Pub­lic ha­rass­ment

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - RAHIMA TAUQEER

It was only yes­ter­day when a friend came to univer­sity un­usu­ally quiet. On in­quir­ing, she told me that she had been out walk­ing with her mother the other night when two men, on a bike, swooshed past her de­lib­er­ately touch­ing her. The ex­pe­ri­ence, she re­vealed, had left her ex­tremely sur­prised and dis­gusted. I re­alised how often such in­ci­dents oc­cur with the women in our so­ci­ety, de­spite the fact that they are mostly mod­estly dressed. How often do we hear men in­struct­ing women to dress prop­erly and talk slowly in pres­ence of men? Why is it that they con­sider women to be their prop­er­ties, which can be treated in just about any way they please?

As dis­con­cert­ing as this episode with my friend may be, I am choos­ing this mo­ment to speak for all the fe­males like her who often take it upon them­selves that they tempted the per­son into touch­ing them. It is high time men learn to re­spect women and not just the ones who are the fe­male mem­bers of their own fam­ily. Aware­ness pro­grammes should be launched by au­thor­i­ties to make them re­alise how wrong it is to dis­re­spect a woman in such way as that and that women are cer­tainly not pub­lic prop­erty. —Karachi

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