Are women’s short cloths really motivating men to rape? Well, this is what Pakistan’s Prime Minister claims when talking about the increasing cases of sexual violence in the country. So, let’s look upon the circumstances and discuss the authenticity of this statement.
Sexual Violence in Pakistan
Pakistan’s sexual violence reports depict an increasing number of cases every passing year. The 2019 Women, Peace and Security Index puts Pakistan on 164 out of 167 countries. It reflects the security of women in general. Moreover, the independent reports from United Nations claim that over 32 percent of women face sexual violence in the country. Again, over 40 per cent of married women have suffered from spousal abuse at some point in their life.
And this is not a new phenomenon. Pakistan women have faced violence for ages. The trend rose, especially, after the Zia regime. The Zia regime brought in strict Islamic laws in the country. These laws helped the local clerics to impose tough restrictions on women. However, the cultural barriers did exist from long ago. It meant that women were under the control of men and they could hardly report any violence.
Women’s Dresses in Pakistan
Generally, the Pakistani women dress quite moderately. Even those who are considered rape-able. The dressing of Pakistani women covers almost all their body parts. Moreover, women cover themselves with veil (which the Prime Minister Imran Khan referred to as ‘Chaddar’) in most of rural areas.
Similarly, the women in urban areas also dress moderately. One can hardly find a women wearing shorts in any public place across Pakistan. The women are fully dressed with their hands, feet and neck visible to the other person.
And even the young girls follow the same trend. There are women who wouldn’t wear jeans or tights in front of their families. So, calling out the women’s dressing as an opportunity of rape is nothing, but stupid.
The Rape Connection
The women are hardly able to afford mobility or other choices on their own. Yet, there is an increasing trend of sexual violence in these areas.
Further, the rapists are raping women, girls, boys, men without making any real choice of entity. They are more prone to raping the individual rather than just focusing women and girls.
So, we must understand the rape connection. It is not at all about the dressing choices of women. It is not about women’s choice at all, either.
Actually, it’s about the rapists and their apologists. It is about the fact that these men are unable to control their sanity. It’s about their inability to cohabitate with women. It’s about their inability to understand that the other person is a human being.
Justifying Rape Culture
One of the greatest crimes for the Pakistani society is justifying rapes. Unfortunately, one can find very educated people justifying rape culture. They simply put the blame on victim by quoting the dress code as the motivator for rape. They forget the the rapists also raping the children as well as dead women.
It’s more of a psychological problem. And the society is not ready to take the right course of action. Rather, the victim blaming is considered as a more justifiable recourse.
We need to ask them: Are women’s short cloths really motivating men to rape? Do they really think that standing on the wrong approach will save their own daughters from such a situation?