American travel vlogger Alyne Tamir AKA ‘Dear Alyne’ recently posted a video about the absence of Pakistani women in public spaces in the country.
The video is even titled ‘Where are all the women?’. Like most content by Alyne, the video is narrated by her. She opens up with:
“This video is not perfect. I may say some things wrong, but my intentions and message remain the same.”
The video then features some ‘modern’ young women addressing issues that keep them from assimilating into public spaces.
“From speaking with local women, I heard their positive stories, breaking stereotypes, traveling and even staying single,”
Then came the issues of access to education, going out without being harassed, and being allowed to be financially independent.
“We’re the exception, not the norm,”
The reality is that ‘women are not given the same safety, opportunities, and freedoms as men,’ is a global issue. It’s not one that afflicts Pakistan only. Nonetheless, it is still a worrisome trend.
Pakistani women respond
Though her intentions are good, most Pakistani women thought otherwise.
Pakistani travel vlogger, Gul Jabeen spoke out about how this video has a ‘savior complex’ stirring in there somewhere. She even pointed out the over-generalizations and exaggeration of certain issues.
“The simple act of staying out late can ruin the reputation of an entire family.”
Seems like Gul Jabeen penned out an informative letter to our ‘Dear Alyne’.
With Pakistan landing on the recent Forbes The Not Hot List: 10 Best Under-the-Radar Trips for 2020 list, the country is getting the world’s attention in a good way.
Seen in this context, Alyne’s video depicts a skewed image of the country.
Previously a travel blogger Alex Reynolds, who runs a thriving travel blog Lost with Purpose explained how Pakistan is not an easy country to travel to if you’re not white. Most travelers will glaze over the country’s challenges creating a dichotomy of opinion.
As for voicing issues that local women can not talk about, Pakistan women have been talking about and overcoming these issues on their own all this time. This is the country of Fehmida Riaz, Asma Jehangir, Faryal Gohar, Fouzia Saeed, etc.
We’ll manage on our own.
Do you think Alyne has a point here? Or is Pakistan is doing better when it comes to her own women?