On Saturday, actress Nazish Jahangir set social media ablaze when during a podcast with controversial YouTuber Nadir Ali, the model turned actor claimed that she did not identify as a feminist, because apparently “not all crying women are truthful.”

 “…l believe in equality, and I still confidently say that not all crying women are truthful. I am always standing with the right person whether it is a woman or a man.”

The abysmal part of this conversation begun when Nazish Jahangir went on to address Aurat March, saying that the movement is responsible for the rise of divorces in the country, adding that it was not a solution to any problem:


“I don’t believe in these Aurat Marches. It’s not benefiting the women for whom we are fighting. They are not reaching the women they’re standing up for. Such poor women would be sitting in villages and making food while they chant slogans on the streets here. I think these fake feminist movements will never get you justice,”

“I wonder who they are protesting for then. Are they protesting for us? Because our league knows everything about it. We know our rights and we know the value of equality. The ratio of khula has also increased after these marches,” The ‘Thays’ actor claimed. “I’m not asking women to bear cruelties or abuse. They can leave their houses if they like but at least give it a shot. Our parents are the biggest example of sacrificing and surviving relationships with patience and love. Because now women are getting divorced only after one month.”

Yes this is a deeply messed up argument, there is a lot to unpack and a lot of myths to dissect which are once more churning up harmful stereotypes towards organisations working for women’s rights. Perhaps the worst statement was about Aurat March encouraging divorces in Pakistan. A sweeping statement Jahangir gave without any proof that it is true.

In reality, Aurat March is not the reason why women are choosing divorce Aurat March is the solution to a long term issue: the limited support and neglect shown towards women in a patriarchal society that demands that everything be sacrificed for the sake of a marriage.

Since Ms Jahangir is from the acting profession, and our dramas claim to know best about what women should want from a marriage, can we all collectively recall one drama that has portrayed a healthy marriage? Can we say that ‘Tere Bin’, which features a man stalking and slapping his wife was what women should look up to in order to understand how to keep their marriages intact?

Furthermore, if Ms Jahangir is claiming that women who break away from their marriages do not understand sacrifice and hard work because Aurat March tells them to be less tolerant, then she needs to be aware that more women in Pakistan have died trying to stay married. Sara Inam was murdered by her husband in Islamabad after three months of marriage, was the murder her own fault? Qandeel Baloch‘s murderer, her brother, was pardoned by the court despite confessing his crime to authorities, only because his parents pardoned him. Just five days ago, another man walked free from a court in Karachi after murdering his daughter, because he was once again pardoned by his family. Another man in Lahore murdered his wife and then sent her body back to her family via a rickshaw.

All these nameless women, the countless ways they were let down by the law and society in Pakistan. How is that we know about them, Ms Jahangir? It’s definitely not because of the family system, which continues to hide predators, and pardon them after unforgivable crimes. This heroic act solely belongs to Aurat March, which has time and time again raised placcards for countless women you claim it does not protect.

You claim to say that Aurat March cannot help the women in villages because they’re too busy shouting slogans, but it is through Aurat March that we know these women’s names. Working class women like Dua Zehra, whose parents couldn’t make an announcement at a mosque because she was a Shia, and who was slammed by media organisatons, who claimed she had disohonored her family. It was local activists who pressurised authorities to take child abduction seriously, helping her come back home.

Claiming that you’re unaware about a topic is one thing, but making sweeping generalisations about women’s rights, especially during a time when laws seek to further restrict women’s access to escaping abusive marriages, and more feminist activists are being trolled onine, it is incredibly disheartening to see a public figure as yourself talking without properly fact checking yourself.

If you are still confused about how to be a well informed and articulate public figure, then take an example from Ayesha Omar and Kiran Malik, who carefully broke down why watching the rise in divorce rates is a good sign that more women are learning to stand up for themselves and escape their abusive marriages.