#MeToo Movement

(Hina Khan, Karachi)

It would not be wrong to say that 2017 was the year of women. From Meryl Streep’s dumbfounding speech at the Golden Globes to the series of Harvey Weinstein harassment bombshells, the year was full of events that spearheaded the long due acknowledgement of the current standards in various industries and the struggle of women to have equality.

In fact, the Times magazine named the Silence Breakers the Person of the Year. But for the better part of the year, all these events were happening in the West. This is no news that women in the East perhaps face even bigger ordeal. Women’s rights violations are far worse in this part of the world.

The MeToo movement would only be successful if it represents women from all around the world and finally it is happening. Women here heard other women around the world speak their truths and have decided to follow suit. Social media in Pakistan is charging up with content on this matter and providing a voice louder than ever before.

The highlight so far was the groundbreaking Aurat March. On March 8th, hundreds of women took the roads to display their unity and solidarity with the women who face discrimination and abuse in many forms at school, work, and particularly at home. Social media, again, helped propel the event and it got bigger and bigger leading up to the actual day.

It would be an understatement to say that the Aurat March left a big impact. In a country like Pakistan, so many women showing up to such an event is no small feat. Quite interesting was the sentiment and the slogans that were seen during the walk. Some of them stirred a bit of controversy and an endless debate among opposite sides on social media.

Needless to say, the MeToo movement is taking Pakistan by storm and its taking its own unique twist here. Women are actually using the momentum of this movement to get their agenda forward and bring real issues to the table.

Just recently, the famous singer Meesha Shafi revealed harrowing information about alleged sexual assault by Ali Zafar. Was it not for the movement to be so instrumental in the past few months, it would be unthinkable of such news about a male singer who is loved and lauded across the country.

Here is hoping that the movement will pick up even more momentum and allow women to seek what has wrongly been kept away from them for many years, decades even.

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