Despite the Government of Pakistan provides legal protection for women against workplace harassment and ensure inheritance and through the Domestic Violence, Act women are further protected according to law against physical abuse. The women on roads are still not safe. The heinous crime that occurred on Motorway Lahore to Gujranwala where a woman was gang-raped in front of her children on the motorway in Lahore has proved a big slap on the face of our society. Laws passed for women’s rights in Pakistan 2019 are not enough. We want implementation. There has to be foolproof legislation and follow up on it.
First of all, please pause for a minute to really understand the magnitude of this incident. A woman was abused, violated, and raped in front of her three children in the middle of nowhere. When she asked for help at a hotline, she was told that there of no person designated for this issue so it’s out of their hands. The thought of this woman who was probably already frightened to death because she was on the highway with her three children. The thought of those three children who witnessed something so deeply sinister and vile. This incident is not a piece of news that can be extrapolated or debated. There is no other side, there is no justification, this is no explanation, there is no questioning of how it happened. These were four lives that were impacted beyond measure. It is our job to show some degree of decency and humanity before we speak.
Sorry State of Affairs
There are 2100 reported rape cases in the last 8 months. Usually, it is the حکمران that should be held accountable. It indicates one clear thing, the state has failed miserably in protecting its citizen, especially women. Shame shame.
CCPO Lahore Umer Sheikh is such a vile and empathy-less vermin. This CCPO failed his promotion exam and it is a political appointment. He states that the woman who was gang-raped in Punjab was raped because;
1. She didn’t check her petrol.
2. She was traveling late at night.
He needs a lesson in basic human ethics before he presents excuses for rapists. I’m fuming with rage. Current CCPO Lahore is the man Imran Khan chose over the now-removed IG, who personally went to see the “Prime Minister” to dissuade him to make Umer Sheikh the CCPO, but Imran Khan ignored the IG’s plight.. then Mr. Umer Sheikh shows his true colours!
This was not the land we fought for in 1947. This is not the land I want my children to be raised in. This land is not our pride anymore. I am an unproud Pakistani. And will remain unproud until justice is served. — An Overseas Pakistani in the UAE
These are the incidents that have been found out, come forward, and have been reported. For everyone one story that has come out, there so many others that never, ever will. Because the second a girl would even think of coming out with her story, she won’t be asked if she’s ok, she will be told that it was her stupidity to go out at that time to that place with/without that person wearing those clothes/makeup/perfume/shoes/hairstyle/jewelry/burqa. Her trauma will become nothing more than coffee-table gossip and a story to tell when you want to shame your own daughters into submission.
Women Help Center
While a lot of people are rightly criticizing and condemning the state agencies for this massive failure, still there is victim or survivor shaming around such incidents. In this pluralistic society, women are left to consider protection maneuvers. She is not a lollipop that would attract bees. She is a human being. These are extremely uncomfortable realities to face and conversations to have, it’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to ask for help. Being born a woman is not a silent agreement to carry the weight of the world all by yourself.
We need to start understanding how it’s these small jokes, ignoring these acts, and this news, supporting public figures by not speaking out against them, all of these are making us part of this disgusting culture. All these drops have made this deep dark ocean of danger for women in Pakistan.
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Actually, we want change happening but we don’t want to adopt those attributes which really lay a foundation for those changes. We are asking for “Riyasat e Madina” but we don’t want to adopt all of those qualities and social values. We want things in bits and pieces as per our need and will. I suggest all my female friends to find ways to protect themselves. I have compiled this effective list of equipment for that matter:
A. Knives: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the hand guard.
B. Alarms: Self-defense keychain alarms can make Loud sound to draw others attention even in a far distance (sometimes 200 m away), which can effectively scare attackers in danger and seek people around for help.
C. Sprays: The criminal cannot respond because the person would temporarily lose eyesight and become dazed.
D. Accessories: Very small accessories that you can easily put in your pocket to protect you and your family. These include but may not be limited to safety key chains, stun guns, or protective sleeves.
E. Books: Read self-defense books for all the actionable steps that could be taken.
Further barbarity is not the answer
I find the level of apology-ism, victim-blaming, and misogyny both baffling and depressing. The time to realize that enough is enough had come long ago, I am begging you to accept your responsibility and do your part now. I am begging you to stop finding a new excuse to shame girls when they speak for their basic fundamental human rights. I am begging you to stop asking girls to be complacent and decent when their entire life will be spent paying the price for the shortcomings of men. I am begging you to start having these conversations with your children and listen to them instead of getting uncomfortable, changing the subject, and never speaking about it again. Your children deserve better, your daughters deserve better. They deserve more than your shameful silence and casual conversation.
If you are a Muslim, surely you must realize that Islam was never the religion to keep silent about injustice, so why are you? Surely you must realize that Islam was the religion of knowledge and enlightenment so why are you ashamed of teaching your children about this? There’s a void of accountability, thus this is happening. We should hold responsible people accountable. I will be attending one such event Peace Protest For Motorway Rape
It’s by the common people for the common ones for the sake of humanity! It is a peaceful protest that is not organized/funded by any NGO.