May 18, 2022
What is Gender Harassment in Pakistan?

Photo Courtesy: fotografierende from Pexels

Gender Harassment in Pakistan, Public Places, Work Places, Family Gatherings

Gender Harassment in Pakistan

In the world of innovation, everything is changing; opinions, behaviors, perceptions, and standards. The harassment is not only limited to physical acts of misconduct but also includes verbal and visual misdeeds. The line has become finer with time. Sometimes we become victims by the wrongdoings of others, sometimes we become the harasser unintentionally and sometimes we choose to stay ignorant. Both males and females become the victim of gender harassment at some point in their life.

Gender Harassment In Public Places

A girl getting harassed by boysA class fellow of mine from the college shared her opinion stating that: “It is tough to be a girl in Pakistan. You have to be careful and vigilant all the time. You cannot roam alone, you cannot laugh freely, you cannot follow the latest fashion trends as it becomes the reason for harassment. The creepy gaze of roadside good-for-nothing boys makes your skin crawl. Just hearing their comments sends chills down your spine. Your dignity gets crippled when some random stranger from the crowd starts touching you inappropriately. It doesn’t end there, the real tormenting starts when everyone blames the girl for the incident. You get to hear the comments like: “She must have done something wrong that invited the culprits”, “Ohhh this was bound to happen as she wears such short clothes” or “She gets so frank with boys, she must have made the first move”. The male gender rarely gets the blame because they hold a superior position in the society, it is females’ duty to protect their esteem. The chauvinistic mindset of Pakistani society is toxic.”

Gender Harassment In Workplaces

Stressed ManOn the other hand, my cousin who is now working in some organization suggested that boys also get victimized by society. Often in public gatherings, a boy would get trolled because he does not fulfill the standard criteria of being handsome. “If you are short, you have a dark complexion or your hairline is getting receded, there is a fair chance that you get reminded of it again and again. In university, you don’t get good grades because the professor likes a particular girl. In the workplace, you don’t get a promotion because of some brown-nose. You get evaluated based on your paycheck. If you don’t earn well, you are not eligible to think of marrying a girl of a particular class. The societal pressure is overwhelming.” He added.

Gender Harassment In Family Gatherings

A girl shoutingA friend of mine who has quit studying believes that sometimes the enemy of a woman is the woman herself. You will be labeled characterless by the gossiping aunties if they see you talking to the opposite gender. You are a gem if you know all the household chores else you are a disappointment to the family. If you are 30 and not married, you become a burden. If your veil does not cover your hair properly, you are unethical. If you do not lower your gaze while talking to someone, you are shameless. From a very young age, we are groomed to be good wives. In family gatherings, the point of discussion would be who got married and who should marry to whom. They leave a very narrow window to follow the passions of the heart. Sometimes I get the feeling that they just want to repeat the actions that were once forced on them. She shared.

We are a generation of broken people. Everyone has their woes to iterate; ignored by society, hurt by own, wronged by many. Society is harsh, impenitent, and judgmental but one can make an impact by taking their thoughts, words, and actions into account. As a part of society, everyone has some obligation towards the betterment of society. The world would be a much better place if everyone becomes more considerate of other people’s feelings.

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