sharing the experiences of life in this village when women were free to roam around and if a man was working in a farm for instance and women are passing by, he would simply move out of the way to allow them as much privacy as they need. Now, due to these immense pressure to put every woman on a matress billboard, things have become stricter in places like Hangu as well…

  14. Adnan Ahmad says:
    May 26th, 2007 10:39 am

    A well written post.

    Umar Khan has made a beautiful point in this line..

    “it is bcoz of this very rightly placed conservatism that the PATHAN security guard was the only (one) with the guts 2 fix the guy who was being problematic!”

  15. May 26th, 2007 10:40 am

    why r the new private tvs repeating the same mistake which the west n india has made i.e. crossing the limits of decency in the name of modernism and liberalism by showing all these dramas about pre-marial datings and sexual encounters! same goes for the music channels, the way they portray how cooooooool karachi n lahore is, simply by reason of guys n girls hanging-out together.

    Thanks for the lecture on social-conservative thought, but how exactly does it help explain the behavior of the two guys?

    may God save my kids from such modernism and ill-defined liberalism.

    whatelse can 1 expect from the new generation who watches these so called modern private channels, no wonder these kids now treat women as objects of amusement who have to be interfered with for the sake of it.

    Ah, I see. So basically you’re saying that women won’t be mis-treated if we don’t have “modernism” (as if that’s a bad thing) and “liberal” values.

    And you seem to assume that these guys wouldn’t have messed with the author if they hadn’t been exposed to contemporary TV content.

    Now, the first problem with your thesis is this: patriarchal oppression of women existed even BEFORE the TV was invented.

    The second problem with your (*ahem*) thesis is a place like Afghanistan. The Taliban banned the so-called “obscene” TV content which you’re referring to, but guess what?
    Women were still exploited and repressed.

    The solution to the problems of our society is not to insulate ourselves from the outside world, or sink into conservative backwardness. We need to embrace modernity.

    I agree with you that making women sex objects on TV is not desirable, its simply another form of patriarchy.
    True modernity means giving women education, employment and economic independence.

    There is no reason to fear women coming out of the home, like the Colonel in Aisha’s narrative does.
    In fact, we should be trying to encourage women to go out into the world and become productive citizens.

  16. tina says:
    May 26th, 2007 11:47 am

    Umar et al,

    The problem is not liberalism but that form of conservatism which says that all women who aren’t covered by a burqa are bait.

    Can’t believe you are so slow as to blame exactly the opposite party for this.

    This eve-chasing is the hallmark of a chauvinistic conservative society, not a forward thinking progressive one.

    Aisha thank you for being so straightforward. The whore/mother dichotomy is completely active in Pakistan and defines how most men interact with women. Never mind these naysayers. They are parroting what they have heard and not observing for themselves.

  17. tina says:
    May 26th, 2007 11:56 am

    Also may I point out that whatever the Col. says, women have always worked and they must work. Some must work for their financial survival and some of us must work for our mental health, every bit as great a necessity. To restrict our work choices to certain subservient fields injures us financially and emotionally.

    What the Col. is really saying is that he wants women to work where they always have, where he cannot see them. In brothels or the back rooms of their houses or somewhere like that. It’s up to women themselves to refuse these terms. It’s not good for us and it’s not good for men either, because it warps their psychology and makes them worse people than they need to be.

  18. May 26th, 2007 3:37 pm

    What the Col. is really saying is that he wants women to work where they always have, where he cannot see them. In brothels or the back rooms of their houses or somewhere like that. It’s up to women themselves to refuse these terms. It’s not good for us and it’s not good for men either, because it warps their psychology and makes them worse people than they need to be.

    Correct.

    Women are of course the worst victims of patriarchy, but to an extent it also harms the average man in a society like ours.
    Men like the Colonel are forced to segregate the female half of the population from themselves, and it doesn’t really benefit either of them.

    Men in third-world countries must pay a price for their dominance (even though women bear the greatest part of the brunt, of course).

  19. umar khan says:
    May 26th, 2007 4:03 pm

    1stly, i apologise if my post sounded like a lecture but rest assured, neither am i a mulla who believes in conservatism, nor am i suggesting to lay the blame fairly n SQUARELY at the doors of the private channels.

    perhaps i shd have added a caution in my post i.e. among the MANY things which have corrupted the pysche of pakistani men, these private channels are yet another reason in shaping the notion of male chauvenism.

    ofcourse i am in favour of more channels and i believe strongly in live n let live, however camouflaging the obscene contents of these channels under the banner of liberalism only adds to the problem!

    ofcourse these channels have only been around for a few yrs, whereas women’s rights problems in pakistan has been around for 60 yrs, but my point was that instead of appreciating and bringing forth the true picture of a modern, educated, balanced pakistani woman in dramas n music channels, we have ended up helping 2 sets of people:

    1: the mullas, who ll get on the anti-liberal bandwagon
    2: the chauvisnist males, who see these filthy programmes and so called DJs and then feel encouraged even further in harassing our sisters n mothers at the bus-stops and at work.

    i hope this clarifies the point i was trying2make earlier which was taken out of context.

  20. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    May 26th, 2007 4:06 pm

    Dear Ms. Aisha Sarwari. You had me confused by your statement: “Once he discovered the girl was me (He thinks I am Syed), he broke into a fit of ass-whopping of the lad”.

    Not sure what you mean by your phrase “He thinks I am Syed”. One could presume that here ‘Syed’ means ‘direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad’. Does a woman’s stated lineage and social status matter in receiving police help. Does one group of citizens some how deserve greater police protection than others. Care to explain how does that fit into your story.

  21. umar khan says:
    May 26th, 2007 4:09 pm

    [quote comment="48731"]Umar et al,

    The problem is not liberalism but that form of conservatism which says that all women who aren’t covered by a burqa are bait.

    Can’t believe you are so slow as to blame exactly the opposite party for this.

    This eve-chasing is the hallmark of a chauvinistic conservative society, not a forward thinking progressive one.

    [/quote]
    so why is it then the so called Modern Colonel and the security guards n other men all backed out and yet the conservative PATHAN, who always bears the brunt of punjabis racist jokes, was the only person to step forward 2 protect her dignity?

    i am not discussing liberalism vs conservatism here, i am merely referring to the fact that we shd have a balanced media which shd project the rite image and cultural values which we r proud of, not the westernised dating/affairs filth which only a few posh families of lahore/isb/karachi r mistakenly proud of.

    the side-effect of these channels is that the new generation is getting corrupted even further! they begin2think that singing songs2a girl at a busstop is normal, just like a bollywood movie!

  22. May 26th, 2007 4:10 pm

    Aisha,

    Thank you for writing this.

    First of all, this harrassment is not confined to Pakistan, India, or other South Asian countries. I live in America (I’m an American of Indian origin) and I lived in Italy for four years and traveled quite a bit. It happens to me all the time and in every country. I’ve concluded that it’s a universal thing.

    It really infuriates me. What gives a man the right to talk to you a certain way? To use a certain language to you? Or have the nerve to physically touch you? I know there are some who think “Well, she’s dressed that way,” or “she’s asking for it.” Bullshit. I dress very conservatively, and I still get hassled.

    What makes me even more angry is that on the one hand, I detest the fact that I have to follow social norms, which most of the time places a man in power. On the other hand, I DO let these social norms dictate my behavior and choices. For example, when I was living in Italy, there were many South Asian men. Apart from the men who are my father’s age and used to sing Bollywood songs when I walked by, I was also beholden to the norms, conceptions and so on that pervade South Asian societies. And in a way, I didn’t want to give anybody a “reason” to harrass me. I hated how before leaving the house, I would make sure that I wasn’t exposing anything because I didn’t want comments, glares, and whistles- which I got anyway, no matter if I was wearing a big poofy jacket with everything covered up. I cringed whenever I heard someone yell something dirty to me across the street in Hindi. I resented the fact that if I was seen walking and/or talking with a male friend who could clearly not be a husband (I’ve never been married), some (not all) South Asian male strangers thought it was perfectly acceptable to either ask me who that man was and what I was doing with him or say sexual things- because presumably, since I talk to men who are not family, I must be a prostitute or “easy”. (Certainly, not all the men who engaged in “Eve teasing” were South Asian; not all South Asian men did this. It was pretty much across the board, regardless of ethnicity. And in America, I get it from everyone- Black, White, Latino, and yes, South Asian. But I’m talking about South Asian men because I am most familiar with our social norms- norms which are arguably similar in non South Asian societies).

    To be clear, I am not a “feminist” in the Western sense. I do not believe that women achieve equality by disrobing. I do not believe that we can assess women’s equality by how much it is acceptable and permissible to expose skin. At the same time, I do not think it’s acceptable to place the worth of a woman on how she is dressed. I disagree with how the female body is used as the point of reference for social interactions- by both those who argue that letting it all hang out is “liberation” and those who use a woman’s body parts, dress, etc to valorize her and thus argue for “covering up.”

    Lastly, about the mother/whore dichotomy– that is pretty evident everywhere. In Italy, it’s the Virgin Mary/whore dichotomy. Virgin Mary is represented by your mother; anything opposite of that is a whore. You hope that your wife is like your mother- ie a Virgin Mary (I’m totally generalizing; it’s such a socio-religious interpretation that I am making, not a societal observation. But this dichotomy probably does influence people’s ideas, conceptions and etc to varying degrees).

  23. cynic says:
    May 26th, 2007 4:10 pm

    the root cause of all our problems is baigharati. if we inculcate ghairat in our children they would not behave like this. this was the difference between that pathan guard and the others. it involves a refusal to stay silent when seeing something wrong happening, because that will make u a lesser person. the solution is not more conservatism as some may imply, but for the fathers and mothers to put some ghairat into our kids.

  24. cynic says:
    May 26th, 2007 4:39 pm

    if u r in a situation where u can grab a heavy bribe, or take advantage of a hapless man or a woman, or be unethical in your profession without fear of being caught, then u tend to forget the teachings of your religion or the constraints of law or the taboos imposed by the society. if something prevents u from doing the wrong thing it is your ghairat–that ubiquitous thing which has no adequate translation in english. an upright, decent, liberal society is based on it. unfortunately ghairat has been maligned by cowards who kill in its name. real ghairatmand would never raise his arm against a weaker person, he would be ashamed to tease a weaker person, he would fall in his own opinion after accepting a bribe, he would feel soiled after being unethical and he would consider himself a party to the crime if he witnesses it silently. when we inculcate these standards and values in our next generation we need not be afraid of the influence of tv or internet or unscrupulous company on our children.
    we tend to blame everyone except ourselves for our predicament. the argument seems to be that the society needs to be cleansed before we become decent. in pakistan, it is our post partition generation that has given a free for all license to their next generation. we need to put the value system back in place. let us start with ghairat–a very indigenous value.

  25. izaz haque says:
    May 26th, 2007 10:00 pm

    i read that the man was acting over-familiar…and got beaten squarely for it. Serves him right! he got his due. why all the self-flagellation on the part of male readers here?

  26. Eidee Man says:
    May 27th, 2007 1:25 am

    I fail to understand the Benazir-bashing here…how the heck is she to blame for all of this? Leaving her politics aside, she was a great positive for women in Pakistan…whether you agree with her politics is one thing but you have to be an idiot not to respect the way she put up with herself constantly going back and forth between jails and her whole family being mistreated by Zia-ul-Haq.

  27. yasser latif hamdani says:
    May 27th, 2007 4:00 am

    Pervaiz munir alavi sb,

    I think the guard thought she was syed because the guard is from my ancestral area and Aisha is my wife.

    Adil sb,

    When Aisha showed me this piece she had put a quote from jinnah “no nation can rise to heights of glory unless your women are side by side you …”

    I thought it was an excellent juxtaposition to the col’s views.

    We must as a society make an effort to open people’s minds …

    Blaming modernisation is stupid … The frustration of these third rate riff raff types is entirely due to the lack of openness in the society.

  28. Eidee Man says:
    May 27th, 2007 4:04 am

    By the way, it seems like our colonel’s are not only afraid of women, they are also afraid of Imran Khan….he’s been “banned” by the Sindh government (ha! what a misnomer…its operated by MQM rather than Sindhis) and on top of that put under house arrest by the Punjab government…cowards

  29. ayesha sajid says:
    May 27th, 2007 9:06 am

    Bravo Aisha …. I only wish there were more of us like you !
    I think the only way to get rid of this male chauvanist society element lies with us … the women … more precisely the mothers.
    I come from an all girls family (we have no brothers) and yet never once did my parents let us feel there was anything missing, not once did they make us feel that we could not do anything being girls that we could have done had we born males. and yet every women born has gone through the kind of trauma you went through ….
    I have two sons and from an early age i have inculcated in thier minds the impotance of respecting women irrespective of who they are. and to top it all , everything that my daughter does to help around the house, they are supposed to do too. No house work is beneath them, wether its cleaning thier rooms or helping out in the kitchen.
    As a mother i have made it my prime objective to bring up my boys in a way where they do not sit on the pedastal of being a male and expect the rest of us (womankind) to take a bow everytime we pass them.
    The respect that a man shows to a woman is not learnt in any school or institution , it comes from the home , it is ingrained in him by his family and his mother, it is picked up by them from thier father.
    Why blame men for being chauvanistic when it is us women who treat them like gods, first as brothers and fathers, then as husbands and finally as sons ??

