Onus is on men: Jemima Goldsmith criticises Pakistan PM and former husband’s rape statement

Jemima Goldsmith, the former wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, criticised him after he blamed women for their "inappropriate" dress for a rise in sexual harassment and rape cases in the countr

Apr 08, 2021
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Jemima Goldsmith, the former wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, criticised him after he blamed women for their "inappropriate" dress for a rise in sexual harassment and rape cases in the country. 

Taking to Twitter, Goldsmith reminded her ex-husband that rape has nothing to do with women’s dressing, saying that “the onus is on men.” She quoted a verse from the Holy Quran: "Say to the believing 'men' that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts". 

Goldsmith, a British socialite, got married to the former cricketer and incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1995. The couple divorced in 2004. They have two sons. She expressed hope that the remarks were "misquotation" or "mistranslation." 

"The Imran I knew used to say, 'Put a veil on the man's eyes not on the woman.'," she said. 

The British screenwriter, television, film, documentary producer, and the founder of Instinct Productions, a television production company, further tweeted:  “I remember years ago being in Saudi Arabia and an elderly woman in an abaya & niqab was lamenting the fact that when she went out she was followed & harassed by young men. 

“The only way to get rid of them was to take her face covering OFF.  The problem is not how women dress!” 

During a question and answer session with the public on Sunday, Khan was asked by a caller about what his government is doing about rising sexual violence particularly against children, according to The Express Tribune.

Khan, in his response, blamed fahashi (vulgarity) as the root cause of the surge in rape cases and sexual violence in Pakistan.

“We have an advantage over other developed countries in the world. We have a family system that has not been touched by indecent influences. Look at Bollywood, look at the difference in their films now and those 40 years back. The indecency has grown to such exponential levels that Delhi has become the rape capital of the world,” he is reported to have said. 

Soon after his comments, there was an uproar on social media. Many called out the prime minister for his "insensitive" remarks. 

Meanwhile, a statement signed by representatives of several rights organisations said that PM Khan had actively fostered and promoted rape culture and rape apologia, according to Dawn newspaper. 

“In a country where the total reported cases of rape represent only the tip of the iceberg, such statements have the effect of further traumatising and silencing survivors of sexual violence by placing the blame on them, instead of on those who carry out the crime and the system that enables rapists,” the statement said. 

The statement has been signed by representatives of several rights organisations, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, War Against Rape and Pakistan Bar Council’s Journalist Defence Committee.

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