Statement – Against growing sexual violence in the country

WDF strongly condemns the gang rape of a woman at gunpoint in #F9 park #Islamabad and the rape of a bus hostess in a moving bus in #Vehari. Such incidents are yet another reminder of the increasing wave of gender based violence against women, transbodies and other marginalized citizens of Pakistan. WDF and Aurat Azadi March stand in solidarity with the survivors. WDF has announced a protest on Monday at F-9 park and demands strict action and swift investigation by the Islamabad Police. The state has terribly failed to protect its women in the capital and beyond.

The state has failed to protect its women in the capital and other cities. Women are not safe in their homes, in public parks, in buses, in the workplace, in schools, in universities, even in their own graves. Women are not safe from their own family members or strangers and yet people in this country find ways to victim-blame and slut-shame the survivors. The fact that the rapists in F9 Park told the survivor to not go out so late at night after subjecting her to rape at gunpoint speaks volumes about the deplorable situation of women’s rights in this country. We do not believe that women have to justify their presence in public spaces. We shun the disparity of safety in public between men and women. And we mourn the state and the society’s complicity in barbaric sexual violence against women across the country.

We are enraged. We are in pain. And we will not let this be forgotten. We salute the survivor of the F9 park incident for her courage to file an FIR and we will stand by her until justice is brought to the armed rapists who have now endangered the largest public park in the capital. This is not the first time that a woman has been subjected to sexual violence in a public space especially F-9 Park, yet the city administration, and elected leadership has failed to provide women the right to dignified life. Let us demand the state and government of Pakistan to provide one half of its citizens with the same dignity and right to access the public space as it does to its men.

WDF calls for a road-block protest at the Bolan Gate of F9 Park on Monday, 6th February 2023, at 5pm. We invite feminist organizations, the civil society, women, children and families of Islamabad to engage in a night-walk with us at 7:30pm inside the F-9 Park on the same day to mark the grounds of the park as our own. We will hang our dupattas on the gates of the park to remind the perpetrators that we are watching and we are here to guard our public spaces and that we will reclaim them.

یہ پارک ہمارا ہے، مردوں کی جاگیر نہیں!