  30. ayesha sajid says:
    May 27th, 2007 9:23 am

    ahem … read that as importance instead of impotance ….
    out of all the typos i had to make this one !!

  31. Aisha PZ says:
    May 27th, 2007 12:49 pm

    Thank you, Aisha, for standing up.

    Unless more MEN and women repeatedly & publicly voice their disgust and absolute zero tolerance for this type of repressed, male inferiority complexed interaction in our soceity, the disrespectful behavior will unfortunately prevail.

    While I am sure other courageous people like you must ‘make an example’ of such men from time to time, it takes a community and support from lawmakers (another hurdle, of course)to make people accountable for their discrimanatory actions. When there is a legitimate price to pay – in all senses of the word – then perhaps there will be greater hope.

  32. Asad says:
    May 27th, 2007 3:24 pm

    Good post and thanks for bringing up this issue.

    These wankers should be castrated on the spot. They won’t do any such similar thing again… ever.

  33. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 28th, 2007 2:43 am

    Mrs.YLH should be thankful of whatever she belives that she didn’t face this situation in her life.

    tinyurl.com/2tvkxg

    Unlike Aisha, this girl can’t rant on Adil’s blog

  34. Ismat says:
    May 29th, 2007 3:41 am

    Off topic, but Dr. Najam why not post your excellent article in The News today here?

  35. Ahmed2 says:
    May 28th, 2007 3:00 am

    I support the views of all the Aishas here– irrespective of how the name is spelt.It is axiomatic that respect for womankind has to be inclucated at home, the nursery for all decent human values.

  36. ayesha sajid says:
    May 28th, 2007 6:24 am

    For one , I personelly dont think “rant” is a very polite word to use here.
    secondly , I dont see anyone ranting on Adils blog except those that say there is ranting going on.

  37. Anti Naseeb says:
    May 28th, 2007 6:40 am

    I know this post will be remove from here.

    But at Naseeb. com we observed the article of Dr. Adil Najam, so in response Adil published the post of Aisha the editor of Naseeb.com here at his blog. Yassir Lateef Hamdani aka YLH, the husband of Aisha is also here to protect here.

    Aisha didn’t described what she weared when 2 young person were gazing her, but what she did ridiculously that she tried to talk in English to show her superiority complex mind with two ‘miskeen’ young Lahories

    We have right to question about anti Islam drive from Naseeb.com on the name of Muslim community, Naseeb people are charging in dollards & earning it in rupees.

    We have lot more to un-veil the Naseeb people

  38. Abdullah says:
    May 28th, 2007 6:49 am

    At Pakistaniat, we should talk about current issues of Pakistan. What are the current issues of Pakistan

    1) Chief Justice Case
    2) 12th May Karachi Incident
    3) Ban of Imran Khan entry in Karachi
    4) Prise hike of daily utilities
    5) Indipendence of media

    What Aisha is trying here to mislead the people & trying to involve the people in other un neccessary, irrelvent debates. It is an deliberate effort to support Musharaf regime to keep the people un touch & away from core issues of the country.

  39. YLH says:
    May 28th, 2007 8:27 am

    Anti-Naseeb,

    I have come across stupid people but you rule the roost.

    Your assumption that she must be dressed in a provocative manner shows what your understanding of Islam really is.. let alone humanity which a disgusting person like you obviously lacks. Anyone who has met Aisha would know how disgustingly idiotic your assertion is. There are many people in Pakistan who strike the middle path when it comes to dressing … and Aisha is as balanced as they get. She is neither a Hijabi nor a tube-topper. Unless you think a loose Shalwar Kameez with a Dopatta – which is what Aisha wears like most other Pakistani working women- is also provocative, your assertion shows me that you actually have a fundamental problem with respecting your mother…

    But I am not going to even get into this. Your suggestion that morality only applies to women while men are free to do whatever they want… is the basic issue here and thanks for proving to us the sickness that hides behind false morality that people like you perpetuate.

  40. YLH says:
    May 28th, 2007 8:47 am

    Abdullah,

    So now Aisha is following a sinister agenda of defending Musharrf regime. Yawn…

    Forget that we’ve been in the frontlines of the Lawyers’ protest… we must be Musharraf’s agents.

  41. ayesha sajid says:
    May 28th, 2007 10:05 am

    I think this nation needs a standing ovation !!
    and some of the men need awards for thier absolute lack of sensitivity, foresight, logic and pure and simple understanding of even the most basic of issues !!

    From a normal working woman Ayesha has now turned into a promiscous woman who not only invites glares and harrasment from innocent “lahories” but probably enjoys them too.. (forgive me girl *wink*)

    and from taking a stand for her own safety she is now trying to mis lead the people and taking them away from the core issue this country is going through hence she must be the spy of the general , or maybe she has some misbigotten zionest agenda that she is trying to fulfill through this blog, or maybe she is an undercover CIA agent , here to cloud the visions of the innocent muslims of Pakistan.

    How typicall …. blame the woman for standing up for her rights, bash her because she has exposed the mindset of “young innocent lahories”, subdue her by pressure tactics…
    GOSH ! SICKENING …

  42. YLH says:
    May 28th, 2007 10:12 am

    And this assertion coming from an expatriate mind you…

    The ironies never cease when it comes to them.

  43. Qadeer says:
    May 29th, 2007 3:43 am

    I agree with YLH, robbing women of their own stated identity and defining them only by their husbands or fathers (as if they were their property) is classic chuvinistic behavior of petty-minded men. We should refrain from this please.

  44. Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar says:
    May 28th, 2007 11:09 am

    Aisha, truly sorry for what happened to you. I’m glad that you were able to stand up to the moron. Hope he and others who were watching him took away a valuable lesson.

    Adnan Siddiqi, you have a very warped sense of what constitutes a rant. This is an important social issue that needs to be talked about and Aisha right brought it up. This is far from a rant.

  45. Aisha Sarwari says:
    May 28th, 2007 12:09 pm

    Writing about a topic like this is ofcouse a point of severe vulnerability for any author because ultimately the question of what you’re wearing to provoke such a response eventually comes up.

    This is the difference between the concept of “scrutiny” that every woman is aware of, no matter what she wears. In a full clad burkah she is over-sexualized, temptress in chains, a force to be reckoned with and hence confined, a prize to be uncovered and possessed. The woman herself may be wearing it for whatever imagined and good intentioned reason.

    Whereas, in clothes that define more of her skin, she is similarly objectified, making a statement of confidence and overt pride in being a woman, unfortunately no matter where you are, such a statement is a clear invitation of exploitation to chauvanists.

    AND, depending on where you are in the world, even the show of an ankle can be an invitation for violence, at other instances however, even a two top bikini may never invite as much as a gaze.

    Men need to understand that a woman is first a human being. Her reactions are reactions of long battles with the concept of womenhood. A battle that no man can ever be aware of. Men can always be who they want to be and women eventually have to be good.

    As pointed out by Ayesha, a man’s reaction to women is a test of how your mother brought you up. A confident secure mother would never instill superiority in her sons, nor let it seep in from society, An oppressed mother however would indoctrinate this either though religious routes, for all organized religion is inherently patriarchal. Or the mother could be so frustrated that her constant unhappiness clearly communicates inferiority in her sons which they make up via control of the weaker sex.

    Someone pointed out the irrelevance of this piece. The entire issue with Pakistan at the moment is that we are run and controlled by over-aged adolesecents, like Jamia Hafza walas and the army, for example. With both groups its about power and control, reign and oppression and terror via myths of a dooms day scenario.

    More importantly, it is relevant because Pakistan is at cross-roads and as Quaid-e-Azam pointed out, No nation can rise to the height of glory unless women are side by side with men. The problem is half of Pakistan is in the shadows, because it can’t respect women as human beings first and women second.

    A few other points, true that such behavior is witnessed everywhere. I didn’t mean to single out Pakistan. However, my concern is with Pakistan alone since I am a citizen, and I can rightfully cry out at such a national disgrace.

  46. Lahori says:
    May 28th, 2007 2:35 pm

    Abdullah

    I see posts on all of the topics you mention right here on this blog. If you are so interested in those topics go and comment there? Or are you actually saying that sneering at women and misbehaving with them is OK?

  47. tina says:
    May 28th, 2007 3:03 pm

    Adnan, what’s on the link you provided? I can’t get it. “This girl can’t rant on Adil’s blog”…are you saying this is some video of a woman getting killed? She’s dead so she can’t talk? She better not rant or she might not be as lucky next time?

    If this is so I would suggest to Aisha that somebody on this thread is making very thinly disguised death threats.

    Or maybe you are just trying to say she really doesn’t have much to complain about?

    Either way your post of this link is kind of creepy. I’m going to try to figure out what it is now.

  48. tina says:
    May 28th, 2007 3:09 pm

    Nope, link is not working. Perhaps you’d like to enlighten us as to what you are talking about.

  49. zamanov says:
    May 28th, 2007 3:53 pm

    Bravo to you Aisha for standing up to those ill-bred idiots. What you did was absolutely spot on given the circumstances. Slapping the guy would’ve been easy but you took the higher ground and approached the security folks.

    A Pakistani guy who worked with me in retail once tried his stupid ‘charm’ on an American girl. Even though he was a high performer, it took the company exactly two minutes to fire him and call the cops. Needless to say every one became extra careful in their interactions with the opposite sex.
    Even though it is more difficult and may create more hassles, the least harassed females should do is to keep quiet while accepting abuse (easier said than done!) and as a society we need to ensure a mechanism of enforcing their basic human right to dignity.

    Maybe one day a Female Civil Rights law can be passed which guarantees women a decision in 90 days for cases of harassment in their places of employment and in public. Hundreds of civil female judges can be hired who use their mandated authority to punish the culprits and truly bring some moral values to public life in Pakistan.

  50. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 28th, 2007 3:53 pm

    tina, link is working at my end. I think you are unable to read urdu that’s why you didn’t get it? The link is about a news of a little girl who was forced to marry[read was "sold"] a 70 years old man. The little kid who was just 9 years old took shelter at Ansar Burney’s trust and revealed the story.

    The reason I said Mrs.YLH is lucky because she had not gone thru pain whic the girl has felt. I just shivered after reading her story. Imagine how that little girl would be feeling at that time.

    @Ayesha Sajid: Aunty aap dantti boht hain :/

  51. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 28th, 2007 4:01 pm

    so what you two ayeshas suggest? send all men to Gitmo? or Iraq? you two women have not comeup with any solution[read punishment] yet.

  52. Nasir says:
    May 28th, 2007 9:34 pm

    YASSER HAMDANI, baqalam khud;

    tinyurl.com/353wxn

    I thought he was Lahore based what is he doing in Isloo?

  53. tina says:
    May 28th, 2007 9:40 pm

    Adnan, all right, but what has that got to do with Ayesha’s story? Are you saying because some women have suffered more she shouldn’t complain about being approached in this inappropriate way?

  54. May 28th, 2007 10:58 pm

    sad sad sad…………. welcome to the “”Islamic”" Republic of Pakistan!!

  55. Talha says:
    May 29th, 2007 12:14 am

    Should not an article from today’s “The News” editorial be a part of this site :)?

  56. ayesha sajid says:
    May 29th, 2007 2:05 am

    Adnan Siddiqi jo daant khaanay walee baat karay gaa , woh daant khaaye gaa. but i hope i have not taken any names and not been personel. anything said here should be taken in that spirit.
    cheers man !

    Also if my post is read carefully i ,as a woman taken the entire blame for this attitude of men and also given a solution. As a mother , bring up boys who grow to be gentlemen and that means a constant effort from birth to an adult and specifically through the tumultous teenage period.

    In the meantime , as women we should have “zero tolerance” policy for harresment. eve teasers are at heart cowards, make noise , let it be heard , make him the center of attention and most probably he will cow down.
    Also thankfully i must say that even now we have enough chivalry alive in our society, where if a woman shouts for help , there may be ten who come to see the ‘tamasha’, but there are five that will come to help.

