Rape culture is not a phenomenon unique to Pakistan. It’s been a crime which has affected women across the globe. Yet, whenever I hear of a rape case surfacing in Pakistan — it literally hits home. For females as young as five years old to be raped and left to die is horrifying for anyone to hear let alone for families to endure.
A woman in Pakistan was gang-raped in front of her two kids. This fact is enough to send people to riot for justice. Yet, Pakistanis want to know what the woman was doing, where she was, why she was not accompanied by a male, to begin with. Why does any of this matter? Are we still as a society going to point a blaming finger on women? Is human morality truly dead?
In September of this year, a five-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan after going to the local shop to buy biscuits. Her rape and murder came just months after Pakistan’s Parliament passed a new law on child abuse.
Last month, videos of a Muslim cleric raping a child while the child recited Quran surfaced. In a country where individuals are murdered for speaking against religious sects and accused of blasphemy — it boggles my mind as to why this cleric is still alive.
In the first 60 days of 2020, there were as many as 73 cases of rape in Lahore. I share these statistics and cases of rape because I feel that a woman’s struggle to protect herself from the violence of men is never-ending. The response when women undergo such cruel crimes like rape is to tell them that they should have stayed home? That they should not travel at night? That if they do need to travel, travel with a man?
I wonder how long it will take for this to end. If it ever will. If the violence against women will warrant the attention of higher powers to do something about it. There is not a single country in the world that is not in dire need of systemic change when it comes to how women are treated. Misogyny is rooted in mindsets and the patriarchal system is carefully taught to boys around the world. Let the voices of these oppressed women be enough for us to say enough. Enough to the mistreatment, the rape, the assaults, the violence, the belittling, the hate. Enough is enough.