Mira Sethi and Ayesha Omar talk what it is to be a bold woman in Pakistan
Longtime acquaintances and former schoolmates Ayesha Omar and Mira Sethi got together for an interview for the latter's show Hello! Mira Sethi, where the formidable industry duo, draped in sarees, discussed the negative connotations with the word 'bold' and what it means in a desi society.
"For me, the word bold means self-sufficient," said host Sethi, as she asked the Karachi Se Lahore actor what she believes is the reason behind its problematic connotations.
"From what I see [...] observing the mindset growing up in Pakistan, women are expected to be subdued. They shouldn't be too outspoken, confident or feel self-assured. What we see in our content and even in our dramas — bold means you're brave, you're speaking your mind and that goes against that mindset. If a woman is bold, she is considered rebellious, going against the values, and is a bad example.
"So it's a stereotype and I would definitely want to be bold rather than scared," she added, revealing that after her father's death, she was raised by her mom.
"My mother had to be extremely hands on and self-sufficient, because she had to juggle finances, housework, career and children altogether," Omar said, adding that she is her biggest inspiration to date.
"Even till now, we've never had domestic help in my mother's house in Lahore. She thinks it's also a great way to stay in shape," she laughed, adding that she does everything herself too.
"My reflex action first thing in the morning is to make my own bed etc. It's been there in me since childhood, so even if I have domestic staff, I still do everything myself," she said.
Omar also said she was also a vivid supporter of women's rights having seen her own mother's situation growing up.
"When my father passed away, my mother was too traumatised to stand up for what shares were his from the business, and that's why we lost everything. She had no idea what to do, she couldn't fight with two small children, and that is why we had to move and start a new life."
"She was so young [...] she didn't fight for her rights. I think that stuck in my head," Omar said, saying that contributed to her being so vocal about women's rights today.
Salute to single mothers and more power to bold women, we say.