Pakistan T20 Win: Why Were Women Missing From The Street Celebrations?

The Pakistan T20 win has evoked massive positive reaction in the country that emerged victorious, but women were missing from street celebrations, thanks to patriarchal diktats.

Tanvi Akhauri
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Pakistan T20 Win
The Pakistan T20 win against India on Sunday lifted some hearts and broke others. On one side of the border, the mood was grim after a first-time T20 loss against the men in green. The neighbouring side, meanwhile, lit up. In Pakistan, visuals showed streets overflowing with people cheering the cricket victory. The sound of crackers and elated car honks resounded into the night air. The men were having a blast, it seemed. What about the women?

On social media, Pakistanis of all genders were making merry. Jubilatory tweets flooded the timeline. Women were sharing minute-to-minute updates of what this win meant to them. But the stark absence of Pakistani women from the revelry that took over the roads around midnight was hard to miss. The reason behind the gatherings in a lot of places being testosterone-fuelled wasn't hard to crack either.

Clocks hold the answer.

"Just want the world to know the women are happy too, we just aren't allowed to be out at this hour," a

Just want the world to know the women are happy too, we just aren't allowed to be out at this hour.

— Aimun (@bluemagicboxes) October 24, 2021 user pointed out.

All distinctions of men's wins and losses on the sports field are blurred when the state of women in both India and Pakistan are considered.  

In Pakistan, as in India, there are still many women struggling to fight against patriarchal impositions of regulations that limit their mobility and choices. Women don't move about so late at night, parents teach their daughters while their sons are out frolicking well after midnight. "Look how many men there are outside, it's not safe," women are told.

Ever wondered why it's never the other way round? Why men are never told to stay in just so women can venture out without fearing for their lives? In a bid to ensure safety, must the onus of protection be on the one attacked or the one who is a potential attacker be held to accountability?

This is not just a Pakistan story. Owing to the shared histories and social structure makeup of both countries on either side of the border, the thread of gender discrimination runs deep and common. Indian women could relate well to the plight of those Pakistani women who wished they could have celebrated as candidly and freely as their male counterparts.

"Don't worry, yahan bhi aisa hi hota..." one user wrote to the women of Pakistan. "The one thing that unites the both countries," another wrote. "Divided by borders, United by patriarchy," another tweet read.

Women's Safety Still A Far Dream In Pakistan

In recent months, Pakistan has seen a spate of disturbing cases that prove women's safety in the country is seriously jeopardised. In August this year, the world sat up to take notice of a Pakistani woman TikToker'ss alleged mass assault by a crowd of hundreds on the country's Independence Day. Soon after, a video emerged of women travelling in an open rickshaw allegedly being touched and kissed by men climbing into the vehicle. More here.

A report from Pakistan claims the country's media severely underreports cases of violence against women. For instance, in the last one year, only 938 out of 3721 such cases of aggression came to light.


Over in India, the T20 loss from the weekend saw an ugly regurgitation of sexist conversation blaming the spouses of men cricketers, most directly targeting captain Virat Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma. It happens every time India underperforms, so it was unfortunately only expected this time too. Trolls don't hesitate abusing cricketers' toddlers when faced with a loss, what would stop them from aiming misogyny at grown women?

What is a victory on the cricket pitch really worth if it devoids or derides a whole gender with its outcome? India and Pakistan both need to contemplate.

Views expressed are the author's own. 

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