'The time for hashtags is over': Mehwish Hayat calls for action against gender-based violence

'The time for hashtags is over': Mehwish Hayat calls for action against gender-based violence

The actor's message comes in the wake of a number of sexual assaults and killings of women and children this month.
29 Jul, 2021

Actor Mehwish Hayat has called for action against gender-based violence and discrimination against women in Pakistan.

Hayat is one of many celebrities who have spoken out against women's oppression since the murders of Saima Jarwar, Quratulain Baloch and Noor Mukadam this month. She posted on Instagram Stories to relay her message to her followers.

"Time for hashtags and slogans is over," Hayat wrote. "We demand to know what the government is going to do to change the system. Sexual and gender violence and other forms of discrimination in a society cannot be eliminated without changing society itself!"

Hayat went on to write that it is "time for women to define our own narrative". She said, "We will not be bullied into silence. We will accept no one's definition of our lives, but our own. But men also have an important role to play in sending out the message that real men do not hurt or abuse their partners."

The actor highlighted that while laws concerning gender-based violence are there, there is a need to rigorously enforce them in a way that makes them "less traumatic for the victim".

"Everyone has the basic human right to live in safety, free from violence and abuse," she said.

"No one should live in fear," Hayat said. "It is simply not acceptable and cannot be ignored anymore. Apathy is not an option. Action has to be taken now! Before another victim becomes a hashtag."

Hayat's message came the same day a six-year-old girl's rape and murder was reported in Karachi's Korangi.


Chrís Dăn Jul 29, 2021 01:29pm
Why Ms.Hayat has chosen to ignore the very recent murder of an ordinary poor begger in Rawalpindi(during same days when Diplomatś daughter got murdered) The poor begger woman got murdered as well as her child too!!! Ms.Hayat does not consider that an ordinary poor begger womanś murder deserves her attention? If this is the attitude of our elite women- then I see no change in womenś plight in Pakistan in far or near future.
Riaz Uddin Jul 29, 2021 03:35pm
Resorting to violence is a heinous offence. Unfortunately it is deeply entrenched in our society. Our Law enforcement agencies employe violence in preliminary investigation in order to extract confession. On social media the masculine policemen are reported or shown applying physical force against female accused! Enough is enough, under these circumstances, Ms Mehwish courageous move to condemn violence against women must be applauded
SG Jul 29, 2021 03:56pm
Another keyboard warrior
Badtameez Kudi Jul 29, 2021 04:25pm
She also asked for actions through hashtags.
Ehsan Jul 29, 2021 06:52pm
Entertainment industry should start by stopping making shows and actors should stop acting in shows that beat women.
Laila Jul 29, 2021 06:54pm
To be honest we have talked enough. But we are also not willing to take to the streets in millions, which we could easily, if we really wanted to bring change. We need an Arab Spring in social terms. The change has to come from us. Not outside, not foreigners, its our battle yet we as a people and society are in deep denial, we mock and refuse support to women and men who protest for these basic rights claiming we already have these rights, and it's always western foreign agenda etc. In fact the general ignorance by people about out laws, liberties and social issues is baffling. Ask about celebrity and dramas, they can tell you everything. Ignorance and moral corruption run deep. Daughters are raised to be responsible but sons raised with no concept of self control or accountability. These gender double standards are part of the problem. So until we face reality and unite, men and women, nothing will change. The systematic and institionalized misogyny and patriarchy will continue.
Truth be told Jul 29, 2021 08:34pm
@Chrís Dăn Ms. Hayat is attempting to change a brutal sick murderer's case into a "me too" movement. She is right in pointing out that women in our society (and for that purpose all over the world) is at the receiving end but she wants to use the news to her agenda's advantage. Having a social media account doesn't dictate everyone to comment on everything. Sometimes it is okay to remain quiet.
Truth be told Jul 29, 2021 08:35pm
@Riaz Uddin happens everywhere in the world. Arab world does the same. Not sure about Europe but North America is similar.