Pakistani MP harassed in Parliament, Social media fights for her
An MP from Sindh province, Nusrat Sahar Abbasi spoke of her anger after provincial minister Imdad Pitafi asked her to join him in his private chambers on the floor of the assembly on Friday
A Pakistani female MP threatened to self-immolate her after she was harassed by male colleagues in parliament, and the incident sparked huge uproar in Social media. Later she told media that the widely debated issue shows how laws to protect women are not being enforced.
An MP from Sindh province, Nusrat Sahar Abbasi spoke of her anger after provincial minister Imdad Pitafi asked her to join him in his private chambers on the floor of the assembly on Friday. In tradition, such comments are considered as lewd enough to take action.
According to AFP, Abbasi said that despite her strong protests, the deputy speaker of the assembly, also a woman, refused to take any action. On Saturday, The lawmaker was seen on Social media fielding a small bottle said to be of petrol and threatening to end her life with it if no action was taken.
As the incident went viral, federal party chiefs were compelled to intervene, with Pitafi finally coming up for apologising and offered Abbasi a chador, or a veil, as a mark of respect.
A placated Abbasi on Tuesday said the incident was "over", but it raises a large question on the implementation of laws protecting women from sexual harassment.
"Their implementation is still a dream," she said.
"Even us, the parliamentarians are not safe from gender biases and harassment," Abbasi added.
Pakistani women have been fighting for decades demanding equal space in the social fabric in a deeply conservative country where honour killings and acid attacks are so common.
The country has passed several laws recently to empower women, some at the provincial level, but many have warned that without proper enforcement they will have little impact.
Punjab province saw a string of protests by a Islamic religious body following a bill which redefined "violence" to include "any offense committed against a women".