Pakistanis' Response To Politicians Making Sexist Remarks About Women Is Heartening But Will We Really Hold Them Accountable?

By Sana Lokhandwala | 3 May, 2018

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: 

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:

PTI Vice Chairman and former Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi also followed Khan’s lead.

Defence Minister and PML-N leader, Khurram Dastgir Khan also criticized the comments of his fellow party members:

Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, issued an official apology for the misogynistic remarks.  

Journalists like Asma Shirazi, Rabia Anum, and many others also expressed their disgust on the matter.

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.

People also urged the masses to stop voting for such leaders.

Some even pointed out how the female leadership of PML-N, especially Maryam Nawaz, had nothing to say on the matter. 

Some people wanted to impose a ban on these leaders. 

On a serious note, people are demanding for a strict action against these sexist leaders.

A press conference was held against the language used by political leaders. 

PTI will also protest in the National Assembly.

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.

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.


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