As if the constant threat of airstrikes were not enough to make a country dangerous, domestic cultural practices do their best to make life hell for women in Afghanistan. Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, an organization supporting women entrepreneurs, says, “Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women. In addition, women who do attempt to speak out or
Date29.12.2011 | 19:07
While some Pakistanis are enraged by model and actress Veena Malik’s semi-nude photo shoot for an Indian magazine, others feel the criticism is proof of double-standards in Pakistani society. Veena Malik poses semi-nude on the Indian FHM magazine cover wearing an ISI tattoo on her left shoulder. That is more than enough to enrage a large part of the Pakistani population.
The Pakistani Army’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is considered a holy cow in Pakistan but maligned in neighboring India for allegedly supporting militant Islamists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which New Delhi accuses of orchestrating several terrorist attacks. Western nations also claim the ISI backs the Taliban.
Malik told a private Pakistani news channel, Geo TV, that she wore the ISI tattoo in the shoot for fun. In her defense, Malik claims some of her photos in the popular Indian lifestyle magazine were morphed, however she does not deny doing “bold” shoots for the magazine. She recently
Date28.12.2011 | 23:23
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel on his famous female protagonist begins with the now popular quote: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Much of it is true for women – happy women are happy because they like who they are, regardless of being single, married or in a relationship. Unhappy women may be unhappy with their lonely lives as a singleton in Berlin, a partner in a troubled relationship in Bonn, a daughter in a big family with a million physical restrictions in a small town in India, a teenager suffering physical violence in Pakistan, a woman in Kashmir waiting for the curfew to get over so she can buy groceries. As cliché-ed as it may sound, suffering women across the world have a thousand problems they could list, which is precisely why we choose to address these issues specifically in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at womentalkonline.
South Asia is at a turning point. Modern-day life and rapid industrialization is taking its toll on old cultural practices and on the role of men and women. The challenge for women is enormous: they are more educated than ever before, they have aspirations, they want a life and a career. At the same time, religious and cultural restrictions are causing tension and forcing women to redefine their
Date28.12.2011 | 18:11
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Date27.12.2011 | 19:03
For many Pakistani women, talking about gender issues is not easy The Leadership for Environment and Development Pakistan has organized a workshop to promote gender equality and say that the involvement of men in gender discourse is crucial to end violence against women in Pakistan.
Noor Bano, a 16-year-old resident of Malangabad, a remote village in the Khairpur district of the Sindh province, believes that convincing men to treat women as equals is a Herculean task. Despite that, Bano is of the opinion that men should be involved in the
Date22.12.2011 | 21:09
Pakistan is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of women joining its workforce. But the country is grappling with physical, psychological and sexual harassment of women in the workplace.
Afsheen*, an air hostess with the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), recalls when she was selected to work with the airline company. She was briefed on how to keep passengers satisfied, but the introductory training did not include any clues on how to keep the pilots “happy.”
A few months later, the pilots called her and her colleagues to go to the cockpit. “They would touch us on the back and the chest intentionally, and pretend it was a mistake,” she remembers. Things got worse when pilots started demanding sexual favours during flights and on the ground, and managed to get some too.
Date20.12.2011 | 15:02
Wearing a headscarf is a personal decision for many Muslim women, but where does one draw the line between being forced to follow a tradition and asserting one’s own identity?
“There are so many gays, for example, and people tell them that they should be more open about their feelings, but if someone comes along and says ‘we want to show our religion,’ everybody is against it.” This is Sarah Benkhera’s answer to a question about the ban on headscarves imposed in France and some other European countries a few years ago. She is a German of Algerian origin and wears a “khimar”, a kind of cloak that covers her head and goes all the way down to her waist.
Sarah is accompanied by her friends, women in their early twenties, who are dressed in ordinary jeans and pullovers, in stark contrast to Sarah’s long black robes. They are quite
Date20.12.2011 | 0:53