Pakistani women are sharing what they were wearing when they were harassed and we aren't surprised

Published 22 Jun, 2021 03:48pm

Images Staff

Women shouldn't have to relive their trauma because men don't realise rape has nothing to do with clothing.

Illustration by Marium Ali
Illustration by Marium Ali

Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent interview has brought something to our attention — the burden of molestation and harassment in Pakistan often falls on the victim and their clothes, not the harasser.

The premier said during his interview that women wearing "very few clothes" would have an impact on society and men. Pakistani women are now taking to Twitter to talk about what they were wearing when they were harassed and none of it constitutes "very little clothes".

These women have revisited their trauma all to explain the very obvious idea that rape has nothing to do with what the victim was wearing.

This woman was harassed while at the holiest place in Islam — the Holy Kaaba.

This woman was also wearing an ehram when she was harassed.

This woman wore an ehram and sunglasses and was harassed multiple times in Saudi Arabia.

It has happened many times to this woman and each time she has worn a chadar.

These women were fully covered by society's standards and still got harassed.

This woman was harassed as a six-year-old, wearing a dupatta with a copy of the Holy Quran in her hands.

Being four years old and wearing shalwar kameez didn't stop this woman from being harassed.

A headscarf and a full school uniform didn't help this woman either.

Unfortunately, we can all relate to this woman's experience.

There are very few women in Pakistan who can say they have not been harassed or touched or leered at by men and we all know it has nothing to do with the clothes they were wearing — it happens to women wearing burqas as often as it does to those wearing jeans.

Twitter has exploded with reactions to the prime minister's statements but women shouldn't have to relive their trauma to make a point. Harassment has nothing to do with your clothes and everything to do with absolving men of any responsibility for their actions.

We need fewer justifications for rape and harassment and more people willing to punish rapists and harassers. Pakistan deserves better.