close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
April 9, 2021

Rights activists demand apology from PM over ‘rape’ statement

Top Story

April 9, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Rights activists and civil society representatives gathered outside the National Press Club to protest against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement blaming “vulgarity” in society for rape and sexual violence.

The protestors criticised the prime minister for what they called “victim blaming” and called for an apology for the comment he made during a question and answer session with public when he was asked for suggesting solution to rising child abuse cases in the country.

The protestors were holding placards and banners inscribed with their demand for an apology and said that such statement would encourage rapists.

“It can be considered an opinion when a common person says such thing but if a prime minister makes such comment, it becomes a policy statement. We cannot ignore such statement which puts burden of such crimes on the way women dress up. It is a dangerous statement for women like us who work in offices, fields and factories,” said one protestor.

Talking to media, Tahira Abdullah said this outrage against the PM’s statement is because he was asked about rise in child abuse cases but in response, he started blaming rise in vulgarity and lack of ‘Pardah’ among women for such incidents. “If these are the reasons then why dead women, animals and children get raped in our society,” she asked.

She demanded the PM to take his words back and apologise form the nation.

Meanwhile, former secretary Women’s Parliamentary Caucus Shaista Pervaiz Malik, MNA, said Prime Minister Imran Khan needed to do some reality check and speak only after reviewing the bigger picture of our societal fabric.

In an open letter to the prime minister, she said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement linking women’s dress-up to sexual violence has sent ripples across the region. His statement has, unfortunately, perpetuated the existing negative mindset, instead of mitigating the issue. It justifies the vulnerability of women and girls instead of extending respect and protection to them,” added the statement.

“We, women, have most regrettably often found ourselves on the receiving end of the inherent double standards, prevailing ignorance, and myopic perceptions and myths that are deeply embedded within our society. All evil happenings in society are, as a result, tracked down and blamed on women being the root cause. This mindset has oozed out unequivocally as a glaring example from PM Imran Khan’s recent statement that speaks volumes for his own personal viewpoint regarding the issue.”

Shaista Malik advised the prime minister to “read this loud and clear that women and girls are vulnerable while within four walls as well as within full Purdah! They are the most vulnerable target for sexual violence, merely on the basis of their gender! Otherwise, how do you account for a four or six month old baby girl being molested, raped and murdered?”

Shaista Malik asked the premier that how could he ever forget that protection and security of all its citizens was one of the primary state responsibilities, and that he, as the head of the elected government, must perform his responsibility with due diligence.

The PM Office on Wednesday clarified that PM’s remarks had been taken out of context. “The prime minister said that strict anti-rape laws alone will not be able to stem the rise in sex crime. The whole society has to fight it together including lowering exposure to temptation,” said a statement issued by the office.