Female journalists condemn Khawaja Asif’s misogynistic remarks

Khawaja Asif

ISLAMABAD: Female journalists have strongly condemned misogynistic remarks against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf women parliamentarians by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif during the joint session of Parliament on Tuesday.

“Depraved women should not lecture on chastity,” said Asif on the floor of the house. He said that the PTI chief was hiding behind female members of the party to avoid arrest.

“They [women of the PTI] are leftover ruins. They are leftover waste. [PTI’s] garbage is left over which needs to be cleaned,” Asif said.

Journalist and TV anchor Maria Memon, while speaking to Hum English, stated, “Khawaja Asif has a track record of making misogynistic remarks against women, and it is so unfortunate that we do not learn from our personal experiences when someone tries to correct us.”

Watch: Uproar in Parliament over Khawaja Asif’s statement

Maria went on to say that Asif should seek advice from the women in his family about making better choices of words when talking about women.

Talking about women politicians not condemning Asif’s remarks, Maria said, “Due to increased polarisation, politicians only condemn and endorse what suits their party’s political narrative.”

Maria continued by adding that we should keep our hopes realistic, and on whatever spectrum women are raising voices against the misogyny, we should appreciate it.

As long as there is some outrage from any quarter, I would take that as a silver lining.

TV anchor Absa Komal, while talking to Hum English, said that “It is a very sad day for the parliament and democracy.

She went on to say that “she felt really sorry for female politicians because they are an easy target.”

“Considering the fact that Khawaja Asif’s wife and niece are also members of the National Assembly, he still thinks that women cannot go with their political party’s policies and represent those policies in parliament, and if they did it, they will have to face misogynistic remarks.”

While referring to Khawaja Asif’s 2016 sexist remarks against former PTI leader Shireen Mazari, Absa Komal said that “when he (Asif) faced backlash on his comments, we expected that he would not repeat the same mistake, but unfortunately, these things keep happening because the women in political parties did not take a stand against their own party members.”

Moreover, while referring to misogynistic remarks of the PTI chief, she said, “if female PTI leaders had taken a stand, today we would have seen a different kind of pressure on the PML-N.”

All women need to unite on the form of discrimination female politicians face based on their gender.

She suggested that since the PML-N is now dominated by female leaders, such as the vice president of the party, Maryam Nawaz, she believes that Maryam Nawaz should take action against Asif for his repeated misogynistic remarks.

“Such comments demoralize the women who want to come into politics and shatter their confidence,” she added.

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