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The Decapitation of Nasreen: Why We Need Women Empowerment

How many murdered women will it really take?

The news took Pakistan by storm,

Amidst the #MeToo movement emerging all over the world, with many survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and rape coming forward with their stories, many people seemed to have scorned the significance of the movement, mistaking it for some chance to fame, glory, and fortune. What we haven’t taken as a lesson from this particular movement is how it’s enabling us in the identification of those who have gotten away with sexual assault and harassment for so many years. What we instead choose to focus on, is how the reputation of the accused will be destroyed (more so if said accused is a man) and how people (particularly women) have a tendency to fabricate entire stories centered around sexual assault.

Many people foolishly extended the argument and thus started to consider all aspects of women empowerment as a hoax, attention-seeking behavior, temper tantrums, and many other words which if used will certainly exhaust the length of this article. No one was quite yet ready to believe that women (in particular) were getting murdered or beaten or raped on an everyday basis as we flaunt our ignorant opinions.

Until the decapitation of a 37-year-old woman, Nasreen who’s husband took a chopper to her head simply because she refused to quit her job – at a factory in Raiwind.

All in the name of honor.

This author expected Pakistanis to finally prise their eyes open and see the oppression; how a mother of three young, innocent kids, a human, above all had been deprived of her right to a life, safety, and profession simply because it did not fit within the mold her husband had designed for her.

This author was disappointed.


Not only did many people shamelessly applaud the husband for being brave but chastised the woman, the victim, the dead for not obeying her husband. As if when a woman becomes someone’s wife, she automatically loses all autonomy, she is now but a puppet to be controlled by whoever now owns her. Outrageous, no, not anymore. This applause, these congratulatory comments are nothing but inhuman. How can one expect progress when there are people who not only live in constant denial but crawl out of the woodwork to congratulate a murderer?

Imagine being so ignorant as to constantly post about the emergence of a Naya Pakistan, wanting to be the economic equivalent of China, wanting to progress but also not wanting to give women the independence to work after marriage, making her dread the concept as if it would put an end to her entire life. Imagine wanting progress but paralyzing more than half the population by restricting them to the kitchen, using inaccurate religious traditions to make an argument that should stem not from religious identity but humanity.

Imagine making fun of women empowerment campaigns, slogans, demanding that women cover their bodies lest they distract the male from engaging in the oh-so-important task of leering at other, fully clad women. Imagine being devoid of basic empathy, respect for human life, for dignity and then rationalizing it as the victim’s fault.

Naya Pakistan, same old mentality.

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