Celebrity Pakistani women add voices to #MeToo movement

Three prominent Pakistani women have added their voices to the #MeToo movement in the wake of the rape and murder of ...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 9:42 AM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 9:42 AM

Three prominent Pakistani women have added their voices to the #MeToo movement in the wake of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in a city in the east of the country last week.

Model and event manager Frieha Altaf, actress Nadia Jamil and fashion designer Maheen Khan all spoke of their experiences with childhood sexual abuse on social media, adding the #MeToo hashtag.

Three high-profile Pakistani women have tweeted about their experiences with sexual abuse

The rare public acknowledgment comes as Pakistan comes to grips with a brutal child rape and murder

The topics of rape and sexual abuse, so rarely discussed in Pakistan, have been dragged to the foreground of the national conversation in recent weeks, with the rape and murder of Zaina Ansari at the hands of a suspected serial killer

Her death caused angry street demonstrations in her hometown of Kasul and in the state capital Lahore, and forced a lens on the taboo subject in the often conservative South Asian nation.

In a post on Twitter, actress Nadia Jamil, who now in her forties and lives in England, spoke of a number of instances of abuse, seemingly across an extended period of time, beginning when she was just four years old.

"When I sexually abused it (was) by my Kari Sahab, my Driver & then by a highly educated elite families son. Now a happily married business man in London. It's across the board. Men abuse across the board. My family still wants me to stay silent. But the shame IS NOT MINE! Never ever," she wrote.

A Kari Sahab is a Quranic teacher.

Jamil's decision to share her painful experiences online helped inspire model Frieha Altaf to do the same. Speaking to CNN, Altaf said she decided to take the issue to social media after seeing Jamil's post.

Altaf said her childhood experience was "something that I didn't even know you had to talk about. It was only at 34 that I took stock of it."

In a post on Twitter, Altaf said she was abused by her cook at the age of six.

"I was sexually abused by our cook at age 6. My parents took action but everyone remained silent as if it was my shame. At 34 I realised how it had impacted my life. the only shame is keeping SILENT," she wrote.

Meanwhile, Maheen Khan, one of Pakistan's most respected fashion designers, had called her friend Altaf to discuss her posts about Zaina, the murdered girl.

Altaf convinced her friend to post about her own experiences on Twitter -- she had previously discussed them on a closed Facebook group.

Posting with the hastag #MeToo, Khan said that she was also abused by a Maulvi, a religious cleric.

"The Maulvi who came to teach me the Quran abused me sexually. I froze in fear day after day. Share in support of children subjected to the sick acts... by so called custodians of our religion."

Silence through ignorance

Speaking to CNN, Altaf said that sexual abuse in the entertainment industry was common in Pakistan and as a woman she had faced harassment throughout her career.

Altaf said that she hoped her voice would encourage more people to come forward, adding that the issue did not only affect girls, but also many boys in the country.

She said that there were already signs that people were starting to confront the past. "Maheem (Khan) did it, then I've had all these people calling me. Even to tell one person is a big step. It makes you feel better, it starts from there. This is what I've learned. Then you need to understand the impact of your life from it."

According to Altaf the problem lay with attitudes in the conservative country, where sex is considered such a taboo that it is never discussed.

"Social issues, anything to do with sex, its such a taboo. You don't talk about it at home, at school, with your friends, your husband. This is the country (in which) we live."

Khan said that it is women like her, and Altaf and Jamil, "who are strong enough to come out and speak" because most women aren't able to.

"What is disturbing is the silent acceptance of women," she says. "Our society has not taught us to deal with this competently."

Altaf and Khan say some men in positions of religious authority use the taboo and lack of education about sex to abuse their power, much like the sex scandals within the Catholic church.

"In Pakistan, who do you trust the most? Your family, then (religious leaders)," Altaf says.

"They take advantage of stigma in society. You have to teach your kids, but there's a problem with the taboo about it. (When I was young) I didn't know what sex was, I had no idea."

Khan says she's "cautiously optimistic" that this nascent movement can enact real change. "We have to seize this moment. This is not going to happen overnight.

"It has to start small and go slow. It will take decades to change this mindset."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
Medford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 66°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 66°
Grants Pass
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 66°
Klamath Falls
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 57°
Heating up on Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Tuesday, May 11th Evening Weather

Image

Tuesday, May 11 morning weather

Image

Monday, May 10th Evening Weather

Image

Monday, May 10 morning weather

Image

Sunday, May 9th Morning Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Evening Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Morning Weather

Image

Friday, May 7th Evening Weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Grants Pass SD

Image

Friday, May 7 morning weather