(Pak Destiny) Young Women have found another Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the ranks of PML-N and it is none else. It is Hamza Shahbaz Shabaz, son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Hamza lashed out at the young women participating in the PTI sit-in in Islamabad and talked about their “loose morals”. It is unfortunate that Hamza got the ‘anti-women’ tag following in the footsteps of Fazlur Rehman.
DAWN in its editorial also writes about this:
WOMEN young and old, some with heads bare and others covered, swaying to the music, singing, cheering or with eyes moist with emotion, the definitive female presence at the PTI and PAT protests in Islamabad has been quite remarkable, and life-affirming.
After all, this is a country where grotesque depredations against women to deprive them of their agency make regular headlines. Moreover, these women — particularly those who have arrived from other cities — have persevered through the daily discomforts and indignities that are inevitable in a society where the norms of public space are geared to men’s convenience. It was perhaps inevitable then, that the bogey of ‘vulgarity’, which is conveniently dredged up not only to shame women but also the men associated with them, would be repeatedly raised during the course of the protests by some of the august personalities that populate our political sphere.
Among those who have voiced their outrage that our culture is being ‘undermined’ by the women’s assertive visibility in the public domain and that ‘indecency’ is being promoted by those ‘dancing’ to music, are Hamza Sharif and, at the joint session of parliament currently under way, Maulana Fazlur Rehman as well as —surprisingly — Aftab Sherpao.
The topic has also agitated the minds of many a participant at television talk shows and generated debate on social media. It is extremely unfortunate that despite the political discourse having broadened considerably over the course of democracy taking root in Pakistan, a process in which the extent of women’s participation is an important marker of success, the urge to define their behavioural parameters in the political sphere remains as robust as ever.
It springs from the same mindset that prevents women from casting their vote in some parts of the country on the excuse of ‘cultural constraints’. Pakistan is not a homogenous society with a uniform culture, and the attempt to score political points through specious arguments suggesting otherwise is an affront to all women in the country. -Pak Destiny
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