Tuesday September 21, 2021

It’s a crime

August 02, 2021

This refers to the letter ‘Violence against women’ (July 31) by Dr Najeeb A Khan. The writer hopes that the prime minister will soon change his statement that women enjoy more respect in Pakistan than in the West keeping in view the ever-increasing number of cases of violence against women. One would like to point out another thing that was highlighted in the same interview where the PM clarified his statements on rape. Although a lot of people have celebrated the fact that the PM said that rapists are solely responsible for their actions, his words seemed hollow as he still used the word ‘provocative’. Such terms imply that victims are at fault. We need a two-pronged approach where people who are supposed to be role models, such as the PM, refrain from narratives that do not categorically describe violence against women as a crime. Second, we need to fix loopholes in our laws and the mindset of law enforcement personnel that further victimize women. We must treat women as victims of a crime instead of finding excuses about how they must have brought it on themselves. Let us uphold the sanctity of human dignity for women as well and not sacrifice justice at the altar of patriarchy, shielded by wealth and influence.

Mariam Khan

Lahore