  57. May 29th, 2007 2:52 am

    @Ayesha SAjid: no aunty, aap mujh se bari hain, ap mujhe mera naam leykar bhe dantain tu mey aap ko kuch nahi kahoun ga.

    @Tina: who said mrs.Ylh shouldn’t have complaint? my point was that the thing aisha faced is simply nothing infront of story of that girl. I wonder none of “woman” here said anything about the little girl who suffered and all are showing sympathy towards aisha? discrimination among women? *grin*

    @YLH: hamadani sahab kion itna bhao kha rahay ho? your reply to “anti-naseeb” is not different than reaction of Atlaf and MQM on Imran’s statment. Daal mey kuch kaala, eh? :-)

    BTW, how’s your friend and naseeb writer Asra.Q.Nomani what she’s upto? last time I heard that she was busy in giving justification of gayism in the religion and was being messiah of gay “muslims”. *grin*.

  58. May 29th, 2007 2:59 am

    [quote post="713"]as women we should have “zero toleranceâ€

  59. May 29th, 2007 3:06 am

    [quote post="713"]sad sad sad…………. welcome to the “â€

  60. ayesha sajid says:
    May 29th, 2007 3:17 am

    Well, Islam already explained the policy, but then.. we are not aware at all and we reject it since it’s “backward shariah”.[/quote]

    I wonder who has rejected it as backward shariah ?
    Why do we all misconstrue the islamic injunctions to suit our conveniance and arguments ?

    [quote comment="49410"][quote post="713"]sad sad sad…………. welcome to the “â€

  61. YLH says:
    May 29th, 2007 3:18 am

    Dear Adnan Siddiqui,

    May I point out that Ms. Aisha Sarwari, has kept her identity and hence I don’t appreciate confining her identity to Mrs. YLH. She is Aisha Sarwari.

    Thank you

  62. May 29th, 2007 3:35 am

    Ayesha Aunty, ek tu aap bhe naa!! bhaye is bhari dunya (ATP website) par khali aap he nahin hain. aur bhe log hain yahan. So don’t take everything personal,specially when you’re in a public forum. I have been here for long time and I know exactly what kinda people do join and participate here therefore I was addressing those “enlightened” people.

    [quote post="713"]Mrs. YLH[/quote]

    @Ylh: sorry dude if you felt offended. Though it wasn’t intentional.

  63. Jabir Khan says:
    May 29th, 2007 3:54 am

    I dont know what the author is trying to prove by particularly pointing out Pakistan, as the title goes. She honestly has to ask herself is this only in Pakistan or maybe the situation is worse in other countries including Western ones, and there are no big moustache Khan bahis for these victims.

    Sexual harassment in the workplace:
    Approximately 15,000 sexual harassment cases are brought to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year. Media and government surveys estimate the percentage of women being sexually harassed in the U.S. workplace at 40% to 60%. The European Women’s Lobby reports that between 40 and 50 % of female employees have experienced some form of sexual harassment or unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace.[1] While the majority of sexual harassment complaints come from women, the number of complaints filed by men is rapidly increasing. In 2004, over 15% of EEOC complaints were filed by men with 11% of claims involving men filing against female supervisors.

    Sexual harassment in education:
    A 2002 study of students in the 8th through the 11th grade by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) revealed that 83% of girls have been sexually harassed, and 78% of boys have been sexually harassed. [6]In their 2006 study on sexual harassment at colleges and universities, the AAUW reported that 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university, with 80% of the reported harassment being peer-to-peer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_harassment

  64. YLH says:
    May 29th, 2007 4:59 am

    Jabir Khan,

    As Pakistanis some of us are only concerned about Pakistan.

    I can understand why expatriates would want to draw a comparison but there hasn’t been a more vociferous Pakistan-defender than Aisha Sarwari on the internet… hence I feel your comment, borne as it is from ignorance about the author, is completely out of line and ridiculous.

  65. Abu Ali says:
    May 29th, 2007 5:14 am

    I find a very interesting article in continuation with Jabir post with the name of

    Meray watan kee baityaan – published on April 15

    http://kashifhafeez.com/mazameen.php

  66. YLH says:
    May 29th, 2007 5:41 am

    I read your article and my honest suggestion: read my response to your earlier post as anti-naseeb as well as Aisha’s response to your earlier nonsense.

  67. May 30th, 2007 12:05 pm

    We are extremely concerned about these posts always degenerating to childish personal contests and name callings. We urge readers – again – to respect ATP Comment Policy (and also the dictates of simple decency). We wll be far more stringent in our moderation and urge you to focus on ISSUES and not on individuals. If you disagree with a point, please focus on WHY you disagree, and possibly what your alternative view is and why. Please DO NOT tell us what you think of people you disagree with; neither directly nor through innuendo. This merely wastes other people’s time and bandwidth. In particular, it is a waste of our time to go back to posts to clean up after the guck. We will do so a few time to give people a sense of what is not considered acceptable here; if teh behavior is repeated we will put people on moderation.

    Finally, for those who have a tendency to get too angry, we urge you to show some restraint. NOT EVERY COMMENT DESERVES AN ANSWER.

  68. Jabir Khan says:
    May 29th, 2007 7:06 am

    @YLH most of the time the so called Pakistaniat proponents on this forum are infact bashing their country and countrymen. Just as any foreign anti-Pak power will wish for. Now why you people further their agenda is another field of interest.

    And why have you this idea that I am an expat? On the other hand, the last time I checked, this site was run by an expat on a foreign server. Ironic isn’t it? and you have the audacity to call me names. sheesh.

    @Abu Ali, these people are in a state of denial. This wont change any time soon.

  69. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 29th, 2007 7:33 am

    [quote post="713"]the last time I checked, this site was run by an expat on a foreign server.[/quote]

    and managed by other two expats,Bilal and Owais :-)

  70. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 29th, 2007 7:47 am

    [quote post="713"]ime I checked, this site was run by an expat on a foreign server[/quote]

    and managed by other two expats, Bilal and Owais :-)

    [quote post="713"]hence I feel your comment, borne as it is from ignorance about the author, is completely out of line and ridiculous.[/quote]

    YLH,you better decide first whether you are defending a Woman author who runs websites like Naseeb.com and Rozee.pk or your wife? your knee jerk reaction just reflects that you re being more husband on this blog than a person who defends someone’s view. I don’t mind at all since and I respect your reaction to help your wife but I don’t understand why do you expect others to be well aware about your wife? offcourse we are too ignorant about your wife and don’t know much about her than you because she’s “your wife” so obviously you would have better idea about her.

  71. Tanya says:
    June 5th, 2007 2:22 pm

    Respect for women comes from society and not from laws. When we start treating women as human beings (not just and ‘mothers and sisters’ since those are themselves relationships of control) then maybe things will change

  72. ahsan says:
    May 29th, 2007 8:59 am

    Ms. Aisha Sarwari as a human being has exactly the same rights as any other human being irrespective of her status of a daughtor, or a wife or a mother of a male self proclaimed (her) protecter. It is very courageous on her part that she defended her right to be respected. Bravo.

    [quote ]Dear Ms. Aisha Sarwari. You had me confused by your statement: “Once he discovered the girl was me (He thinks I am Syed), he broke into a fit of ass-whopping of the lad”.

    Not sure what you mean by your phrase “He thinks I am Syed”. One could presume that here ‘Syed’ means ‘direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad’. Does a woman’s stated lineage and social status matter in receiving police help. Does one group of citizens some how deserve greater police protection than others. Care to explain how does that fit into your story.[/quote]

    It was simply an assumption of Aisha that he gave a good lesson to the guy because of Aisha being Sayed. I am sure tha

    [quote]Pervaiz munir alavi sb,
    I think the guard thought she was syed because the guard is from my ancestral area and Aisha is my wife. [/quote]

  73. ayesha sajid says:
    May 29th, 2007 9:16 am

    Who is in a state of denial, where is very relative.
    As an objective observer I do not see any one bashing thier country or conuntrymen on this forum, what i do see happening is a healthy dialog which some times is taken personely.
    Ofcourse not to mention some miscreants who, instead of understanding the gist behind a post and taking it for its depth value , read more then there is behind it and create and thrive on conspiracy theories.

    This post that started by bringing in a very valid and pertinent scenario faced by women all over the world has turned into a circus where accusations and counter accusations are flying around.

    ironic that we should then ask ourselves why we remain a third world banana republic when we cannot even as a society and its supposed enlightened citizens , discuss issues without going into verbal tirades !!

  74. YLH says:
    May 29th, 2007 9:18 am

    Jabir Khan,

    I don’t care what emails you’ve received about “Neseeb”.com or whether they are positive or not. My experience is that those who can’t contribute positively abuse others… Perhaps you should know better than to operate on hearsay or “Gheebah” as it is caled in Islam. After all people of similar persuasion (as yours let me be abundantly clear) used to call Quaid-e-Azam “Kafir-e-Azam”. Apparently the self styled Mullahs and defenders of faith are champions of Gheebah.

    Pakistan has lots of problems that need to be fixed. We are doing our job as Pakistanis to fix those problems. If the website is based outside of Pakistan does it follow naturally that I -or Aisha- are not in Pakistan? Is this that remarkable logic or what.

    Adnan Siddiqui,

    You may search for her contributions.

    I am done with this discussion.

  75. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    May 29th, 2007 9:50 am

    Dear ahsan: That is precisely the point. Does ones stated lineage and social status matter in receiving police protection. In this story the police man assumed that the lady was a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad (“He thinks I am Syed”) so he gave her police protection. What if the lady being harassed is not a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammed? Does she deserve no or less police protection. Is this a police man’s job to punish the alleged aggressor (“he broke into a fit of ass-whopping of the ladâ€

  76. ahsan says:
    May 29th, 2007 10:03 am

    Ms. Aisha Sarwari as a human being has exactly the same rights as any other human being irrespective of her status of a daughter, or a wife or a mother of a male self proclaimed (her) protecter. It is very courageous on her part that she defended her right to be respected. Bravo Aisha and Keep It Up. Your courage is not only for you but it is on the behalf of all P

    [quote ]Dear Ms. Aisha Sarwari. You had me confused by your statement: “Once he discovered the girl was me (He thinks I am Syed), he broke into a fit of ass-whopping of the lad”.

    Not sure what you mean by your phrase “He thinks I am Syed”. One could presume that here ‘Syed’ means ‘direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad’. Does a woman’s stated lineage and social status matter in receiving police help. Does one group of citizens some how deserve greater police protection than others. Care to explain how does that fit into your story.[/quote]

    It was simply an assumption of Aisha that he gave a good lesson to the guy because of Aisha being Sayed. I am sure that he would have done the same if she had been a house servant. Though he has no legal right to beat a presumed culprit, in certain cases it becomes necessary to do the same. This is called the famous “Law of Necessacity” which is very often wrongly used by Pakistani Law Experts to validate the illigigal act of is a dictator to make him a contstitutional President. Voltaire should be laughing in his grave!

    [quote]Pervaiz munir alavi sb,
    I think the guard thought she was syed because the guard is from my ancestral area and Aisha is my wife. [/quote]

    Here comes the male protecter (husband) to explain the attitude of the Pathan and taking the credit of Pathan’s handling of the situation. So, somebody writes:

    [quote] Mrs.YLH should be thankful of whatever she belives that she didn’t face this situation in her life. [/quote]

    and the husband gets revolted and points out that:

    [quote] May I point out that Ms. Aisha Sarwari, has kept her identity and hence I don’t appreciate confining her identity to Mrs. YLH. She is Aisha Sarwari.[/quote]

    Once YLH declares her as his wife one has an option to write Mrs. H…. Why will it be wrong to treat her as an individual person (Aisha Sarwari) as well as a wife of YLH? Actually, it will be kind of YLH if he could could supply us her full name as it is indicated on her Passport or on her Identity Card! Otherwise she remains Ms. Aisha Sarwari or Mrs. YLH!!

  77. ahsan says:
    May 29th, 2007 10:06 am

    Sorry, made a mistake.

    The first partagraph should end as: on the behalf of all Pakistani women.

  78. Akif Nizam says:
    May 29th, 2007 10:21 am

    It’s amazing to me how every rational discussion on this forum is consistently vandalised by the same two or three people, who refused to accept any argument, idea or attitude which doesn’t have it’s roots in the stone-ages. Here is a Pakistani woman merely telling her story and their attitude is ” so what ! shut up and don’t complain because things are worse for others”. Makes no sense.

