May 13, 2018
Following the harrowing rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab in Kasur, a city located south of Lahore (the provincial capital of Punjab), celebrities began using the #MeToo hashtag to talk about sexual assault faced by women in Pakistan.
Theatre and TV actor Nadia Jamil, former model and choreographer Frieha Altaf, and fashion designer Maheen Khan all took to Twitter to open up about their own childhood sexual abuse stories, encouraging others to come forward with theirs. Unfortunately, cases like Zainab’s are some of the only times when people can come forward with their own stories and help to shed light on deep-rooted issues.
However, a recent case involving sexual assault accusations against a beloved male celebrity has caused a backlash against his accuser, causing many to call into question the double standards placed on women who speak out against sexual violence.
Pakistan, as a country, is no stranger to sexual harassment — a situation that affects all genders. According to numbers by Sahil, a non-governmental organization that documents rape cases reported in daily newspapers, in 2017, a total of 3445 child abuse cases were reported in the newspapers in Pakistan and many of these have not been registered with the police yet.
What students in Pakistan says about Harassment#MeToo – BBCURDU
After Meesha Shafi levelled sexual harassment charge against Ali Zafar, more women have come out against Ali Zafar alleging sexual assault. Meanwhile, singer Momina Mustehsan has alleged harassment by men within the entertainment industry.