Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Sindhifreedomfighter, Mar 26, 2013.
Pakistan Needs to 'Create a Scene' on Sexual Harassment
By Shehzad Ghias
November 10, 2014
The issue of sexual harassment is not local to any one region, country or place. Similarly, it is not exclusive to any single gender, class, or religion. Last month, we heard the story of a woman in Columbia University in New York carrying a mattress everywhere with her on campus to protest alleged rape. Last summer, James Madison Universityâ€™s decision to offer a light punishment to perpetrators of sexual assault received worldwide censure. Last week, a video of a woman in New York receiving hundreds of cat calls over a ten hour walk around the city went viral.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from the United States, Pakistanâ€™s Federal Ombudsman directed the leading university in the country, the Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS), to remove Abid Hussain Imam, a professor in the law department, after he was proven guilty of sexually harassing a student. This case highlights the notion that in Pakistan, university administrators and staff are not simply indifferent to sexual harassment on campus; they are often the perpetrators.
In a similar case last November, students of Punjab University protested against the vice chancellor of the university for supporting a teacher accused of sexual harassment. Additionally, over the summer, a story broke out of an assistant professor allegedly trying to molest a student in Quad-e-Azam University. These cases did not receive much public attention, and the news stories were forgotten quickly.
The stakes are higher this time. Abid Hussain Imam, the accused in the LUMS sexual harassment case, is an Ivy League graduate and LUMS is regarded as the most prestigious university in the country. Having personally been a part of the Law Department at LUMS and having served on the University Student Council and the Law Student Council, the news of sexual harassment on campus was not surprising at all. The university administration has had a surprisingly cavalier attitude about sexual harassment on campus. The students less so â€” this case led to a widespread online petition asking for the removal of the LUMS vice chancellor for tolerating sexual harassment on campus.
Numerous students on campus have suffered sexual harassment. The challenge in convicting the perpetrators is the reluctance of the aggrieved party to pursue legal action. They find the social stigma that comes with the public attention too much. As a result, they choose to suffer in silence, rather than be blamed for inciting the harassment. They refrain from creating a scene.
However, the decision of the survivor in this case to pursue a case with the Federal Ombudsman, despite being threatened by the university not to, could prove to be a watershed moment for Pakistan. The high profile nature of the case â€” partly due to the prestige of LUMS and the elite status of the professor â€” has sparked a larger conversation around the subject in the country.
Before this case, sexual harassment was a topic people were hesitant to discuss. Women in Pakistan were largely socialized into a gendered order forcing them to suffer in silence; women accepted that being sexually harassed is a part of life in Pakistan.
After the case, however, a movement titled â€œCreate A Sceneâ€ has started on social media, encouraging the sufferers of sexual harassment to not suffer in silence. The tag #ISaidNothing is generating a lot of buzz. The Facebook page of the movement has now shared numerous stories by women who kept silent about incidents of sexual assault for years. They thought it was better to suffer in silence than to create a scene. They thought creating a scene would bring disrepute to them and their families. The accused â€” instructors, family members, even religious clergymen â€” continued to live respectfully in society, while many of the sufferers internalized the victim shaming and lived in self-loathing.
In a country gripped by terrorism, sectarian violence and civil strife, the topic of sexual harassment has been a distant concern for many. The case at LUMS has allowed people to speak more freely about the subject. The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem. The stories of brave women having the courage to share their stories publicly have made the nation realize that, yes, there is a problem.
Blaming survivors for what they wear, where they choose to be, or for inciting sexual harassment is unacceptable. After the news of sexual harassment came out, LUMS was even attacked by conservatives for its liberal policies, some even going to the extent of questioning whether the university should have separate classrooms for boys and girls. One comment on the news read, â€œA Lion and a goat cannot drink from the same water.â€ Maybe, during the times of Zia-ul-Haqâ€™s Islamization or its immediate aftermath, this comment would have reflected the popular sentiment in Pakistan, but in Pakistan today, the tides are changing. A series of commenters criticized this individual for the use of this metaphor for sexual assaults.
The people of Pakistan are learning to have a conversation about sexual harassment. In a country with no sex education in schools and almost no public seminars on the topic of sexual harassment, the road to ridding society of this plague is not easy. However, slowly and surely, the stage is being set for Pakistan to â€œcreate a scene.â€
Shehzad Ghias studied law in Pakistan at LUMS. He is now pursuing his graduate studies in Theatre in New York City. He tweets at @Shehzad89.
Pakistan Needs to ‘Create a Scene’ on Sexual Harassment | The Diplomat
Well in my work place, which is govt. Owned place, have sexual harassment law enforce under a very senior lady officer. There has been some cases of sexual harassment in lums and culprit was punished. It's Pakistan we don,t go around in buses raping woman
Even if you did, there would be no punishment because 4 male witnesses are needed. Raping and going unpunished is a way of life in Pakistan.
One thing I dont understand is,.. If they need 4 witness who is honest and noble..why cant these 4 witness prevent the act of innocen woman getting raped. Are the noble men supposed
to be noble?
The rules itself is contradictory and against commonsense and bare minimum sense.
The moral of the story is " fanatism rules over commonsense..."
Did u even read the law ?
The law is there, But Islamic laws reign supreme to Pakistani laws.
I heard that Women are considered half witness in Pakistan, two women witness equal to one man
The idiots who did that crime in bus is in jail serving sentence. In India, we have laws and the laws are implemented when a case is registered. Well, In India a case gets registered too. THe laws are consistent irrespective of gender or class.
Really!!!! I did not know that. Since you guys know more than please quote me that
Top 10 Countries With Highest Rape Crime | List Top Tens
Indian woman paraded naked on donkey - BBC News
Lost your sense of direction dear? This thread is about Pakistan.
Yes by Indians who parade their women naked or rape them on bus.
Wow! Indians do that on Indian soil and you loose your sense of direction. Yes, possible, though you consider yourself a B. Arab but this sense of attachment shows that you have some Indian roots.
I am deeply emotional after hearing this from you. You are a good man, you go to drowse fire of neighbour's house even when your own house is under fire with your family within it.
You know, it's medically proven that, in most cases the sense of mis-direction is due to prolonged period of sticking one's head up his own ass [h].Hope it's not the case with you.
wow pork! men deserves NOBEL PRIZE, there is absolutely ZERO RAPE CASES in 5yrs,but why UK blames pakis are rap!ng their child in Ruthram and many places
According to the National Commission for the Status of Women (NCSW) and Amnesty International in Asia and the Pacific, 88% of the female prisoners are in jail as a direct consequence of the Hudood Ordinance on adultery fail to produce 4 PIOUS MUSLIM MEN (including both those awaiting trial and those convicted). According to statistics compiled by the Society for Advancement of Community Health Education and Training (SACHET) and Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) Team for Karachi Women Prison, in 2003-2004, 7000 women and children are languishing in 75 jails in extremely poor conditions
Hudood Ordinance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zero-conviction rate for rape: Senator proposes constitutional changes â€“ The Express Tribune
SunnahOnline.com - Why Two Women Witnesses?
http://books.google.co.in/books?id=...v=onepage&q=women witness in pakistan&f=false
You do same and even more... as a fact you are notoriously #1 in rapes... just that it never comes up in news.
Karachi is the Rape Capital of World.
100 women raped daily in Karachi, says police doctor | TopNews
Now shut your mouth and let's talk about status of women in Pakistan where it needs 4 males to prove a rape and women is considered half witness and this is a Islamic Law.
This is how Islam respect women by treating it as trash and keeping them like a PET in Burqa.
In your land a woman of the family will be raped as a punishment to the crime of the person from the same family !!
Separate names with a comma.