  79. YLH says:
    May 29th, 2007 11:08 am

    Ahsan,

    Why should Aisha Sarwari, regardless of the fact of whose wife she is, be called Mrs. YLH when she chooses to call herself Aisha Sarwari? Please inform me if her name appears as “Aisha Sarwari” or “Mrs. YLH” above? Why would you need to see her passport to make such a simple decision as to address her with proper due respect and according to her wishes.

    Your argument is neither here nor there. Since Aisha Sarwari has chosen not to write Aisha Hamdani or Aisha Latif Hamdani or Aisha Yasser Hamdani… neither I nor anyone else has the right to tell her otherwise.

    Alvi sb,

    I think this is the issue Aisha herself is addressing… the fact that people do things for reasons other than the fact that it is the right thing to do.

    Women should feel safe regardless of their lineage, caste, status or what they are wearing. In my view one cannot place too much stock in humanity that comes alive only when a “Syed” is being threatened.

    As for the policeman issue… the fellow in question was a security guard and not a police man. Security is mandated to resort to force … so there isn’t anything unconstitutional that took place when the said guard whooped the fellow.

  80. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    May 29th, 2007 11:42 am

    Ah ahsan. Glad you are there. You mean being a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad and a house servant are two mutually exclusive social statuses. Should a house servant be less respectable than those claiming as direct descendants of Prophet Mohammad.(“I am sure that he would have done the same if she had been a house servant”). Apply this “law of necessity” on an otherwise complying alleged miscreant in the civilized world and you will end up in a hot soup yourself. As a victim of a civil misdemeanor herself in this case, what does she think of the questions raised here. As I said, I will like the author to fill in the “holes” in her otherwise interesting story.

  81. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    May 29th, 2007 12:01 pm

    “the fellow in question was a security guard and not a police man. Security is mandated to resort to force … so there isn’t anything unconstitutional that took place when the said guard whooped the fellow”

    And this is coming from a reputable lawyer and a constitutionalists. A security guard “mandated to resort to force”!!! My dear friend Hamadani, be glad that you are practicing law in Pakistan and not in the civilized world. Let us admit it, Ms. Aisha Sarwari failed to point out that;

    a) claimant of divine lineage have no special civil rights.
    b) the security guard by beating the crap out of this otherwise complying lad acted out side his legal authority.

  82. ahsan says:
    May 29th, 2007 12:24 pm

    YLH

    Please note that while addressing her I have always used Aisha Sarwari or simply Aisha. I totally respect her right. Now, if you come along and present her as your wife, it will be quite natural to consider her Mrs. YLH. There is no slant or insult involved in it.

    PMA

    I wrote:

    [quote]It was simply an assumption of Aisha that he gave a good lesson to the guy because of Aisha being Sayed. I am sure that he would have done the same if she had been a house servant. [/quote]

    From tha above statement it is clea

  83. MISBAH says:
    June 6th, 2007 8:50 pm

    Rights of women is always a good indicator of social development. We need to think about this.

  84. Ibrahim says:
    May 29th, 2007 1:03 pm

    Salamalikum,

    [quote post="713"]sad sad sad…………. welcome to the “â€

  85. ahsan says:
    May 29th, 2007 1:11 pm

    YLH

    Please note that while addressing her I have always used Aisha Sarwari or simply Aisha. I totally respect her right. Now, if you come along and present her as your wife, it will be quite natural to consider her Mrs. YLH. There is no slant or insult involved in it.

    PMA

    I wrote:

    [quote]It was simply an assumption of Aisha that he gave a good lesson to the guy because of Aisha being Sayed. I am sure that he would have done the same if she had been a house servant. [/quote]

    From tha above statement it is clear that Pathan would have given the same treartment to the guy if the woman was a house servant as he did in the case of a Sayed woman. So, your statement (a) is tue. As your second statement (b), of course the act of Pathan is completely illegal and that is why I evoke the “Law of Necessity” of Voltaire to make it legal. I will let you find the use and abus of this Law by French and Pakistanis respectively.

  86. tina says:
    May 29th, 2007 1:46 pm

    Well, Adnan and Jabir have joined the party….they can be trusted to never let a sister down.

    Shorter Jabir and Adnan: Women face worse horrors in Pakistan, and Western women face even worse horrors than that, so please be quiet Aisha and go away. You are too modern for us and you are a woman should therefore have no voice. It stirs things up and we don’t like that.

    Yah, Adnan and Jabir, how many nine year old girls are married off to old men in the West? One minute it’s all about sexual harrassment in the West, and the next minute it’s a horror story from Pakistan. Which is it now guys?

    Now you are dragging expats into it as well! How constructive.

    The only reason you can toss numbers about sexual harrassment in the West around is because this problem is studied in the West and taken somewhat seriously.

    BTW people who claim to be Syed do get preferential treatment esp. in rural areas and I think this is what she was referring to. Personally I don’t see how this is going to change any time soon but I really think it should. But I don’t think that’s what the post is about (although I do think it’s a very interesting topic).

    But as for you two, try to stick to the issue please, we have been through this a million times before and we are tired of it….just this once, pretty please guys?

  87. Akif Nizam says:
    May 29th, 2007 2:44 pm

    It’s also fascinating how readily the conservatives can recall the rape and sexual harassment statistics in the West. I’m convinced that it’s Chapter 1 of some manual that’s required reading for them.

    To me these statistics are completely meaningless; the only criteria that’s relevant is whether women themselves feel safe in the public or not. Anyone who has had any prolonged contact with the West will tell you that women feel safe here. Even two twelve old girls can take a trip of the entire Europe by themselves without any fear of harassment or intimidation.

    Ibrahim, I have a lot of respect for you and I certainly do not put you into the same catagory as others, but your suggestions are mostly just ideological wishlists.
    To link the success of a society with the harshness of punishments meted out to offenders is hardly the answer. And what really is the hadd for brushing up against women in public? ….or to make lascivious remarks against them?

  88. Tahira says:
    June 7th, 2007 8:56 am

    Well done. Bravo to your courage for speaking up. And thanks ATP for publishing this. We must all speak up. Writeups like this gve courage to rest of us.

  89. Jabir Khan says:
    May 29th, 2007 5:42 pm

    Yah, Adnan and Jabir, how many nine year old girls are married off to old men in the West? One minute it’s all about sexual harrassment in the West, and the next minute it’s a horror story from Pakistan. Which is it now guys?

    Really? Can you name anyone? but before answering read this link:

    http://www.iiie.net/node/58

    and think. OK. Lets see what your pseudo science logic comes up with. Let it fight with the knowledge you have drawn from your holy books like Time, Newsweek, Life etc magazines.

    And this is the last time I am adressing you.

  90. Jabir Khan says:
    May 29th, 2007 5:48 pm

    To me these statistics are completely meaningless; the only criteria that’s relevant is whether women themselves feel safe in the public or not.

    You are right, illusions are more important than reality. If one has empty stomach and can think its full, it must be good for his health, no?

  91. Jabir Khan says:
    May 29th, 2007 5:59 pm

    YLH before dwelling into “Gheebahâ€

  92. Ibrahim says:
    May 29th, 2007 6:08 pm

    Salamalikum,

    [quote post="713"]Ibrahim, I have a lot of respect for you and I certainly do not put you into the same catagory as others, but your suggestions are mostly just ideological wishlists.
    To link the success of a society with the harshness of punishments meted out to offenders is hardly the answer. And what really is the hadd for brushing up against women in public? ….or to make lascivious remarks against them? [/quote]
    Let’s just forget about throwing people in and out of some undefined, porbably biased category. It doesn’t add value to the discussion. If what I wrote is a wishlist, then wouldn’t you agree that the whole of Islam could be seen as a wishlist! Clearly, as a Muslim you can’t believe that?

    This will be a bit off-topic but, Akif, I’ll answer your question. Yes, I thought about this while writing my previous comment, and you’re right: There is no hadd punishment for the actions mentioned. But, some sort of punishment can be derived by a REAL qazi and shoura council (not just an appointed judge and shoura council that’s in the pockets of the leaders) while staying within the guidelines of shariat in a Muslim country. For example, the Quran or hadith doesn’t specify any set punishment or hadd for drinking. But, the ijtihad of sahaba, who Rasoolillah (saw) ordered to be followed in a famous hadith, was eventually 80 lashes, the same hadd punishment for making a false accusation.

  93. tina says:
    May 29th, 2007 10:38 pm

    Akif, recalling statistics from the West is part of their red herring strategy to pretend that Pakistan’s problems aren’t so bad. That’s all. Since they also insist that the West is evil and decadent they hunt for these numbers to “prove” that as well. What they refuse to consider is context and the realities as experienced by women. I know for a fact my mobility is severely restricted in Pakistan as it is not in Europe or the States or even Turkey or India. That’s the fact. All the numbers and statistics in the world are not going to change that. I am sure if the truth were known in Pakistan the numbers would be very high also!

    That doesn’t make Pakistan a “bad” country, just a country with a lot of poverty and less political freedom, etc. in other words a lot of problems. I think some Pakistanis have an inferiority complex and this is why they rant about the decadent West and Pakistan has to be as good or better in their eyes. It’s not a contest or even a fair comparison, every country populated by humans has problems. It’s just a matter of political and social development, that’s all. And that shows itself where treatment of the most helpless citizens is concerned!

  94. Lahori says:
    May 31st, 2007 10:23 am

    I am wondering what this discussion is trying to prove.

    Are teh two of you saying that if indeed a lot of women in the West are being harrassed then it is also OK to harass women in Pakistan?

  95. BelligerentPacifist says:
    May 30th, 2007 4:28 am

    Afatsheikh, I wonder how you manage to remember things that happened 6 (and not 5) years ago. I forget what I cooked for dinner by the time I have it.

    [quote comment="48696"]I don’t know how in such a ‘pissed-off’ mood you managed to bring romanticism in your prose. Very well expressed.

    I was once in an ethics class at a university in Karachi where our lady teacher, a feminist by many standards, used to argue very well on topics in her prescribed moral ethics text book. She covered all chapters except for one titled ‘Women as sex objects’.

    I didn’t know why she removed this chapter and added an outside chapter, was it the administration who supervise the course content or was it due to the boys in the class always enthusiastic about that particular chapter but I feel it was on that day when during a debate on some other topic, the teacher quite loudly asked the students: “Tum aurton ko kia samajhtay ho”, someone at the back replied quite loudly as well: “bachay paida karnay ki machine”. there was a pathetic laughter bursting in the left side benches while the right side benches were all silent, so was the teacher. the class ratio was about 40-25 boy-girls. That was five years ago…[/quote]

  96. May 30th, 2007 6:06 am

    [quote comment="49500"]Ah ahsan. Glad you are there. You mean being a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad and a house servant are two mutually exclusive social statuses. Should a house servant be less respectable than those claiming as direct descendants of Prophet Mohammad.(“I am sure that he would have done the same if she had been a house servant”). Apply this “law of necessity” on an otherwise complying alleged miscreant in the civilized world and you will end up in a hot soup yourself. As a victim of a civil misdemeanor herself in this case, what does she think of the questions raised here. As I said, I will like the author to fill in the “holes” in her otherwise interesting story.[/quote]

    These holes are left for questions to be asked and those questions will fill them up themselves. It did infuriate him that I, being Syed, which was an assumption, was put through this derogatory situation. I too wonder if he would be this mad if for example he knew my name was Aisha.

    Nonetheless look at the types of men here.

    The Pathan: Honor to him is to be guarded, by a) Keeping his own indoors and b) protecting other women outside

    The Colonel: A stage two of the Pathan, he would neither go far enough to protect a woman’s honor nor would be the kind to deny his own daughters an education, perhaps if the veil is an extension of char divaari

    The Plaza worker: The one who thinks women have a right to go out and work, and men have no right to consider that a ticket to peacock superiority over them, however, if someone does get out of hand its only natural.

    The ugly guy who talked me off: Women are passive, ought to be passive, what can she do anyway, let me play with the power equation, see what happens. This isn’t the Taroo lane on Liberty shopping complex where the lady will take off her healed shoe and smack me on the head, nor is she the kind where she can call her personal body guard on me. I’ll get a kick out of the flabbergasted faces that these working women make.

    His friend who got whopped: Women need to be kept in line, if my friend was displaying bad behavior on her expense, why make it such a big deal about harrasment? I’ll just scream down at her by getting really close so she can stop staring at me in the eye and actually have to look up. Altitude is key.

    The police man: The guys will be taught a lesson. I’ll put him behind bars long enough to keep an impact of his actions. The lady shouldn’t have to take trips to the thanna so I’ll ask the Colonel to draft the statement.

    The Onlookers: So what will it be, Star Plus or Haseena Moen.

