Karachi: Abuse of power comes as no surprise! Recently, some of the prominent names from the industry, have been accused of gross misconduct. Whether be it verbal, physical or sexual, men seem to take advantage of their power, position and prodigy.
Upon inquiring the women victims, the most common reason of their long standing silence is, the men involved, are the “Men in Power”, making it more difficult for them to step up and speak about it.
Earlier this week, a heartbreaking story surfaced where a girl floated her letter to be made public at a local event in Sindh – Lahooti Melo 2019. The letter was read out loud and
The more it is running out, the more people are looking for the name of the predator. The event organizers – Saif Samejo and Jami Noor took on the challenge to take up the case are fighting hard to get the serial predator by the neck while keeping it safe for the victims unveiling the true story.
The letter says,
Evidently, this is not the first case that has surfaced yet lingering on a verge to die out of negligence. Not too long ago, Patari made it to the headlines for the CEO Khalid Bajwa, who had to step down amidst controversial tweets about him abusing and assaulting women.
Unfortunately, the CEO reinstated without any clearance, but with the support of the company’s leadership, namely Mr Bajwa along with co-founders Faisal Sherjan and Humayun Haroon. They collectively violated the company’s governance, undermined ongoing projects, and threatened the roles of the company’s management. In response, many of the
The argument is still hanging in the air, casting the horrendous display of power, how the alleged CEO Bajwa got reinstated without any formal clearance from the company’s core team members.
I’m really emotional right now. Every name you see on the statement is going through an emotional agony. We stopped working a month ago but it’s hitting right now. We cried together a month ago, we are crying right now at our homes. Patari meant so much to us> (@Fay_Alif) July 1, 2018
Another social media abuse was reported where a renowned industry leader asked the girl to send pictures so he could see whom he’s speaking with. Her response that her DP is clearly showing who she is, needs no exchange of pictures, turned the case into a mere misunderstanding. If so, why the girl was forced to take her status off by a politically influential personality?
Similarly, Khadija Siddiqi, a survivor of VAW had to go through the rounds of court hearings, irrespective of her case being transparent and proven with 23 injuries. Khadija shares, the first few things that women are afraid of are character assassination, career fall and victim shaming involved after going public.
Offering a solution, she said, “Women are speaking up but are not using the appropriate forum and the courts must set a precedent in such matters.”
“Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) can be used by victims to get justice,” Siddiqi further added.
It is not beyond comprehension that acts of sexual harassment are committed with such impunity that sexual predators are almost never held accountable. They not just remain far from accountability but are never even called out. If they are made public, power and position come in between.
Read: Why Women Don’t Speak?
These handfuls of incidents merely sound too big but they are, disgustedly cloaked in arrogance, lust and superiority. There are many that go untold, unnoticed or unchallenged. Who gave men the authority to execute ill and walk away with the crap loomed within?
It’s the victim shaming and lack of safe spaces in Pakistan that put women at stake while going public, especially the silence we collectively prevail. So, how can this be reconciled and how can the victims be given justice without infringing upon the rights of the alleged perpetrator?
The foremost solution is to turn the dynamic from victim-blaming to victim-believing and cut the shame attached to speaking up, causing impunity. The misuse of power must be challenged by women and men both because, today it is somebody else’s daughter, sister, mother or wife – tomorrow it could be yours and mine.
It’s time when we must define harassment as a societal crime and must stop looking at it through the lens of patriarchy.
#Metoo being very young and raw in Pakistan, women lack trust in the system and are reluctant to speak about the ugly harassment experiences they encounter in their everyday lives. It is you and I, who together can, make it strong and secured for our generations to come.
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