Expression of Solidarity with Women Speaking up about Sexual Harassment

Expression of Solidarity with Women Speaking up about Sexual Harassment

We, the undersigned, express our unequivocal support to women who spoke out against sexual harassment and those who supported the survivors. We are concerned over the nature of media coverage that the case of harassment from famous singer Meesha Shafi against a male singer has received since it was filed, and more so in the past few days.

News media organisations have a responsibility to report on topics as sensitive as this without a bias, something that was categorically missing in the recent coverage of the said case. The subsequent coverage has attacked individuals supporting the victims of the case, maligned their credibility, and opted for the use of defamatory and false statements against them. It is disheartening to see credible and legacy news organisations succumbing to hyperbole and publishing misleading headlines, making statements that are legally and technically incorrect. On TV, it is disheartening to see media replay shot after shot of the accuser and accused, as if a former friendship between the two somehow discredits the accusation of harassment.  

While most women who have stood in support with Meesha have been intimated through hate campaigns and legal notices, Meesha’s council, lawyer and activist Nighat Dad has faced the brunt of these intimidation tactics. Such tactics will only push survivors of harassment and violence into silence and deprive them of support. 

It is imperative to remember that sexual harassment and violence is a crime that the state has totally failed in protecting women from. It is the responsibility of legislators, law enforcement and judiciary to improve the laws and their implementation and give justice to survivors. We call upon the government to remember its duties to the women of the country and make legislative changes that actually allow them to seek justice against perpetrators, rather than creating technical loopholes. We also ask the government to consider various recommendations of the UN to decriminalise defamation and instill mechanisms to stop the usage of defamation law as a tool to stop women from speaking up against harassers and abusers. 

We ask the editors, news managers and reporters in mainstream and digital media to sensitise themselves about gender issues. We ask media houses to ensure that the coverage of this case and all cases related to gender based harassment and abuse is sensitive, unbiased, fact checked, professional and ethical.  We hope that the journalists and media houses will uphold the ethics of journalism while reporting on sensitive issues like the women’s rights and violence that they face in the country, both online and offline – something that has institutionally and systematically been ignored.





Women in Media Alliance 

Media Matters for Democracy

Women Democratic Front 


Women’s Advancement Hub 

Women’s Action Forum (WAF), Karachi

Aurat March Lahore



Sadaf Khan, Activist 

Hija Kamran, Activist 

Tanzeela Mazhar, Senior Journalist 

Hina Gul Roy, Lawyer

R Umaima Ahmed, journalist

Leena Ghani, Activist 

Atiya Abbas, Activist

Aabida Ali, Political Organiser

Seerat Khan, Activist

Shmyla Khan, Activist/Lawyer

Asad Ali Toor, Journalist

Nosheen Naqvee, Journalist

Salwa Rana, Activist 

Usama Khawar Ghumman, Lawyer

Nazish Zafar, Senior Journalist

Suleman A. Zeb, Advocate High Court

Mehwish Mohib Kakakhel, Lawyer 

Zaira Anwar, Lawyer 

Jannat Ali Kalyar, Lawyer 

Dileep Doshi, Lawyer

Sana Farrukh, Advocate High Court

Maryam Saeed, Activist

Huma Dar, Scholar and Activist 

Abdullah Nizamani, Lawyer

Anis Haroon, WAF Karachi

Kauser S Khan, WAF Karachi

Sheema Kermani, Activist

Nasreen Siddiquie, WAF Karachi

Noreen Zehra, Senior Journalist 

Hilda Saeed, WAF Karachi

Amber Rahim Shamsi, Senior Journalist 

Fatima Razzaq, Journalist 

Alina Anjum, Activist 

Asad Baig, Journalist