Harassment is one of the ugliest evils to exist in the patriarchal society of Pakistan. Harassment comes in many forms. It could be verbal abuse, unneeded mental stress or torture, sexual harassment, jokes, and whatnot. However, things start to actually matter when the abused victim finally takes a stand against their oppressor. And that is what actually matters! A similar bizarre and rather an abrupt situation took place in Pakistan as well. A group of female journalists is stating that they have been a victim of cyber harassment by government officials.
However, the question remains poignant, what will Prime Minister Imran Khan do regarding the matter?
Provided being burdened by the actual major problems, that Pakistan’s economy is facing, another issue as harassment seems to make his role even more critical then it is.
According to a group of Pakistani female journalists they have become a target of ongoing online harassment from a number of government officials.
Joint statement:We the women in media in Pakistan demand that the government restrain its members from targeting women journalists.Together we stand against harassment & abuse to create a working environment without fear.#AttacksWontSilenceUs pic.twitter.com/Ca1bInNcQ5
— Munizae Jahangir (@MunizaeJahangir) August 12, 2020
Pakistan’s most famous female journalists sign joint statement
The statement was signed by journalists including Asma Shirazi, Nasim Zehra, Gharidah Farooqi, Amber Shamsi, Benazir Shah, Mehmal Sarfraz, Zebunnisa Burki, Alia Chughtai, Ayesha Bakhsh, Munizae Jahangir, Ramsha Jahangir, Alina Farooqi, Reem Khurshid, Najia Ashar and many more.
These female journalists claim that they are finally joining together to file a complaint against the matter of harassment by government officials. Simultaneously, other women are also coming forward regarding the cause to favor these women. It is essential to make one’s voice heard and acknowledge these issues. Harassment isn’t a joke.
Bullying anyone is wrong; irrespective of gender. In addition, PEMRA needs to introduce laws where journalists need to be responsible for the news being provided by them to masses. Strict punishment in terms of fines, penalties should be imposed. #AttacksWontSilenceUs
— Nouman Zafar (@nomitheone) August 12, 2020
Salute to brave women journalist
Incessant harrasement by the PTI trollers of women journalists must be put to halt #AttacksWontSilenceUs
— Fatima Suhail (@FatimaSuhail13) August 12, 2020
The Twitterati is going wild with all these allegations that are flying and requesting for strict action to be taken regarding the matter. In addition, some are even asking Minister Human Rights Shireen Mazari to speak up on the matter. Finally, we see a stand being taken on harassment. Well, at least its a start. We never know when things might get out of hand, like they do in most situations and Twitterati goes wild!
Condemnation by PTI leaders of abuse against women in media is great, but there needs to be acknowledgement of their own role in instigating such attacks
Much trolling happens after Govt reps accuse certain critical voices of “agendas” + being on payrolls#AttacksWontSilenceUs
— Reema Omer (@reema_omer) August 12, 2020
While many are condemning, some also put forward their view, that although those that have harassed must be condemned it is also important why such harassment cases are coming up or what riled or caused such issues to arise. For instance, isn’t it weird that all those female journalists are coming up with these allegations of harassment on the government officials; who magically have been also in favor of those political parties that are in opposition?
Have taken notice of threats to women journalists as chair of human rights committee. Would like to invite you all to come brief our committee on the issue. https://t.co/Yu8aF3nuEe
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) August 12, 2020
Federal Minister Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweets her response
Continuous tweets and on and off banter regarding the matter knocked on the door of Mazari. She immediately has taken notice of the matter and even tweeted about how this is completely inappropriate and unacceptable.
Have again requested Info Minister to assist in fast-tracking our Journalist Protection Bill, which is not only an urgent need in Pakistan but an obligation under our Constitution and international law.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) August 12, 2020
It seems that we might be getting a response on this bizarre matter real soon. In addition to that, let us hope that for once strict action is taken against the harassing parties. Perhaps, strict action and condemnation are the new and actual Naya Pakistan? Interestingly will PM take the right action in due time?
Perceptibly, we are still unsure of how the situation would shape up to be? Many cases of harassment were kept hidden under the rug in the past. All we can do is hope that this one shapes up to raise awareness. Hence, many other offenders and misogynists can never dare do such a thing ever again!
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