    All societies will have all these types of men, the important thing is that those who are supposed to protect citizens from undue harassment do their job. In this case the policeman did more than his job. It makes me very hopeful about Pakistan.

    Things here do work out brilliantly sometimes, the satisfaction hence is greater. That said, patriarchy is institutionalized here and elsewhere, and it needs to fade.

    I can’t end without pointing out that the men we marry can make the difference between protection of a control freak or the strength of a master politician. My husband lets my relationship with my country come before my relationship with him.
    Our society mostly enforces a relationship override on the individual. Hence women are mothers, daughters, sisters or wives before they are citizens.

  97. ahsan says:
    May 30th, 2007 6:16 am

    [quote]The fact is this wife taking husband’s last name is a purely non-Muslim tradition. Rather, in Islam it is not recommended.[/quote]

    Ibrahim

    It will be more appropriate to say “non-Arab” in place of “non-Muslim”. Even the non-Muslim, Christians and Jews follow the tradition of identifying oneself with reference to one’s ascendanta or descedants. It has nothing to do with the religion of Islam. This geneologic system on naming already existed before Islam, so it can be called pre-Islmic. This Arab custom is not an obligation to non-Arab Muslims.
    Why do have to draw Islam in every disussion? Your floppy arguments do not become true with an unnecessary help of a true religion.

    Ahsan

  98. Akif Nizam says:
    May 30th, 2007 9:30 am

    Tina, I pretty much agree with everything you said.
    Jabir, refer to Tina’s post.

  99. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    May 30th, 2007 9:48 am

    Dear Ms. Aisha Sarwari: Thank you for the rejoinder (if I may say that). My questions and your comprehensive answers do complete the circle. It is articles like yours that will help us understand our society, the ridiculous lineage issue, patriarchal and tribal mindset, women’s rights and civil rights in general and so forth and so on. It is sad that Arab customs are considered as our religion and oppressive norms of Pakistan as our culture. Yasser stepped in to answer on your behalf even though it was not needed. You do just fine on your own. I have always known women to be smarter than men. My friend Hamadani married well. Hope to read more of your writings at ATP. Take care.

  100. Jabir Khan says:
    May 30th, 2007 10:02 am

    @Akif. People of Pakistan have a right to know what will happen to them if they follow this path. So let’s discuss what west is suffering as a result of its uncontroled liberty. As a wise man once said ‘an empty drum makes more noise than a filled one’. Most of the liberals make nothing but useless noise without realizing their own emptiness. Is it a liberal rule? The emptier you are, noisier you get?

  101. Akif Nizam says:
    May 30th, 2007 10:32 am

    Jabir, no one is advocating blindly following the West here; that’s the default accusation thrown around by the dinosaurs.

    The attempt is only to realize and acknowledge that a problem exists in our society to a larger extent than exists in most other societies, to discuss and explore the roots of the problem, and to suggest ideas that may better the situation. The solution doesn’t have to come from the West; there are a million possibilities that exists between Amsterdam and Waziristan.

  102. Jabir Khan says:
    May 30th, 2007 10:49 am

    @akif

    Anyone who has had any prolonged contact with the West will tell you that women feel safe here. Even two twelve old girls can take a trip of the entire Europe by themselves without any fear of harassment or intimidation.

    Really? First your own writing negates your last post. Second, the statistics suggest another realiy, that women in west have accepted their degraded postion (after going for the illusion of liberty) and now take the harrasment as something normal. Now do you want the same happening here? Illusion are very pleasing to some it seems.

  103. Saif says:
    May 30th, 2007 11:19 am

    Ibrahim,

    [quote]“… wouldn’t you agree that the whole of Islam could be seen as a wishlist!” [/quote]

    Yes, you have said it. It is a wish list. Consider:

    “All citizens have equal rights. Women have the same rights as men. There is no compulsion in religion. You are not allowed to hurt innocent citizens. Taking a life is the same as murder of whole humankind etc., etc.”

    Do you see any of the above being practiced in any of the Muslim societies? All these have remained wishes — nothing else.

  104. Akif Nizam says:
    May 30th, 2007 11:46 am

    Jabir, I said that several posts after you dragged up the wildly inaccurate statistics to make the point that we don’t have a problem, the West does.

    The point to consider here is that there is a huge difference between harassment in the West and in our society. The whole Western world is built around people pursuing their own partners. The line between courtship and harassment can easily be crossed and it’s often a matter of perspective as to which is which.

    The same cannot be said (by and large) for our society and therefore our problem needs to be thought about and addressed differently.

  105. Abdullah says:
    May 30th, 2007 1:43 pm

    I stand on my point,

    This discussion & article is absolutely irrelevant to the nation & Pakistan at current point time.. Let’s think & discuss about real issues rather to discuss non issues. The emerging of new hot issues in last couple of days

    1) Price Hike — Peoples are killing themselves
    2) CJ affidavit submission, what happened with him from March 9 to 13
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/world/asia/30pakistan.html
    3) Campaign of MQM against Imran Khan
    4) Arrival of Imam-e-Kaaba
    5) People are selling their kidney in Lahore
    6) Peshawar 19th bomb blast

    There is nothing new in this article, old ‘piti hui’ debate, ‘ghisay pitay’arguments. But at the end need a male pathan for help & for providing “lesson” to those young Lahories who were inspired with vulgar films, vulgar advertisement, sexy bill boards, indecent dances, fashion parades , skin tight costumes, western style dressing, sleeve less tops & unfortunately amongst in all events ‘women’ is present as a “Show piece’ on the name of women right. These people are supporters of Asma Jehangir who wants to dance & sing on the name of liberation, they are supporting women to run along with men in marathon race, who supported basant where rich women dance & other enjoys. Lusty men used women for their desires & encourage their so call liberty. Pls don’t blame on these two Lahori youth, first see what is going on, in the name of women rights

    Why Mrs. Aisha Sarwari didn’t write any single word about the current regime decision about extended working hours for working women problem, basically she is supporting liberal minded Mush by diverting the attention of people in “Irrelevant discussionâ€

  106. Ammar says:
    May 30th, 2007 1:46 pm

    I stand on my point,

    This discussion & article is absolutely irrelevant to the nation & Pakistan at current point time.. Let’s think & discuss about real issues rather to discuss non issues. The emerging of new hot issues in last couple of days

    1) Price Hike — Peoples are killing themselves
    2) CJ affidavit submission, what happened with him from March 9 to 13
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/world/asia/30pakistan.html
    3) Campaign of MQM against Imran Khan
    4) Arrival of Imam-e-Kaaba
    5) People are selling their kidney in Lahore
    6) Peshawar 19th bomb blast

    There is nothing new in this article, old ‘piti hui’ debate, ‘ghisay pitay’arguments. But at the end need a male pathan for help & for providing “lesson” to those young Lahories who were inspired with vulgar films, vulgar advertisement, sexy bill boards, indecent dances, fashion parades , skin tight costumes, western style dressing, sleeve less tops & unfortunately amongst in all events ‘women’ is present as a “Show piece’ on the name of women right. These people are supporters of Asma Jehangir who wants to dance & sing on the name of liberation, they are supporting women to run along with men in marathon race, who supported basant where rich women dance & other enjoys. Lusty men used women for their desires & encourage their so call liberty. Pls don’t blame on these two Lahori youth, first see what is going on, in the name of women rights

    Why Mrs. Aisha Sarwari didn’t write any single word about the current regime decision about extended working hours for working women problem, basically she is supporting liberal minded Mush by diverting the attention of people in “Irrelevant discussionâ€

  107. Ammar says:
    May 30th, 2007 1:51 pm

    Sorry, when I was trying to use my real ID Abdullah, I fail to load any thing but when i tried after change of name I m successful in posting here.

    So take it as Abdullah’s post

  108. Jabir Khan says:
    May 30th, 2007 1:51 pm

    @akif

    he same cannot be said (by and large) for our society and therefore our problem needs to be thought about and addressed differently.

    the whole problem is ghar ki murghi daal braabar. look at the daal again and maybe you will see the actuel chicken. but for that one has to shed the illusions (for him the reality), he has been indoctrinated to.

  109. Saif says:
    May 30th, 2007 2:05 pm

    Abdullah,

    Of the 6 points you have mentioned five have been or are being discussed in one way or the other on this blog. However, your point number 4 is really a non-event. The choudhries of Punjab are using this individual just as one would use a monkey to attract crowds and divert people’s attention from other pressing issues — that you have listed.

  110. Farrukh says:
    May 30th, 2007 2:15 pm

    Dear Abdullah. Just a very friendly question.

    You may be right in your list. If so, why spend time commenting on this one when you haev posts here on most of the other issues in your list. Specially now that this is an old post. Why keep coming back here. Why not add to those posts if you have any new points to make on those topics?

  111. Akif Nizam says:
    May 30th, 2007 2:39 pm

    Abdullah, the way I look at it is that this is an online community; people can talk about anything they want on a particular day. It doesn’t have to be the major headline of the day; if something gets people interested, they will opine about it. To ask the poster why she didn’t address some other issue is completely besides the point. She relayed a personal experience; if you get something out of it, stick around; if not, move on.

  112. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 31st, 2007 12:58 am

    [quote post="713"] I said that several posts after you dragged up the wildly inaccurate statistics to make the point that we don’t have a problem, t[/quote]

    Akif, saying only that “stats are wrong” and didn’t provide any proof to back your statment is immature enough that one consider your responds credible. If jabir’s stats are wrong then why dont you provide your own stats?

  113. May 31st, 2007 3:50 am

    Workplace harassment to be made punishable

    * Standing committee refers bill to NA

    By Zulfiqar Ghuman

    ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Affairs on Wednesday decided to make gender harassment at the workplace a punishable act leading to removal from service.

    The committee decided to include gender harassment at the workplace in the definition of ‘misconduct’ in Section 2 (b) of the Removal From Service (Special Powers) Ordinance, 2000 and recommended that the National Assembly pass the ordinance into law.

    The committee met at Parliament House with MNA Ahmed Raza Maneka in the chair to discuss seven bills. The NA referred these bills to the committee for consideration.

    According to a copy of the new amendment proposed by the committee, Section 2 (b) of the ordinance containing the definition of “misconductâ€

  114. YLH says:
    May 31st, 2007 5:44 am

    Aisha,

    FYI not all Syeds are Shia. Not all Shias are syeds.

    Hence you may have Syeds named Aisha…

  115. ayesha sajid says:
    May 31st, 2007 6:51 am

    Aisha much as this bill ammendment is wellcome , i fail to see how this may change the present scenario regarding the harressment of women in work places and otherwise.
    This is an epidemic that is spread all over our society.
    As an optimist i may think that a law may change the scene somewhat but as a realist i know that it will not make an iota of a change.

    This society only fears “dandda” and no law will work unless it is backed by sever punishment that is metted out there and then , not a case that languishes in courts for years.

    There is a law that says a red light on a signal means stop, most of us will only stop if there is a presence of a cop with a bike near that signal.
    ironic isisint it ?

  116. Akif Nizam says:
    May 31st, 2007 9:50 am

    “provide your own stats? ”

    Adnaan, I don’t need to. A careful read of Jabir’s statement would reveal that there is only one “official” number in there; that is, the number is complaints brought to EEOC each year. The rest are just wild guesses and surveys which can easily be manipulated to show the desired results. There is a whole industry of such pollsters who design the surveys around loaded questions, so they can statistically arrive at a pre-determined desired result.

    Now let’s get back to the official number: 15,000 complaints per year; that’s 15,000 cases out of a female workforce of roughly 70-80 million. That means that one out of every 5,000 women file complaints against their peers in the US. And that’s in a litigious, sexually open (relatively) society where lines are very fine most of the time between courtship and harassment.

  117. Jabir Khan says:
    May 31st, 2007 10:12 am

    @akif

    If you are so willing to accept ‘only’ official numbers then you must be ready to accept official pakistani numbers on women conditions? No? or as the custom here goes and take the route of dupilicity as usual. lol

    By the way did you read these stats in the link I gave? do they mean anything to you?

    A 2002 study of students in the 8th through the 11th grade by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) revealed that 83% of girls have been sexually harassed, and 78% of boys have been sexually harassed. [6]In their 2006 study on sexual harassment at colleges and universities, the AAUW reported that 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university, with 80% of the reported harassment being peer-to-peer. Fifty-one percent of male college students admit to sexually harassing someone in college, with 22% admitting to harassing someone often or occasionally.

  118. Jabir Khan says:
    May 31st, 2007 10:39 am

    @Lahori

    No.

    but the problem is some enlightened (darkened in my opinion) folks are trying to make the rest of the majority follow western culture. true or not? then that majority has a right to know what comes in the pakage as a whole. simple.

