Recently, there was an horrific gang rape in Lahore Pakistan, where a woman was attacked when her car broke down on a busy street. She was raped by numerous men in front of her children. A government official suggested it was partly the fault of the woman. The gang rape and the victim blaming sparked many protests in the streets. The women of Pakistan are demanding the government help them in combatting the increased incidents of rape in their country.
The government listened. President Arif Alvi passed an Anti-Rape Ordinence. It includes special courts to hear and deal with cases rapidly, possible chemical castration of repeat offenders, disclosure of victim’s name a punishable offence, and police and public officials face prison time if negligent in these cases.
This is an important development in the fight for women’s safety and freedom in Pakistan and around the world. It is of course important to pass strong legislation such as this new ordinence, but the batle against rape and harrasment also takes cultural change. Men must NOT RAPE; boys need to be taught at an early age that it is wrong.
Rape culture is everywhere in the world, in various degrees and manifestations. This includes the United States.
Women need to be treated with respect, women need to be safe, and women need to be free to move about in the world. Our bodies are not other people’s property.