Pakistani Politicians Fighting On Tv Shows

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:00:07 AM

Moments later they both stand up and Siyal, who was standing on the right of the screen, violently pushes his fellow participant, causing him to fall over. In retaliation, Khan gets up and attacks Siyal, who rains punches in return. As the duo jostle in a fight reminiscent of a wrestling bout and hurl blows at each other, people in the studio rush to pacify them. Siyal then suddenly leaps to his feet and pushes the journalist to the ground during the live broadcast of News Line with Aftab Mugheri Khan retaliates and the two become engaged in a violent brawl with Siyal raining punches on his opponent An upset Khan was later seen protesting, while Siyal allegedly issued threats that the former will have to pay for his deeds. The video of the incident was shared widely on social media, where it has drawn sharp criticism from the public as well as the journalist fraternity.

Krishna Kumari was the only girl in her school. In fact, she was the only girl that went to school in her entire village. Her parents approved, and her brother escorted her, but that didn't shield her from criticism. People in the village talked about her.

They gossiped, because Ms Kumari was breaking the rules around what girls could and should do in her village. You see, Ms Kumari was a member of the lower caste — a Dalit, a so-called "untouchable". She was also a Hindu, a religious minority in Pakistan. To top it all off, she came from a family of peasants and bonded labourers.

What on Earth was a girl like that doing, going to school?

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But it paid off. Ms Kumari has just become the first lower-caste Hindu female to be elected to Pakistan's Senate. More women from similar backgrounds are hoping to follow in her footsteps, despite the huge barriers to female political engagement in Pakistan.

Photo: Veeru Kohli, a former bonded labourer, is now an activist and election candidate. ABC News: Siobhan Heanue The year-old was a bonded agricultural labourer for many years — one of an estimated 2 million in Pakistan — now she fights to eradicate this type of slavery.

Ms Kohli has run for election before without success, but women's leadership programs run by Oxfam are equipping marginalised women like her with campaigning know-how. So far, she has faced death threats from within her community and bribery attempts from rival politicians. In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto became prime minister in and again in , becoming the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority nation.

But there is a juxtaposition between what a Pakistani woman born to a politically powerful, elite family can do, and what is permissible for the vast majority of women.

There are two big hurdles for female enfranchisement and female empowerment in Pakistan — literacy and mobility. The literacy rate for girls in Pakistan is around 45 per cent, while it's closer to 70 per cent for boys.

In rural areas of Balochistan, the literacy rate for girls slips below 25 per cent.

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Restrictions around how and where women can travel is also an impediment, according to Oxfam Pakistan director Mohammed Qazbilah. AP: KM Chaudary Oxfam in Pakistan, with funding from the Australian Government, is trying to boost female political engagement ahead of general elections later this year.

Its program is supporting women — particularly those from the social, religious or economic margins — to run for political office. The project also uses education campaigns to encourage women to enrol to vote ahead of polling day.

Tackling gender issues with humour At a conservative university in Islamabad, Pakistan, humour is used to tell a sensitive story about female empowerment. In front of a mixed group of students, a play unfolds. Two landlords control the political process, telling people in the village who to vote for.

Women, especially, are often directed how to vote by the men in their lives. But in this play, there are a few twists; a loving father is convinced to let his daughter enrol to vote. Photo: An Oxfam Pakistan project with Australian funding is using theatre and university lectures to encourage more women to vote in general elections later this year.

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ABC News: Siobhan Heanue Then a woman from the village decides to run for office because she wants to improve the lives of her neighbours.

By gently poking fun at Pakistani society, especially life in the provinces, the play elicits guffaws from the young, urban audience.

But the message is deeper, and the play sparks conversation in the crowd. The men and women sit separately in the lecture hall, but they all chuckle together, whipping out their smartphones to film the theatrics on stage.

Watch Pakistani Politicians Fighting On Live TV

Many of the students here are ready for change and reform. A young law student takes the microphone and asks how gender equality can be achieved.

But most of the questions from the audience come from men. In fact, only one woman asks a question. But these young women do have views. They just need a way to voice them. Photo: Islamabad university student Khadija Khanum says women need space to "discuss their issues openly".

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