#MeToo Movement in Pakistan

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#MeToo Movement in Pakistan

metoo movement in pakistan

MeToo Movement in Pakistan remained a hot potato for a few months in 2018 when women from film industry and other social sectors began sharing their alleged stories of sexual harassment by fellow male workers. As most of the complainants could not prove their case, so the movement gradually starts losing its ground and now no body in Pakistan talks about it but the issue is still a highly debatable topic in rest of the world where new cases are constantly reported from time to time.

Women Rights Issue in Pakistan

Before discussing in detail Me Too movement and its impacts in Pakistan, let’s first understand Who started Me Too Movement and Why?

Who Started The MeToo Movement?

Me Too Movement was started by an Afro American woman Tarana Burke but it got high public attention in 2017 when Alyssa Milano encouraged its spread by using a hash tag before it. In 2006 Tarana Burke after experiencing sexual violence began using the phrase “Me Too” to raise public awareness and to encourage sexually molested women to speak up publically. The movement however picked up momentum in 2017 when New York Times on October 5, 2017, published an article containing multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Problems With Me Too Movement

#MeToo Movement Pakistan

On 19th April 2018, Pakistan’s prominent pop singer Meesha Shafi accused fellow singer Ali Zafar for sexual molestation. In the beginning people supported her and asked her for taking legal steps against Ali Zafar but when she failed to prove her case public support for her case vanished gradually.

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The same year Pakistan’s famous comic actor Junaid Akram and prominent philanthropist Faisal Edhi, son of Abdul Sattar Edhi, were also accused for sexual harassment but again the complainants could not prove their case.

Feminist Movements in Pakistan

Causes Of Failure Of Me Too Movement in Pakistan

There are many reasons of the failure of Me Too Movement in Pakistan. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Problems With Me Too Movement:There are many inherent problems with Me Too Movement which should be solved first before its application in Pakistan.
  2. A Western Concept: There is no doubt that Me Too Movement is a western concept and people in Pakistan have been observed reluctant for most of the time towards western concept and culture.
  3. Demonstrated By Elite Class: In Pakistan Me Too Movement was launched and demonstrated by women of elite class who relatively enjoys more freedom and comforts as compared to other 95% women of the country. Sexual abuse is the real problem of these 95% women of the country.
  4. Personal Motives: Me Too Movement failed in Pakistan because of its possible use for personal motives by some women.

Impacts Of Me Too And Similar Movements in Pakistan

Most people in Pakistan believed that on one side if Me Too Movement is helping maltreated women to stand up and speak for their rights and sexual abuse on the other hand it is devastating our social fabrics as well. According to them such movements have destroyed social and family systems in west and now many liberal minded Pakistani feminists under the tag of Me Too are trying to destroy social culture and family system of Pakistani society. As per them movements such as Inkaar Karo launched by Angeline Malik and Shameless Proposals (a cartoon web series) by Sadia Jabbar are working on this propaganda but they must be kept in mind that such movement will not only destroy our social culture and family system but it will also push Pakistan backward as such movements cannot fit in our society. 

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