  119. tina says:
    May 31st, 2007 12:10 pm

    Lahori,

    People drag in the West because in their eyes this makes Pakistan better comparatively. Even though, in practical terms what they are saying is just an out and out falsehood, as anybody who is a woman and who has lived both in Pakistan and the West knows from her own experiences, provided she is not in purdah. In other words, people are using these stats and numbers for the purpose of lying, and they should hang their heads in shame.

    Some people here are very open about their desire to see women go back into purdah. Some in Pakistan have these days gone even further, they don’t just want purdah even–they want to bring back the haram, the separate women’s part of the house which the women can’t leave except at point of death, and men can’t enter. Lovely world they envision. As I said before, I would kill myself before I would face life in such imprisonment.

    I guess this is part of the “Pakistan at war with itself” that Adil speaks so eloquently about. Some perceive it as a choice between “following” the West or bringing back this maltreatment of women and the helpless as an authentic cultural identity (I hope not!). Others speak of bringing back some golden time in their own imaginations when Islam was “pure”, that is observed in a more true way than at present, and women were treated equally in medieval, tribal Arabia! I don’t believe such a time ever existed. However if Muslims want to make that a future reality that would be wonderful. But to do so they are going to have to get beyond this false choice of, it’s either the West or going back to medieval Islam. Is there nothing else? In the 21st century have we learned nothing and do we have no other choices? Really?

    The kind of thinking reflects a failure of imagination, which the rest of us don’t have to buy into.

  120. Sabahat says:
    May 31st, 2007 12:34 pm

    I salute your courage Miss Ayehsa Sarwari, I had earlier discussed with Adil about the possibility of writing an article on eve-teasing for ATP but I chickened out mainly because of the kind of responses I have seen above. Nothing, nothing, it seems can change the mentality of the men in our country. All attempts seem so futile and yet we as women have to soldier on. The only thing I feel I CAN do is to at least somehow influence my own son positively and hope that he turns out to be a decent human being.

    Having said that it is extremely heartening to see people like your husband YLH and a few others who seem to be so different from the stream, they give one renewed hope, faith and belief that decency still prevails in some corner of our country even if it is minute and almost invisible.

  121. Akif Nizam says:
    May 31st, 2007 2:48 pm

    …wow Jabir, you are really a stats person this week. I recall a couple of weeks ago when it didn’t serve your purpose, you were poohpoohing statistics and even threw out that hackneyed anecdote about the statistician who drowned in a lake which was only six inches deep on average.

    Anyways, back to the point, your argument is no different than that of a nomad in the Sahara who googles statistics from the US and concludes that since there are 50,000 deaths due to road accidents in US every year, a camel should be the transportation of choice for all. No thank you, I’m driving to work.

    You are mistaken in believing that I am advocating western values for all Pakistanis; I didn’t think that respecting women was a western value. I don’t want to draw comparisons with the West. We can acknowledge that a problem exists without doing a comparitive thesis every time.

  122. Jabir Khan says:
    May 31st, 2007 3:59 pm

    @akif You are mistaken here. And that was a popular joke that I quoted and was agaisnt liberals logic not agianst stats or maths. Seems humour is absent from your field of interest. No wonder *grin*. Google some humour sites and relax. Will ya?

    Now….

    The question posed was that you are trying to evade is: if only official stats are credible in your eyes (as your post suggests) then would you give same credence to Pakistani Official Stats. If you can not answer then there is no need to post a meter long something.

  123. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 31st, 2007 4:27 pm

    Akif,The matter of fact is west is brought[read dragged] in middle more by our desi westerners who always sing praises of West whether it’s education or social system, or secularism or HUman/women rights.They give example of West. Blog’s archieve could be helpful for newbies who recently jumped into middle. So if same West is being referred by jabir or by others then why it’s giving pain to those who spent their lives to serve westerners and consider west their heave on earth? Is it like Meetha meetha Hap hap,karwa karwa Thoo?

  124. Akif Nizam says:
    May 31st, 2007 5:01 pm

    Adnan, I have been visiting this site for about six months now and I have not seen one post where the West was brought into the discussion by someone with liberal views. Can you give an example ?

  125. Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar says:
    May 31st, 2007 5:32 pm

    So, is the point of the comparisons with the west to say that if you can harass women in the women and get away with it, it should be so in Pakistan as well? So, every time anyone points out a serious problem in Pakistan, if it’s worse in the west, then it’s not worth talking about?

    Btw, regardless of what the stats say, try going up to a girl in the west and try some Lahori chichorapan on her. You’ll soon find out how bad women have it in the west!

  126. June 1st, 2007 1:12 am

    Akif,why is it so hard to make a search?:). Check the comments given[quote comment="50340"]Adnan, I have been visiting this site for about six months now and I have not seen one post where the West was brought into the discussion by someone with liberal views. Can you give an example ?[/quote]

    Secularism? *grin*. Do I need to give some other example? :-). I wonder what have you been doing here for past six months?

  127. Akif Nizam says:
    June 1st, 2007 9:21 am

    Adnan, that was pretty much the response I expected. What a shock !

    And I did search, but to no avail.

    In any case, my intent is not to get into circuitous arguments but to express my appreciation for Ms. Sarwari’s story. The story is representative of ground realities and told with a great deal of perspective. And that’s all I have to say on this topic.

  128. June 2nd, 2007 4:20 pm

    Wow, so many comments, some of them asking why harrassment of women merits a post, or even a discussion. I thought it was a no-brainer: you simply don’t harrass women, and if someone does, there are penalties (not capital punishment, though).

    Also, I’m curious as to why the “West” is brought up here. True, I mentioned the West in my own comment, but only to point out that this type of “Eve teasing” happens everywhere; it’s not something exclusive to Pakistan. Unappropriate behavior is an illness that plagues all societies. But how did prohibiting harrassment become a “western” value?? And to deny that there is a problem, or to make excuses for this behavior is presumably “non Western?”

    I see nothing “western” or “liberal” about bringing this topic up and arguing for measures that curb and rectify this sort of behavior. It’s a matter of right and wrong, not “west” vs. “east” or “liberal” vs. “conservative.”

    Anyway, I am glad Aisha wrote this post.

  129. tina says:
    June 2nd, 2007 5:54 pm

    Really Desi I., don’t you know the answer to that? If you admit that eve teasing is a problem, worse yet if you rectify this problem and make the outdoors secure and hassle free for women, the women will realize they are safe on the streets and then they will do something terrible, like put down their spoons and leave the kitchen.

    On the other hand, if you refuse to admit any problem even when women relate their experiences personally, everything will stay the way it is and women will stay home rather than venture out and deal with the stares and being addressed by unwanted, unknown persons and even the groping and more serious assaults. And that maintains the status quo, which some people think is good (why I do not know).

    One way to say there is no problem is to shift the argument to another, unrelated issue, better yet to get it thoroughly tangled up in the whole east vs. west discussion. Very simple!

  130. June 2nd, 2007 7:12 pm

    I agree with you, Tina. It’a a way to deflect the attention to core of the problem: women get harrassed, it’s messed up, and it needs to stop.

    Some of the comments above are talking about statistics and what not. To be quite honest, I could care less. I have about three reports that quantify the problem. This is problematic because 1) there are countless cases that do not get counted and 2) to be frank, who cares? I understand that giving numbers is good, as it gives us a general sense of what is the state of these issues, and maybe we can implement strategies to change it, blah blah blah, but as far as I am concerned, no NGO driven/guided strategy is going to change the fundamental and basic problem: behavior and societal dynamics.

    And I might add that is a particular sort of behavior directed towards women is not 100% the product of a man’s imagination and beliefs. On numerous occassions, I’ve heard several daadis, maasis, mummies spew the most incredible crap about what a “good” girl/woman is supposed to behave like, dress like, look like. Their sons, brothers, grandsons, whatever, pick this up.

    There needs to be a change starting from the hearth. Both fathers and mothers need to teach their children- male and female- how to treat others.

  131. tina says:
    June 3rd, 2007 11:22 am

    That is true, but you must know that these women (mummies, etc.) are products of their environment, and even with the best of intentions they end up being part of the problem. It is very hard to think independently and to speak truth to power; on the other hand, it is easy to blame the helpless and say “if you just wouldn’t do that, others wouldn’t attack you”, as though the attackers carry none of the blame. Most of us, male or female, end up taking the easy route in the end :(

  132. June 3rd, 2007 2:57 pm

    Tina–

    Absolutely agree with you. What I was trying to point out was that I think education needs to start at home, with both the father AND mother teaching their daughters AND sons. Change needs to occur from the bottom up, in the societal and familial sense, which I think sets the stage for how you interact with others. Change also needs to come top down, with repurcussions for certain behaviors- ie molesting, harrassing, or hassling women.

    “Most of us, male or female, end up taking the easy route in the end”

    Not me. I set people straight. :)

  133. June 3rd, 2007 3:05 pm

    To ATP:

    I love this blog, and it is one of the blogs that I read daily (which says a lot, since I hardly have any time!).

    But one question, since we’re on the topic of women:

    That ATP blog picture is only of men, if I’m not mistaken….why? Surely there are pictures with women as well? There are several posts on this blog which have pics of women.

    Sure, it’s a symbolic gesture, but all too often women in public spaces in South Asian societies are absent from the collective imagination, even though we’re all over the place, public space included.

    Anyway, not to nitpick. I really like this blog.

  134. tina says:
    June 3rd, 2007 3:14 pm

    Desi, I think the picture you are referring to, today’s “header”, is of a protest gathering of lawyers rallying for the CJ; they are all in black suits…..there are women lawyers in Pakistan but no so many, and maybe none at this protest.

    The top photo does sometime rotate to a pic of a cute little girl…btw I really like most of those pics.

  135. June 4th, 2007 12:37 pm

    Oh, ok. Thanks for the clarification, Tina.

  136. June 7th, 2007 1:32 am

    Misbah:

    [quote comment="49515"]Rights of women is always a good indicator of social development. We need to think about this.[/quote]

    Hmmm… interesting, but I am not too sure about this.

    So first, I will ask: when you say “social development,” do you mean it in the World Bank sense (GDP/GNP, basically the value of goods)which is solely economic (and then tries to tell us that somehow, a high GDP/GNP equals a high rate of “democracy,” well-being, and so on)? Or do you mean in the human development index definition?

    If you mean it in the economic sense, then I’m not sure whether that directly corresponds to the rights of women, and more importantly, the equality of women IN PRACTICE.

    Take the US for example: technically, we have laws that guarantee equality. Yet women still make about 60 cents for every dollar that a man in her position makes. Furthermore, the rates of domestic abuse, sexual harrassment, and so on are frighteningly high. This is why I think it’s not always feasible to use socio-economic standing.

    In other words, having a high “social development” factor doesn’t really mean that the ladkha on the street (or elsewhere) won’t molest/harrass/etc you.

    ***

    For those of you who are interested in reading a report on “women’s status” in the world, check out the UN report:

    http://www.un-instraw.org/en/docs/SG/VAWStudy-Summary-EN.pdf

  137. tina says:
    June 7th, 2007 9:46 am

    Misbah is also partly right, however. Domestic abuse is a prosecutable crime in most developed countries, and so is sexual harrassment. The wage gap is real but what is it in Pakistan? Women are either not working for any pay or they are menials. There are a few exceptions, who stand out because of their rarity. This is the case in the West also, but it is more pronounced in poor countries generally.

    Desi I. is also partly right. In the case of Saudi Arabia we have a very rich country, devloped in the technical sense, which has a dismal record of upholding women’s rights.

    However it is only in the second half of the last century that we have even been having the discussion. So overall I feel the situation is hopeful.

    If Pakistan really takes up the cause of women and seriously works to assure their advancement, Pakistan will reap many rewards from this generally. Malaysia is possibly a good model. It has provided education for girls and encouraged them to enter the workforce on all levels, and the benefits have been enormous. Of course progress has not been perfect there, but it has been very encouraging. They don’t get weighted down with the whole burqa argument either, yet the dress of Malaysian women would not offend any Muslim. So there are many possibilities if only we would look around us.

  138. Akif Nizam says:
    June 7th, 2007 4:40 pm

    ” The wage gap is real ”

    sorry, it’s kind of off topic but the concept of the wage gap in the US is utter nonsense. It’s another one of those statistical illusion thrown around by special interest groups. I have about 900 employees working in my company; I can’t even imagine offering a woman less money for the same job that a man does. It’s against the law !

  139. tina says:
    June 7th, 2007 8:46 pm

    yes, but Akif, women work at the lower levels and in low paying jobs, and they are more apt to do this because they need to work part time for many years (because they still have child care to worry about) and hence cannot move higher. Other than that your point is well taken.

