We have witnessed a debate produced on social media about the image of troubled women in pop culture. Many believe that the stories that are being told now are malicious and are successfully taking the spotlight away from actual issues such as “patriarchal violence, rape and, exploitation.” But women aren’t feeling empowered or encouraged in their lives through these TV shows.

When we talk about progressive characters, and strong women being shown onscreen, it gets too much for our local authorities and some viewers to digest. A good woman in Pakistani society is someone who would bow down to her husband, and her family, give up her dreams for good, and compromise at any and everything. Whereas, the man will be the ruler of the house! However, God forbid a woman decides to speak up for her rights and herself. She is easily branded as a “bad” one. This idea isn’t just limited to the screens. We see them in very close societal circles as well.

However, it is partly the responsibility of actors as well to object when they are asked to star in a problematic script. Like if we talk about Humsafar which was a very regressive show, where a woman went through hardships just because another woman plotted against her. Do the writers not realize that when a regular, middle-class woman sees Mahira or any other woman on any show being slapped around, she would think to herself, if someone like Mahira can be abused, then who am I to object? If Mahira’s character would have stopped the abuse and stood up for herself at the right time, then the middle-class woman who idealizes Khirad would understand that she also has the option to do the same.

What we need to notice is that now, our society isn’t mature for such negative shows with very bad portrayals of women. For example shows like Churails, Zindagi Gulzar hai, and Sinf-e-Ahan are much more needed to help women feel empowered, and feel valued and they should feel that they have authority over their life. These shows are a source of entertainment for many women, therefore, the Pakistani industry should give an interesting touch to their stories and bring out strong, confident, and bold female characters.


Hi! I'm an occasional reader, an avid writer and a fiercely firm feminist too. Hope you read & like my articles. I don't do politics much but I love writing for women, culture & life!