While the world may be loping ahead, it seems that Pakistan has a long way to go when it comes to women’s rights. As if burning women in the name of honour, assaulting them on TV and insulting them in parliament wasn’t enough, some men have found other ways to harrass women. And it seems that by keeping quiet about it, we are aiding and abetting them.
A post by Girls at Dhabas, an initiative reclaiming public space for women, on Saturday, brought to light another shameful incident about the sexual harassment women face, even in the privacy of their own homes.
A woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, shared her traumatic experience of being blackmailed by a group of men in her own house at midnight. “Three guys in their early 20s were able to open my window and make videos of me changing my clothes. They slipped this note in and asked me to read it. I got pissed at their audacity because at first I thought it was them slipping their cell phone numbers to me, but upon their insistence, I opened and read this note. Once I had they demanded that I come outside right now and listen to what they had to say to me.”
Even living in a fully gated colony, Askari 1 apartments, did not prevent those men, in their early twenties, to try to sexually assault a girl.
“When I said no, they said it more forcefully ‘baahir nikal, tujhe batatay hain‘ at which point I absolutely lost it and stormed outside my room with my father to give them a f***ing piece of my mind. However, they ran away before I was able to catch them but I made sure that my whole colony woke up and heard what happened,” she added.
However, if she was expecting some sort of support from her neighbours, she was sadly let down. “The questions that followed were basically polite jabs at my character: why was her window open? Are you sure she’s not involved with one of the boys? As if any of that matters when somebody took videos of me in my room, without my consent and then had the audacity to try and blackmail me without any fear of consequence because they knew they could get away scot free and they have.”
“So when you all whine about the extremists in our government, the rapists roaming free, the level of sexual and physical abuse women face in their homes, know that it doesn’t come from a vacuum. The men doing these things are your sons, your brothers, your fathers and yourself,” she added.
The post has since gone viral with over 3000 likes and was shared over 2000 times since it was posted on Saturday.
Many commented on the post showing their support to the victim.
However, there were some who found plenty of excuse to hold the woman responsible for what she went through.