TikToker Assault And Other Cases That Show Compromise Of Women’s Safety In Pakistan

women's violence in pakistan, pakistan tiktok assault, Recent Crimes Against Pakistani Women That Shook The Nation Aurat March 2021 ,Feminism in Pakistan
The recent Pakistan TikTok assault case that played out on August 14, the country’s Independence Day, has stood out as a stark reminder of the systemic patriarchal oppression that risks women’s safety the world over. This mindset apparently has a stronger foothold in South Asian countries where rapes, sexual assaults, abductions and harassment of women make daily headlines.

According to data presented by the central Ministry of Human Rights in Pakistan, gender-based violence in the country has declined 70 percent in the last three years. However, various reports outline on-ground realities where such violence continues unabated. In Sindh, for instance, a women’s helpline received 10000 complaints of rights abuse this year.

What compounds the severity of the situation is the rampant victim-blaming and shaming that occurs post harassment incidents in Pakistan, such as was seen in the TikTok mass assault case where the woman survivor was penalised by a section of people online over why she was out shooting videos.

That a population carries such ideologies perhaps finds some context in their premier Imran Khan’s speeches that have, on more than one occasion, correlated rising rapes to rising vulgarity – because, as he puts it, “men are not robots.

Here are five times Pakistan failed its women:

1. Pakistan TikTok assault case 

In an episode that shook not just Pakistan but the global community, a woman TikToker was molested and assaulted by a crowd of approximately 400 men on the country’s Independence Day last weekend, according to reports. A disturbing video went viral, showing her surrounded by a chaotic mob near Lahore’s historic Minar-e-Pakistan monument.

Her clothes were torn, she was flung into the air and was mass harassed, the content creator said about the incident. Latest reports suggest over 20 people were arrested in connection to the case, with the police having promised due action.

2. Women harassed on streets in viral video 

In the days following the Independence Day mass assault, another video surfaced from Pakistan online, this time showing a couple of women being catcalled, touched inappropriately and harassed by men on the streets.

The women, accompanied by a young child in a moving rickshaw, are seen trying to defend themselves from the attack, during which a man climbs onto the vehicle and allegedly kisses one of them, reports by Pakistan’s GeoTV claim. The two back-to-back incidents are being held up by Pakistani women as standing proofs of the patriarchal oppression rampant in the country.

3. Noor Mukadam’s brutal murder 

The cold-blooded murder of Noor Mukadam, a former Pakistani diplomat’s daughter, last month sparked worldwide outrage, leaving an entire community of women angered and on edge. 27-year-old Mukadam was brutally tortured, shot and decapitated after she turned down a proposal from the male accused, reports said.

The chilling incident occurred in the capital city of Islamabad, where Mukadam resided. During her final hours, she unsuccessfully attempted an escape from the accused’s house, where he had confined her. Besides the main accused, several others were arrested in the case following police investigation.

4. Silsila Alikhil abduction

Another case that caught international attention and included a sharp game of blame-shifting between countries, Silsila Alikhil’s abduction occurred last month in Islamabad. The daughter of an Afghan envoy, her temporary disappearance occurred amid escalating tensions in Afghanistan where the Taliban advanced to gain stronghold after the departure of US troops.

While Pakistani authorities accused India of masterminding the abduction, Indian and Afghan authorities raised concerns over Pakistan absolving itself. In a Facebook video detailing her account of what happened in the period that she was abducted, Alikhil later related how she was assaulted while coming home from the market and cast doubt on the way Pakistani investigation in the case was proceeding. More here.

5. Minor girl rapes continue unbounded 

Recent weeks have seen shocking, consecutive reports of minor girls’ rapes in Pakistan. Earlier this month, a minor girl was reportedly raped and tortured by the principal of a religious school in Rawalpindi. In similar incidents last month, a series of rapes against minor children in the city of Kasur – including a gangrape at yet another seminary – came to light.

Meanwhile, the rape of a 12-year-old girl was allegedly filmed when it occurred this month, with reports claiming an over two-week delay on part of the police in registering an FIR.

Image: Aurat March, Pakistan 

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