Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
Election Monitor 2013

Up close and political with Dr Arbab Rahim

Aurat Foundation and Women’s Action Forum protested against Arbab; PPP wrote to  EC to take action against Dr Rahim for using derogatory language against women.
By Hafeez Tunio
Published: April 18, 2013

I did not follow anyone, but Musharraf and the Chaudhry brothers approached me because I had a solid vote bank. Now, the PPP is doing the same,” says PML chief.


Former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim has learnt that words cannot be taken back. The comments he made in response to a question regarding activist Hajani Lanjo, the first woman in the history of Thar to contest against him, continue to haunt him.
On April 12, he stood before journalists in Mithi, Tharparkar, and said: “Women are weak and short-tempered. How can a woman be a good leader if she is afraid of a lizard? Pakistan is not a Western country. Such independence given to women will misguide them.”
Instantly, the damage was done. Human rights and women rights organisations, including the Women’s Action Forum and the Aurat Foundation, protested against Arbab. There have been political ramifications as well. The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) election cell has written a letter to the election commission complaining that Dr Rahim has used derogatory language against women, and therefore action should be taken against him under the code of conduct of the election commission.
In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Dr Rahim attempts to justify his words. “I [do] respect women,” he says, weighing his words. “However, our religion teaches us to wear [certain] clothes. I dislike those [women] who go out of their homes without the hijab.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2013.