Pakistani director Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar, a self-proclaimed feminist, has been facing boycott calls and criticism after he verbally abused a female journalist during a television debate.
During a TV debate with former journalist Marvi Sirmed on the panel, Qamar was addressing a ban by a court on the usage of the slogan "mera jism, meri marzi" ("my body, my choice") and said that it hurts him see Sirmed sloganeering.
As Sirmed interjected, the director lashed out at her, while asking “Tere jism men hai kya? (What is so great about your body?). Thookta nahi hai koi tere jism pe (No one would even spit on your body). Shut up you b***h”, Qamar can be heard saying in a video going viral on social media.
I will not accept any show on @NeoTv_Network until this anchor apologises and this abusive man boycotted. If others ( men and women ) do the same when asked for shows this kind of disrespect to women may not get impunity. Women’s rights are human rights. Enough of this nonsense https://t.co/YAJlmawCXF— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) March 4, 2020
Along with Qamar, the news anchor is also facing flak for not standing up against the director, but rather asking Sirmed to keep mum.
Former politician Sherry Rehman has asked the channel to boycott Qamar for showing utmost indecency and disrespecting the woman.
“I will not accept any show on NeoTv_Network until this anchor apologises and this abusive man boycotted. If others (men and women) do the same when asked for shows this kind of disrespect to women may not get impunity. Women’s rights are human rights. Enough of this nonsense”, said Rehman.
Pakistan's highest-paid actress, Mahira Khan, also slammed Qamar, saying that she was shocked and sickened by the incident.
I am shocked at what I have just heard and seen!! Sick to the core. This same man who abused a woman on tv is revered and given project after project because of what? We are as much to blame if not more for perpetuating this thinking! #khalilurrehmanqamar— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) March 4, 2020
Other actors also joined the chorus and slammed Qamar.
Don't understand the problem so many are having with #MeraJismMeriMarzi"-Mera jism meri marzi nahi toh kis ki marzi ho gi?? "My body is mine" is a critical component of the Life Skills Based Education classes we teach to help children protect themselves from abuse & harassment— Shehzad Roy (@ShehzadRoy) March 4, 2020
What's scarier than #KhalilurRehman's temper, insecurities and mysogonistic attitude, is us who continue to encourage and engage him. Who cares if you're a good writer. You're a vile human being. Who speaks like that? What gives u the right to pass judgment like that? #Shameful— Sanam Saeed (@sanammodysaeed) March 4, 2020
The women's rights group “Hum Aurtein” ("We the Women") will conduct an "Aurat March" for the third consecutive year on International Women’s Day on 8 March. The demonstration is carried out with the aim of uniting women, transgender, and non-binary women for gender justice and collective social change based on the principles of inclusion, dignity, and respect.