Feminist groups in Pakistan are demanding economic, reproductive and environmental justice, leading annual protests on International Women’s Day since 2018. These groups have come under in-tense pressure from conservative forces in Pakistan, sparking counter-movements by right-wing groups. Despite intense back-lash and violent threats, the groups continue in their demands.
Purpose of research
This research will explore backlash against feminists and human rights activists in Pakistan. It will examine the different sites and sources of the backlash, focusing on how language and counter-strategies (such as the Hayya (Modesty) March by women from the religious right) are used. It will include meetings between a younger generation of feminists and the older generation of feminists from the Women’s Action Forum for an exchange of ideas and views. There will also be focus group discussions and interviews.
Activism for gender justice in Pakistan has long faced hostile backlash from political and social movements. Women’s activism has been documented and analysed by looking at attacks on women. There is a need for more focus on the types of attacks, how they are changing, or how they are part of, ongoing gender backlash. In recent years, the surveillance of women has increased and become a key gender backlash tool, such as cyber-crimes, spying and sexual harassment have increased. Honour crimes have also adapted to new laws, and pressure from women’s rights activists and movements.
Purpose of research
This research will aim to illustrate to women’s rights activists and advocates that systems are not blocked to them, and offer insights for identifying mutating forms of violence. It will explore changing patterns of violence against women, focusing on Sindh Province between 2012 to 2021, using crime statistics as a data source. It will also focus on honour killings, delving into the resurgence of this crime and how it has changed. Interviews will be conducted with women and men to corroborate findings.