  140. abdulhai says:
    June 7th, 2007 9:43 pm

    I have lived in the West for 2/3rd of my life (40 years). I have not met one Pakitani woman in these 40 years who wanted to go back to Pakistan. At least 50 percent of the husbands had a desire to move back to Pakistan. This is inspite of the fact that they could have all kinds of Naukar Chowker in Pakistan and here in the West they have to work hard. This in itself tells me how difficult it is for woman to live in Pakistan. Of course there may be exceptions.

  141. Tanya says:
    July 29th, 2007 10:38 pm

    I just read Aisha Sarwari’s post “Being a woman in Pakistan” and while I can empathize with her completely, I want to know how many people think that sexism and mistreatment of women is a Pakistani problem. Let me tell you that it is by no means a Pakistani/ Islamic World/Third World problem. I’m studying in university in Canada and I feel that there is more sexism here than in Pakistan. Atleast in Pakistan people are open about this and we can treat it as a problem. Here it is camouflaged by a desire to be right and politically correct. So a lot of people will not come right out and say it, but they feel very strongly that women are inferior. Furthermore, atleast women have an amount of respect back in Pakistan. Men will stand up and offer you their seats and there will be a seperate “Ladies Queue”. In the west women are treated equally where all that stuff is concerned but unequally when it comes to more important stuff such as intelligence, jobs, important decisions or anything else that is important. The way they talk, walk, their interests etc. are made fun off and these comments are just passed off as sexist jokes, but I feel that the problem is a tad more serious. I am not arguing that they are more sexist than us. They are definitely ahead of us in the sense that they are targetting this problem somewhat and are getting there–but by no means are they there yet. In some cases they may even be a little behind us.
    I just wish to clear this misconception that there is more sexism and mistreatment of women in Pakistan- its not a Pakistani problem. Its a world problem.

  142. BD says:
    July 30th, 2007 4:52 am

    @Tanya

    While elaborating on the treatment of women here, I’m not sure whether you were implying basic courtesy or chivalry.

    As far as chivalry is concerned, I believe it goes hand in hand with chauvinism.

    If you are OK with chivalry, with chauvinism, then I guess you’re OK with the word ‘weaker sex’.

    If you find this argument flawed, I would be more than eager to hear your perspective.

  143. Tanya says:
    July 30th, 2007 3:33 pm

    Well when someone offers you their seat I don’t think they are being chivalrous- I think they’re just being respectful. Its not that we’re the weaker sex and need to be given special treatment- I think its just out of courtesy. Its the same kind of respect that you show elders sometimes.
    and yes I think you are right in thinking that chivalry and chauvinism go hand in hand. But I don’t think that Pakistani males do anything out of chivalry.

  144. mazhar butt says:
    July 30th, 2007 3:48 pm

    @Aisha Sarwari
    Your problem is not linked to religion but lack of law and justice in the country. Without the rule of law and justice a woman would be weak in any place, be it America or Europe. So, don’t belittle yourself for being a woman, a working woman, and let’s pray for the rule of law and justice prevail—writ of government as seen is merely for self-satisfying needs and purpose.

  145. mazhar butt says:
    July 30th, 2007 6:50 pm

    Let me quote you an incident from my own personal experience about 2 years ago.

    I received a complaint from my lawyer daughter that someone in a car was trying to tease her as well as other women who waited on the mainroad for public transport carry them back home from office around 5.30 pm …location being the most busy road in front of Pakistan Institute of Chartered Accountants in Block 8 Kehkashan Clifton. Filled with anger and scared , she could hardly tell me precise details about the rascal except that he was aged man in an old model white car. What he would do was to follow women at the stop in his car, halt it in front of any woman or women waiting there, open up the left hand door of his car and waive her to get in. If the embarrassed
    prey would move away from one position to other he would too circle around her in his car ! Well, I got up to go to the scene next evening but my daughter told me not to she hoped that rascal won’t turn up the second time. But . to her regret, the scoundrel appeared again after 5 days to repeat his hooliganism. My daughter again forced me to let go as by the time I reached the spot which is about 6 km away from my house the scoundrel might have gone. Unfortunately, the scoundrel created the scene next day and when I came to know about it I immediately rushed towards the place along with my son,24. As i turned arond the 3 sword round about I saw a white Honda Civic 1984 model stalled on the mainroad right in front of the crowded bus stop with an about 60 year old man sitting on the driving seat, the left door of his car opened, and he waving and making gestures to some women awaiting transport at the stop. I stopped my car next to his in the middle of the road and straightaway rushed towards the scoundrel and started beating him on the face. I think I hit him about 40 to 50 times on his face so much so that he was stunned and couldnt drive away. In the meantime my son came in and put his hand inside the car to get his hands on the car keys.
    During this ‘breathing time’ the scoundrel pulled away and was gone ! I was angry at my son as I expected him to take him out and give him hard beating rather than go for the car keys. Any way , I did not see that pander in that area again.

    The most disheartening thing I noticed was that no one from the crowd intervened to find what the matter was. The nearby traffic policemen were also indifferent. Only, the women who were being tease offered me their thanks and commended me for meting out the right treatment to that scoundrel.
    I kept on vigilance in that area for 2 or 3 days but never saw that rogue again !

    Alas, I had to take direct approach as I had and have no hope of prevalence of law and justice in our country. Until it prevails ,,,,,,be ready to face everything in our beloved Pakistan !

  146. BD says:
    July 30th, 2007 10:12 pm

    Your problem is not linked to religion but lack of law and justice in the country. Without the rule of law and justice a woman would be weak in any place, be it America or Europe.

    @mazhar

    Exactly my thoughts. Eve teasing has gone up, particularly in northern part of south asia simply because the offenders go unpunished.

    Another angle to this is the associated social taboo. ‘Ghar ki izzat ghar ki aurton mein hain’ — this line makes it extremely difficult for female victims to report to the authorities. At least you should be thankful that you go to know about the incident, a lot of times that doesn’t happen, and the women suffer quietly.

    @Tanya

    I appreciate the clarification.
    I believe basic courtesy is a must for a healthy society. Basic courtesy irrespective of gender that is.

    I understand men and women are biologically different, and for the very same reasons their roles in society are somewhat different too.

    However I see no reason why a ticket counter should have separate queues for men and women. The only reason why we still have separate queues is not because of respect but because of the reasons mazhar outlined in the harrowing tale he narrated.

  147. mazhar butt says:
    July 30th, 2007 11:34 pm

    @BD

    thanks for your comments and understanding.
    True, the incident has no bearing with Religion,,,,,,it is the deplorable condition of Pakistani male mentality all over the country. Every third man in the country seems like a sex-starved animal. This situation is worse in Islamabad and other small cities of the country where any woman on the street is indiscriminately and ashamedly looked down as a ‘woman of easy virtue” and tried to be picked up by loafers in passing by cars. Even if you noted the registration number of the molester ‘s car and reported the case to police nothing would come out of it and, on the contrary, you would be placing yourself in greater trouble ! Unfortunately, most of the guys involved in such lechery are not young people but mostly 40+, educated and clean shaved ! Let’s not put all the blame on the poor ‘daarhi wallas”,,,,just because they have beards !

    The irony of our society is that when any woman is being molested in public hardly any bystander would step in to ‘save’ her or to drive the offender away. On the contrary, every body watches the unscrupulous scene with unashamed amusement as if the woman under victimization was at fault. So, what is required is reforms in our society through proper teaching and handling of crimes with honest administrative and judicial convictions.

    I don’t accept that women are as strong as men or they enjoy the same position, not to speak of rights, in society. In some cases, women do need rights equal to men but if they are given rights equal to men in general I am sure they will still end up in a meek and weaker gender unable to protect herself.
    Not trying to be very religious, I must say that God has made men and women for each other, men being their leaders but both of them are certainly NOT equal in their rights and DUTIES !

  148. Tanya says:
    July 31st, 2007 5:10 pm

    @ Mazhar Butt
    I do believe in the natural order of things and I agree that men and women have roles and men are stronger than women. But that does not make men “leaders” of women. For leadership we consider intelligence, not strength (unless you’re talking about the stone ages) and where that is concerned men and women are equal.
    Back to our discussion about what to do about male harassment: When I was in High school, a teacher once told me that in Dubai (atleast I think it was Dubai), to eliminate the problem of men staring at and harassing women, they passed a law that if any man stared at/harassed women he could be reported and his picture was put up in the news paper the next day. The embarrasment of that happening was enough to stop men from annoying women. We should do something like that.
    But then again knowing men in Pakistan, the fact that their picture was put in the newspaper would probably become a source of great amusement (and achievement)

  149. mazhar butt says:
    July 31st, 2007 6:25 pm

    @Tania
    ”’For leadership we consider intelligence, not strength (unless you

  150. Tanya says:
    July 31st, 2007 6:50 pm

    Yes but look at human history. In hunting and gathering societies men hunted and women gathered and yes at that time strength was the determining factor so men were leaders of women. But in our more civilized world of today, that doesn’t apply anymore. Yet men have continued to supress women because they have more strength and have kept them away from areas of education, work etc leading to more supression and the cycle continues. It is precisely that kind of mentality that leads men to think that staring down women is acceptable because they are “weaker”. Perhaps they are in terms of strength, which is not a determining factor anymore but they are not weak in terms of anything else. If they are uneducated and have not contributed to science, politics etc its because that kind of mentality has kept them out of those sectors.Since you claim to be very religious,let me quote a religious example. The women in Prophet’s life were extremely active in public life. Khadija had her own business and the Prophet worked for her (and thats how they met). At that time they were practising true Islam and women were given equal opportunity. That unfortunately is not true of our society today. You cannot keep women uneducated (not only in our country but in many developed countries women were not educated until recently) and then say that they have not contributed to anything. How can they contribute anything if men use their strength to supress their intelligence?
    Perhaps you read the Quran and see what it says about women. It says that “women were created of like nature as men” but men were “made protectors of women as one was given more strength than the other”. That is where the difference is- that men are stronger but that is it.

  151. mazhar butt says:
    July 31st, 2007 9:40 pm

    @ Tanya

    I sincerely respect your sentiments but again have to say a woman is NOT equal to a man in every field of life. They have to be looked after from cradle till grave, first by her parents and siblings, if any, then by her husband after she gets married and later ,as well
    as by her children. Nature has made men physically stronger than women but the comparison should not be restricted to muscle strenght- there is a lot more to it. for example, sometimes I think how weak a woman is that she can’t go out of the house alone at midnight ! As a father or a brother I do feel reluctant to take my female house hold for a ride after midnight–for it seems to me against our culture and thought s such as what would people think about me and the women folk makes me uncomfortable. The holy Quran wants men to be responsible for all the wordly needs of their women. Women are not required to toil to feed men but it’s vice versa. However, I dont mean to say that women are not allowed to work, they do when any expediency arises and that goes to the nobility of women. As for educated and professional women there is no bar to work in Islam. She can do whatever she likes but it her pursuit should correspond to her professional skill and must not create hindrance to her house hold. Well, this is my personal opinion. My wife never had to work just because she didnt need to although she was a director for namesake only in my company. This may sound funny but no-there is natural logic in it. Perchance if I had died earlier (she’s already become a star !) she would have inevitably taken over the company (with no more co-director being there). This also proves how much trust a man can put in his wife if she proved tto deserve that trust, which a man soon realizes after a short time together.

    And, BTW , who told you I am religious? “”"Since you claim to be very religious,let me quote a religious example “”"
    No, not at all. !I am but just a simple muslim , that’s all ! I am not a follower but a leader—a MAN ! lol

  152. BD says:
    July 31st, 2007 9:56 pm

    I see the discussion is gradually turning out into a generic male-female debate, rather than about pakistani women. But what the heck, some discussion is better than no discussion ;)

    Not trying to be very religious, I must say that God has made men and women for each other, men being their leaders but both of them are certainly NOT equal in their rights and DUTIES !

    @mazhar

    Well, religious or not, you are entitled to your beliefs and convictions (as long as you don’t enforce it on others).

    I’m not sure if biological differences between man and woman gives the man the right to leadership.

    As Tanya has already pointed out, society has evolved a lot from the stone ages, where the strength of a man was a crucial factor for food gathering, and thus sustenance of the family.

    In today’s society, brawls no longer matter. In fact, women are better poised to succeed since they are better multi-taskers, and are capable to demonstrate more emotional resilience than males. In fact social behavior of women make them more web 2.0 compatible ;)

    So, if you take out religion from the argument, I see no reason why a woman shouldn’t be given the leadership.

    aside:
    One thing that baffles me is that, if you see tribal societies in central and north-eastern south asia, almost all of them are matriarchal. Like in Arunachal Pradesh, the husband uses his wife’s surname, moves in to his wife’s house etc.

