Dear men: Keep your hands and lewd comments to yourself!

03:59 PM | 19 Nov, 2016
Dear men: Keep your hands and lewd comments to yourself!
One of the first lessons I learnt from my mother and grandfather was that being a woman should not prevent anyone from doing anything they want or need to do. I never had reason to believe that my gender would come in the way of anything – but the past two months have really made me question my way of doing things, as I have not only dealt with staring and catcalling, but also been touched rather inappropriately in public.

The first time I came across catcalling in a location I previously considered safe was during a solo visit to a cafe where I was planning to use their Wi-Fi connection and get some work done.

Three boys who looked as if they were in their early 20s were seated on the table next to mine, and I presumed they would be minding their own business. About fifteen minutes later, I heard one say “moti hai, par chal jaye gi". Not being used to hearing such comments in a posh cafe, I failed to realize that they were talking about me, and continued with what I was doing.

It was only when the comments started getting louder and lewder that I attempted to determine where they were coming from, and I finally realized that they were for my benefit when I saw the occupants of the neighboring table staring and grinning at me. Thankfully one of the staff stepped in before I could react and asked the boys to leave.

It was no different when I stepped out to buy a power bank at Hafeez Centre, a place I gathered was somewhat like a combination of Techno and the mobile market in Saddar, Karachi. Having often gone to these two places, I was not at all surprised to find that I was the only woman there. But what I was not prepared for was the treatment I received there. First off, the staring. I have been ogled in the past, but it has generally been limited to one or two men in any given location and has generally been nothing a very loud “Kya masla hai?” on my part could not resolve. At Hafeez Centre, every single person was staring. I resorted to my default response and some of them did back down. Most, unfortunately, seemed to think I was encouraging them.

When I related this incident on a Facebook group, one of the members there, who has often helped me navigate this city, immediately wanted to know why I went to Hafeez Centre myself. “Why did you not send a male colleague or a male friend there?” I replied that it was just a very natural thing for me to do all these things myself, and therefore it did not occur to me to do so. He advised me that I needed to “take a male along” the next time.

I have no intention of following this advice, simply due to the fact that I have no male relative or friends I can casually take along with me every time I need to go somewhere, but to be honest I don’t think that that will “protect” me in any way. Only a few days ago, I was walking on Gulberg Main Boulevard with a male friend of mine. We were walking side-by-side, with him next to the curb, and a passing motorcyclist slowed down next to me…only to smack me on my derriere, before speeding away. Ever slow on the uptake, by the time I realized what had happened, he was well out of sight.

This latest incident made me realize that there is still a long way to go before men begin to realize that it is unacceptable for them to behave in this manner. Tackling this syndrome will require not just education – it seemed to me that educated men are equally to blame – but also a radical shift in values before anything will change. One can only live in hope.

Sufia is a marketing communication planner, blogger, creative content writer, and a part time Urdu translator. Sufia blogs at


Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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