Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s latest controversial remarks on sexual violence against women has led to an outpouring of furious comments on social media as netizens termed his comments as ‘victim-blaming’.
In an interview with Axios’ on HBO, Khan said: “If a woman is wearing very few clothes it will have an impact on the men unless they are robots. It’s common sense.”
“…I said the concept of ‘purdah’. Avoid temptation in society. We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs. It is a completely different society way of life here. So if you raise temptation in society to a point — all these young guys have nowhere to go — it has a consequence in the society,” he also said.
Reacting to the comments, journalist Gharidah Farooqi described her reaction to the premier’s words as “disgusted,” “appalled” and “outraged”, reported Dawn.
“Disgusted. Appalled. Outraged. Strongly condemnable. No, Mr PM Khan, women clothing is NOT responsible for temptation leading to rape/assault/violence. ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is victim-blaming and giving a pass to men. Don’t insult victims. Don’t justify rape as temptation,” she tweeted.
Another scribe, Shahmir Sanni, said: “What is most heinous about Imran Khan’s justifications for rape, is that nearly every woman that has been raped in Pakistan has worn what he would prescribe as modest clothing. This has nothing to do with clothes, but just another man trying to escape accountability. It is sick.”
Most of the Twitterati said that perhaps the premier does not understand the meaning of cultural imperialism.
One Twitter user also said that Khan’s remarks are a “public dangerous threat to the women of our country where they are informed that rape and assault is their own fault”.
“Just saw your interview, PM. Appalled by your views on crimes against women. Women are NOT responsible for their own rape, sexual harassment. Out of control men are. It is that simple. Ask your police to give you stats on how many women who were violated wore ‘too few’ clothes,” said journalist Abbas Nair.
Many people on social media also called Imran Khan a “rape apologist”, Dawn reported.
“Disappointing and frankly sickening to see PM Imran Khan repeat his victim blaming regarding reasons for sexual violence in Pakistan Men are not “robots”, he says. If they see women in skimpy clothes, they will get “tempted” and some will resort to rape Shameful!” commented legal advisor Reema Omer.
This comes two months after Imran Khan’s comments on sexual violence drew severe backlash, where he had said that the rise in such violence in Pakistan, particularly against children, was caused due to “fahashi” (vulgarity).
Official statistics in Pakistan have revealed that at least 11 rape incidents are reported in the country every day, with over 22,000 cases reported to the police in the last six years.
However, only 77 of the accused have been convicted which comprises 0.3 per cent of the total figure, reported Geo News.