Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leaders Rana Sanaullah, Tallal Chaudhry and Abid Sher Ali recently made sexist comments against female participants of a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) rally held in Lahore on Sunday. While speaking to reporters outside the Punjab Assembly yesterday, Punjab Law Minister, Sanaullah made inappropriate comments about the women who attended the PTI rally.
He said, “The women who attended the rally were not from honorable families because their dance moves implied where they had actually come from.” Here’s the video of the remarks made by Sanaullah:
On the other hand, Chaudhry, at a separate press conference, once said: “We don’t ask whose house you [Imran Khan] stay at when you visit London. It is another matter altogether what you do over there. When it comes to your wife, she remains veiled, but our mothers and sisters are for display?”
While addressing a public gathering on Sunday night, another PML-N leader, Abid Sher Ali also issued suggestive and lewd remarks against PTI’s Shireen Mazari.
He said that while protesting against Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s budget speech in the National Assembly, Mazari had asked him to keep a distance and not touch her. He then asked the crowd in Punjabi, “What is there to touch?”
Here’s a clip of what all he said:
State Minister @AbidSherAli hurling the most absurd, obnoxious, misognyst and lewd comments about her fellow parliamentarian @ShireenMazari1. This deserves a serious action from the parliament. I just fail to understand why and how can you not respect your female colleagues. pic.twitter.com/FjM2fF1J1Q
— Pansota (@Pansota1) April 30, 2018
The comments have sparked a backlash against the PML-N leaders and people all over the country are furious on these remarks. PTI Chief, Imran Khan took to Twitter to express his distaste with the remarks:
Disgusted by & strongly condemn the filthy language used by Rana Sanaullah & Abid Sher Ali against our PTI women. In the past 30 yrs these people have always disrespected women which is against our religion & culture. I want to thank our women for coming out in such huge numbers!
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 30, 2018
PTI Vice Chairman and former Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi also followed Khan’s lead.
I strongly condemn the disgraceful and disgusting statements of Rana Sanaullah & Abid Sher Ali against PTI women. The party is proud of it's women. They are the flag bearers of our movement and a source of inspiration for all of us.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) April 30, 2018
Defence Minister and PML-N leader, Khurram Dastgir Khan also criticized the comments of his fellow party members:
Disrespectful remarks about women are reprehensible, regardless of who utters them.
— Khurram Dastgir-Khan (@kdastgirkhan) May 1, 2018
Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, issued an official apology for the misogynistic remarks.
PMLN acknowledes and encourages the role of women in national politics. Any statement demeaning them is highly irresponsible. We have to maintain decency and element of respect in political discourse. I apologise for anti-women remarks made by some party leaders.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 1, 2018
Journalists like Asma Shirazi, Rabia Anum, and many others also expressed their disgust on the matter.
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) April 30, 2018
Will boycott interviewing Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sanaullah and all such misogynist creeps if they don’t publicly apologise. Enough is enough.
All female anchors/journos should boycott them. #RespectWomen
— Rabia Anum (@RabiaAnumm) April 30, 2018
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) April 30, 2018
@MaryamNSharif Being a woman will you take notice of the foul and offensive language used by Abid Sher Ali, Talal ch & Rana Sanaullah against women and tell them to apologise?? Vote ko izzat do, aurat bhi voter hai aur uss se barh k wo bhi insaan hai. Pehle aurat ko izzat do.
— Saadia Afzaal (@SaadiaAfzaal) April 30, 2018
Some people pointed out that the misogynist and sexist attitude is a result of the lack of female representation in politics and other positions of power.
This is what happens when you don't have enough women in your ranks, in your party cadre, in your workers. You have misogynists like #RanaSanaullah hating on women participating in political rallies.
Disagreement w/out hatred, w/out misogyny just not possible for some schmucks.
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) April 30, 2018
This is why more women need to be in decision-making positions in the media industry. Shut out such crass misogyny by both male and female politicians. https://t.co/sR1caQdW2T
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) May 1, 2018
People also urged the masses to stop voting for such leaders.
Shame on #RanaSanaUllah and #Abidsherali for abusing #shirinmazari. Hopefully people won't have to tolerate these low life, uncouth criminals anymore after the elections. Vote these criminals out people.
— Wasim Saqib (@wsaqib) April 30, 2018
Some even pointed out how the female leadership of PML-N, especially Maryam Nawaz, had nothing to say on the matter.
— Nadia Mirza (@nadia_a_mirza) May 1, 2018
— Zoya Anwer (@AnwerNaqvi) May 1, 2018
Some people wanted to impose a ban on these leaders.
— Dr Ayesha (@DrAyeshaNaveed) April 30, 2018
I guess there have been times when we have all felt the need to put a zipper on someones mouth. Well! Here is your opportunity! Starting a "Put a Zipper on this Mouth" campaign. My starting candidates are #AbidSherAli, #RanaSanaullah and #OryaMaqbool. #ZIPIT
— Maheen Taseer (@MaheenTaseer) May 1, 2018
On a serious note, people are demanding for a strict action against these sexist leaders.
We demand immediate action against #RanaSanaullah for the disrespect he has shown to mothers, daughters, sisters of Pakistan.
He owes a public apology to the women of Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/aSrpZKFUIi
— Dr. Nausheen (@DrNausheenPTI) May 2, 2018
A press conference was held against the language used by political leaders.
— Dr. Nausheen (@DrNausheenPTI) May 1, 2018
PTI will also protest in the National Assembly.
PTI will protest in National Assembly against the remarks of Rana Sanaullah about women and PMLN Minister Dr Tariq Fazal not willing to defend Rana Sanaullah pic.twitter.com/Cz1hQP4MG4
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) May 1, 2018
This is not the first time someone in power has made sexist remarks. Earlier this year, our Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar also got in trouble for these comments.
"Speech should be like a woman's skirt, it should not be too long that one loses the interest and neither too short that it doesn't cover the subject," this is the top judge of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar. #footinmouth pic.twitter.com/SWzq2uHaQj
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) January 20, 2018
Will our leaders ever learn to respect women? And will we stop putting such people in positions of power? Aap batayein. Let us know in the comments.
Shahzeb Khanzada Just Lectured General(R) Musharraf On His Extremely Sexist Remarks And That’s Absolutely Brilliant