  153. July 31st, 2007 11:15 pm

    Unfortunately, this conversation seems also to have run its course. Comments that repeat (again and again) points that have already been made will be deleted. We encourage those wishing to post comments to read the comments already made (including by themselves) before they post. Unless there is something substantively new and relevant to be added, please resist the temptation to post just for the sake of posting. If you are not being convinced by someone’s repeating their argument again and again, it stands to reason that your repetitive comments will also not be successful in changing their minds. Readers are also encouraged to please read the post itself before commenting.

  154. KSS says:
    August 5th, 2007 4:23 pm

    As a Sri Lankan woman I can say that the problem is a very real one. Thank you for speaking out about it. But it not just a Pakistani problem. Certainly our whole region suffers from this.

    By the way, is it not time for a cricket post please!

  155. Ali Asif says:
    August 30th, 2007 1:47 am

    This is a bad way of degrading the army.By just saying Col, the actual subject has been side tracked and every body has started thinking that people in the army are irresponsible. Well instead of approaching the Col the lady should have taken pains to register an FIR against the culprits for harassing.It is easy to find faults in others rather than taking the correct course.

  156. Farzana says:
    November 7th, 2007 12:40 pm

    Asslaam Alaikum All readers

    I have go through some of the replies of this thread. I would say that these kind of encounters are not new in our society. I am agreed to the persons who think the media is a big part to bring the beast out of our men. What I see in the media is undoubtedly the reason behind our youth false doings. How often you see men abusing or saying bad words and doing some thing wrong on the streets to a woman who is completely covered or atleast observing a typical islamic outfit ?. I bet you coudn’t find one single case where men did these things to a woman or a girl who is in parda or burqa or wear a not so revealing dress. My teacher once said to me if you go outside revealing yourself , what you are saying to the boys is I am open come hit at me. I know this will ignite some of our so called feminist readers here but the divine truth is that if a woman leave the house (a secure place for her), she have to be ready for these kind of things. Thats why our prophet (saw) said to women, if you realy need to go out , dressup in a way that men think you are not a person who they can do something wrong with it. Today’s idiot feminist are like more idiot feminists in west who are saying its up to us what we wear, what we reveal, just don’t abuse us. Main sirf yeh kehna chahti hoon kay agar khawateen achi tarah apnay ap ko chupa kar or islami iqdaar ko maddenazar rakhtay hoye bahar niklain to kisi awara admi ki majal nahi kay un ko abuse karsakay ya kamazkam aisay incident un aurton kay sath kam hotay hain jo pardar hoti hain. Ek typical male yehi dekhta hai kay agar aurat fashionable/modern hai to ho sakta hai kay woh badkirdar bhi ho.

  157. Dr. Haider says:
    January 15th, 2008 5:49 pm

    I think it is about time that all Pakistani women age50 and less should be given a stun gun/pepper spray on subsidized rates from the government. So that they don’t have to look at males to protect themselves from sexual harasment by other male. Take matters in your own hands.

  158. jalal says:
    April 9th, 2008 12:08 pm

    This is a sorry tale of every society – even the much touted free west where women are harassed by men. People say if real Islam comes to Pakistan, all ills will be quashed. But ever noticed “men of religion” stare women more than the others. Most of the working women are forced out of their economic poverty to work in an hostile environment.

    Perhaps it will take decades when men in streets will not care much about presence of women – but till then working women too should take care in their attire and apparel which sometimes is very intriguing.

  159. Mahrukh says:
    June 6th, 2008 7:57 am

    I know exactly how you feel everyday. Everyday, I walk home half way and then take the public bus. During my time from when I leave the office and till I reach home, I get harrassed so much that it actually hurts. Last week, I threw a big rock at a man sitting in his air-conditioned car signaling me while I was standing at the bus stop. And you wouldn’t believe that when I leave work I am wearing a BIG HUGE MASI CHADDAR that covers me from head to knees. So can I ask is it just because they know I’m a woman?
    I cry in my heart everyday and wish things could get better. I pray to Allah that nobody should have to feel this way.

    I’m glad you took some action, eventhough the men in this country will always remain the same.

  160. Tina says:
    June 6th, 2008 12:31 pm

    Farzana–read Mahrukh’s comment.

    Burqa is no protection.

    I wonder how it is that you think someone is an “idiot” for believing that it is wrong to abuse a woman regardless of her dress.

    No dress is an invitation to abuse. It is up to the man to leave the woman in peace.

    There is a project which collects pieces of clothing which women were wearing when they were sexually attacked and displays them. The point of this project is to show that most of the clothing items are modest and that sexual harrasment has nothing to do with what women wear.

    For that matter, most women are attacked by friends and family members in their own homes so even keeping pardah is no protection!

    If men want to attack women they will find some way to do it. It’s not the fault of women. Only the perpetrators can be held responsible.

    Farazana, I think you heart is in the right place but you need to educate yourself a bit. Most street harrassment of women is most severe in those societies where women show the least of themselves. The more we accept the role of guilt and shame and hiding, the more the men will accept that all women are “fair game” and treat them accordingly.

  161. AishaUK says:
    July 9th, 2008 6:18 pm

    Salaam ‘alaykum! I am a convert Muslim from Poland. As a Western Muslim, I would like to say that I really appreciate few things about my culture: rights of women, human rights, freedom of thought, freedom of choice and tolerance even if it is not so common in practise… I was 15 year old when I decided to be a Muslim because I believed it is true before I learned about it and I am happy to be a Muslim, as I learned later how many rights Islam gave to women and how shariah protects my rights… Unfortunately, I fell in love with a Pakistani and I got married… Then I learned about how the culture is considered religion – and I know very well how difficult is life for Pakistani wife…! Being a slave, belonging to a husband just as an item, not a human being – with everything I have; me and my belongings are considered my husband’s property! I have no rights, even no right for love, no spiritual or emotional needs, as he thinks, no right to speak, nothing! I cannot call anything mine, which is actually opposite to shariah… I can’t decide about myself at all, even about how I look like(even wearing hijab), even what I eat – he limits my food!, even other aspects of my life are husband’s wish-dominated! I have nothing to say… My life and death are depending strictly on him…! I only have to serve him 24 hours a day 7 days a week, completely and in all matters, his smallest wish must be fulfilled…! Directly! And I have no right to expect anything in return… He thinks that he does a big favour to me if he shows me little bit mercy! He behaves like a king and sultan and treats me like a slave, like his personal property… I love him, anyway. I am not able to leave him only because of bad values of his culture in which women specially wives are nothing and even want to be nothing, I know I can’t simply divorce him, because it would cause too much tension and pain for me, also for him, as he loves me, however he is following his culture, so does not know how to treat me well. I know it is not his fault, I am not able to change him completely. I tried, but I can only change his behaviour, even not fully – but I can’t change his way of thinking anyway… I can only act upon his wishes, I can live this life as he wants me to, I can be his property and I can behave like a Pakistani wife, but I can never agree with this in my mind! NEVER EVER. Inside, I will be always a Westerner, though I am also a Muslim, because I know well what real Islam is and how the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to treat his wives – and he was the best to his wives…! Thank you.

  162. Aisha says:
    July 10th, 2008 1:19 am

    Walikeum Salaam AishaUK:

    There is a saying that all 5 fingers are different as is the case with husbands as well. I am sorry to hear that your shohar is giving you so many problems. Sister, you are not his property and he will only treat you as such if you permit him too.

    Now, with that said…yes some/most Pakistanis believe that Pakistani Culture is Islamic. However, you are not forced to have the same state of mind or follow in Haraam practices…any “true” Muslim knows that the that Allah is the creator of the Quran and it supersedes all cultural practices. Whether people choose to abide by the Quran or not is up to them but they should fear judgement day. Cultural practices are often times anything but Islamic but still many people choose to follow culture instead of speaking up. Follow only Allah (SWT). As wives, we are not required to obey our husbands if they tell us to do haraam or unislamic things.

    My advice sister is to be patient with your husband. Do not lose your own identity but remember what it is to be a good Muslim and a good Muslim wife. I don’t know if you are praying 5 times a day or not but I can assure you that it can give you a sense of peace in your life and marriage. We are to love Allah (SWT) more than we love ourselves … and only then can we truly love our spouse and they love us. In life we must undergo many tests in order to increase our Imaan.

    If you are sunni then I would like to suggest that in addition to reading the Quran, take some time to study the Al Hadiths. Most born Sunni Muslims aren’t even familiar with them and while you can’t change your husband you can at least help to educate him Islamically. http://www.islamqa.com

    There are many “women only” Islamic groups on msn.com as well that you could join for support, ummrah with other Muslim women/wives and to increase your Islamic knowlede & Imaan, insha’allah. Ameen

  163. nauman says:
    July 10th, 2008 6:31 am

    I just want to say that Allah has told us in Quraan” woman should hide her beauty”.For men in Quraan Allah says that men should keep theire eyes down.When ever and where ever we follow our own Allah’s orders we will never ever face any kind of problem.Koi tau wajah thee jo Allah ne aurat ko pardai ka hukm dia.Agar libaas aurat k jism k khadd o khaal ko numayan kar raha hai tau wo mard hazrat jo apni nigahain neechi nahi rakhtai wo tau phir buhat kuch karain gai.Magar wo jo Allah se dartai hain aur nigahain neechi rakhtai hain un ko koi cheez bhee behoodgi pe nahi amada kar saktee.Behehal aurat agar chahai tau burai se burai aadmi se bhee apni izzat karwa saktee hai.

  164. Mocha says:
    September 17th, 2008 3:22 am

    Doing grunt work in office for a faceless corporation: Career oriented work.

    Taking care of house and your own kids: Menial work.

    What a joke, just look at relationships in west. Multiple partners, cheating, abandonment, single parents, STDs, violent kids, deteriorating family life, 24/7 work day, heavily indebted (house mortgage, college loan, credit card debt, no savings), kids raised by day cares to name a few.

  165. Ali says:
    January 5th, 2009 3:25 pm

    It is understandable that Pakistani men are chauvinists, but it will change only if whole nation becomes educated and civilised(I doubt that), and yeah one last thing, has anyone read comments of Nouman? Don’t know about you guys but I found them extremely funny

  166. Tahira Masood says:
    January 6th, 2009 9:14 am

    To Aisha sarwari:I am happy you did teach them a lesson. well done. May God Bless you.Amen

    I think the people who claim our society does not encourage this attitude should know that though not openly but indirectly and secretly it promotes this. Do not be shocked. Both men and women are to be blamed for this.
    when a girl who has been molested complains about it she is told to keep quiet or stay in, abandon the education, leave the job or the society will shun her. People will think evil about her conduct and modesty. Her marriage may be spoiled. If unmarried, marriage proposals may not show up. The consequences can be so sever that not only she but her other family members may suffer afterwards on the long run. Male member’s safety can be threatened, if involved. Her other sisters may not get Sharif matches for marriage as well.
    In fact this can make a girl’s and family’s life a total disaster.

    The men and boys who posses this behavior are in fact cowardice, sick, illiterate( though maybe educated but within them the light of knowledge has not reached their hearts ) , insane, conscious less worthless beings that should not be called human. Thus should be seriously dealt with.

    Everyevil should be taken by its roots. From the child hood mother’s should teach them to respect their sisters, cousins and other women in the society.
    Education should be a must for everyone and the respect for the gender difference should be taught in schools.
    Such boys or men should be given the punishment of community service for certain period of time + a crash course of educational lessons to teach them respect for the better half.
    There should be an easy to access organization where such girls can complain, anonymously.
    There should be certain laws for women too. By which she should not go out alone unless direly needed. And she should also observe modesty in her behavior,looks and dress.
    The men who respect and help women when molested or teased should be given some award of heroic act. It will encourage others too.
    I was raised in Punjab and lived for sometime in Karachi.
    Although I did not have a bad experience in this regard. But have surely observed this insane and hostile behavior of our country men. It is so annoying that one would wish to have on the spot passed a death verdict on such individuals .

    To Aisha in UK: I read your post and was ashamed to to see the behavior of my country man. But I am very happy that he chose a very good life partner even from the west. A person who has sen and witnessed the light of truth and embraced it wholely, who knows the meaning of true love can bring a real change.
    Since, regardless of difference in natures, you both do care and love each other. There is a strong beam of hope for a better understanding in future between both of you if you continued your efforts with love and patience. There is no power after God stronger then love.
    Every individual has some good qualities and weaknesses. No one is an angel. As long as sincerity and loyalty prevails good is sure to come.
    Wish you all the best sister.

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