Islamabad: A calendar highlighting typical characters- responsible for restricting women’s active contribution in socio-economic activities by intimidating and harassing them- has been launched in Islamabad to create awareness among people.
Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA) – a group of organizations committed to curb sexual harassment at workplace- has produced the calendar.
The first of the cartoonised characters is ‘Tharki Baba’, which portrays men who like hugging and touching young girls ‘under the garb of being their older uncle.’
The second cartoon ‘Hocha Boss’ points towards women’s harassment at workplace, depicting bosses who persistently extend explicit invitations for sexual relations, and threaten to punish if their offers are rejected.
Another cartoon shows a man who harasses women by staring at them. Such ‘Ghuran Chattus’ can easily be found at public places like markets and bus stops. Not to forget ‘Cher Khan’- who is interested in getting physical- by touching, pushing or brushing against women in crowded places.
Another cartoon is about such teachers that blackmail female students for sexual favours. They also intimidate female teachers at times, and abuse their authority, giving a bad name to the respectable profession.
The calendar also boasts of ‘Khudai Thekedaar’- men who impose their own version of morality on everyone else, demanding that women cover their heads or lower their gaze. These men are the ones who throw acid in women``s faces to punish them for going outside the homes. They “actively support sexual harassment to show that the immoral women bring it on themselves.”
Another cartoon is about “Namurad mobaloil”- the guys who use cell phones as a tool to harass women by sending “anonymous text messages and vulgar poetry in the hope of making a connection.”
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr Fouzia Saeed, founding member of AASHA, said: “The current Government has shown commitment and support by passing legislation against sexual harassment making it a crime for the first time in the history of Pakistan.”
“This is a milestone in the social history of Pakistan that will not only legitimise access to the public and work spaces for women but will be a turning point in changing people’s mindset about the relationship of men and women,” she added.