SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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.

Confirmed Cases: 21010

Reported Deaths: 355
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah484994
Washington304725
Marion288370
Umatilla225128
Clackamas152340
Malheur76814
Deschutes59610
Lane5793
Jackson4612
Yamhill45013
Lincoln4149
Union3942
Jefferson3554
Morrow3543
Polk31312
Linn27710
Klamath2012
Wasco1893
Hood River1840
Benton1696
Douglas1501
Josephine1142
Columbia940
Coos910
Clatsop850
Crook471
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman160
Curry150
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 554388

Reported Deaths: 10307
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2067784967
Riverside40452799
Orange39076720
San Bernardino35452502
San Diego31779586
Kern22626171
Fresno17031171
Alameda13213208
San Joaquin12303211
Santa Clara11475203
Sacramento10795161
Tulare10475196
Imperial9693244
Stanislaus9566161
Contra Costa9022138
Ventura814689
San Francisco743267
Santa Barbara670469
San Mateo6110120
Marin528779
Monterey521235
Merced501264
Kings445356
Solano402940
Sonoma343147
Madera230239
Placer218620
San Luis Obispo209315
Yolo169043
Santa Cruz12386
Butte10958
Napa104610
Sutter9217
El Dorado7291
San Benito7094
Lassen6380
Yuba5884
Shasta41810
Mendocino38010
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3221
Humboldt2824
Tehama2761
Lake2202
Amador1642
Mono1531
Tuolumne1522
Calaveras1471
Del Norte990
Siskiyou930
Inyo643
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 90°
Brookings
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 89°
Crater Lake
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 87°
Grants Pass
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 87°
Early week high heat
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events