Model turned actor Nazish Jahangir recently opened up about her views on feminist movements in the country and it’s a doozy. In a recent interview, she said she does not believe the Aurat March has any positive impact on society and that such movements are the “reason” behind the surge in divorce rates.
On Nadir Ali’s podcast, Jahangir said, “I am not an orthodox feminist, l believe in equality, and I still confidently say that not all crying women are truthful. I am always standing with the right person whether it is a woman or a man.”
She explained how she still lives with the haunting memory of the professor who committed suicide after being accused of harassment. Adding that Noor Muqaddam’s innocent face evokes sheer horror within her, she said she wants the culprit to be rightfully punished.
However, she does not think Aurat March is a solution to any of these problems. “I don’t believe in these Aurat Marches. It’s not benefiting the women for whom we are fighting. They are not reaching the women they’re standing up for. Such poor women would be sitting in villages and making food while they chant slogans on the streets here. I think these fake feminist movements will never get you justice,” she said.
“I wonder who they are protesting for then. Are they protesting for us? Because our league knows everything about it. We know our rights and we know the value of equality. The ratio of khula has also increased after these marches,” Jahangir claimed. “I’m not asking women to bear cruelties or abuse. They can leave their houses if they like but at least give it a shot. Our parents are the biggest example of sacrificing and surviving relationships with patience and love,” she said.
Jahangir concluded by saying, “Now people are getting divorced within a month after marriage. That’s horrifying.”
There’s so much to unpack from her interview and we’ll start with her sweeping statements and generalisations about feminism and feminist movements. We’re glad she believes in equality but everything she said after that is troubling. Her generalisations overlook the diverse objectives and achievements of feminist movements across the world, reducing them to a single perspective. It’s important to respect all forms of feminism, including marches.
Jahangir’s argument, that the Aurat March hasn’t done anything, is also reductive. The Aurat March is a safe space for women to talk about their issues and come together to march for women’s rights. It doesn’t have to do anything. The women there march for themselves and women who cannot be there. What result does she expect from a march?
We also find her last statement about divorces and everyone’s favourite word when it comes to marriage — sacrifice — rather bizarre. Is there a set time period for which women should stay in bad marriages and suffer before they can get a divorce? Should we all suffer through bad marriages just because our mothers did? It is important to work on your marriages but sometimes, it’s just not working and it’s okay to get a divorce. Whether than happens in one month or one year or one decade is okay.
Her deduction that feminism and equality marches are the sole reason for the rise in divorce rates without providing concrete evidence or considering the complex factors involved also borders on ridiculous.
Like all of us, Jahangir is allowed to have her own opinions but it’s rather strange that she’s blaming divorce on feminism. You don’t have to support the Aurat March or feminism if you don’t want to, but bashing anyone or any movement without evidence is uncalled for.