Apart from political crisis, Pakistan is terribly trapped in social decline. Morals, ethics, and religion are something that work for individuals only when it is beneficial for them. The biggest morally and ethically painful part of our society is the maltreatment of women at the hands of their fathers, brothers, and husbands. Every day, we hear news of women being murdered in cold blood by somebody they trusted. In the case of Noor Muqaddam, it was her boyfriend; Qandeel Baluch, a social media sensation, was slaughtered by her brother, and the list goes on.
Many deem Pakistan to be unsafe for women, that it is no longer livable. From the continuous cat calling on roads, to getting harassed in public places, many women hoped the only way to escape this monstrosity is to move abroad.
But as they emigrate overseas, so does the toxic legacy of femicide. The news of a Pakistani American photographer being shot dead by husband, Raheel Ahmad, shows how easy it has become for alpha-males to take another human’s life.
Sania Khan was a 29 years old professional photographer. She was found dead in her condominium by police at 4:30 pm for a welfare check. In the next room they found the body of her husband, who had apparently taken his own life.
This case alone shows the gruesome reality women in our country have to live with. On her TikTok she shed light on how a woman going through divorce in South Asian families get no support, and instead is victim blamed. She is isolated for choosing her own well being over what the society wants.
Being a woman is hard in itself. Being in an abusive society that reeks of patriarchy, and promotes toxic masculinity and submissive feminine makes it impossible to survive. In a society where women are only treated as objects, and that too obedient ones, the one who tries to stand out is met with oppression, and in extreme cases death. Qandeel Baluch did not fit into the Pakistani Female spectrum. She was a dishonor to her family. Her brother took it upon herself to bring back that lost honor. And now, he walks free.
In the same way, no one knows what happened to the delinquents who harassed the TikToker at Minar-e-Pakistan. Are they still serving time, were they all caught? Instead of focusing on the real evil that walks freely in our society. Majority of the people began blaming Ayesha, the TikToker of being obscene. Her private videos went viral, she was harassed, and blamed for her fate.
Such kind of mindset begs the question. Are Pakistani women not safe any where in this world? Will the masculinity that is abounding in hatred towards independent, strong women follow them wherever they go? Is the only escape from a ruthless marriage, an emotionally damaging relationship, death? Or is being a female so horrible that the very idea of them leaving their spouses for a better life shakes the very fabric of our society?