Journalist & Researcher
A Pakistani journalist and Culture & Gender scholar at the University of Sydney, Amna Nasir considers herself a hard-core feminist. She is a travel enthusiast and expresses herself through painting, sketching, photography and writing. As clichéd as it may sound, Amna believes in equality of all beings irrespective of their background, colour, gender, religion or ethnicity.
PORTFOLIO OF ARTICLES
Throughout my career, I’ve written a number of articles for well-renowned publications, covering a wide range of newsworthy stories and topics. I’ve chosen a few pieces that I particularly enjoyed working on and which focus on issues that continue to interest me. Take a look at them below.
MINORITIES CONTINUE TO SUFFOCATE: FORCED CONVERSIONS OF HINDU GIRLS IN PAKISTAN
April 10, 2019
Following an interesting turn of events, not long after the Christchurch incident Pakistan was presented with an opportunity of its own to demonstrate the spirit of diversity, acceptance and empathy like New Zealand and Jacinda Ardern’s in the form of the case of forceful conversions and marriage of two underage Hindu girls from Gotki, Sindh. However, this is not where Ardern fandom will flourish.
HERE ARE FIVE EMERGING MEDIA PLATFORMS INSPIRING INDIAN AND PAKISTANI FEMINISTS
April 08, 2019
Emerging feminist media platforms are helping South Asian people engage in, navigate, and mobilize feminist movements. Movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have been building in South Asian countries and have called out sexual harassers at workplaces, homes, and educational institutions; campaigns like #unfairandlovely have raised important issues about colorism; and marches like the Trans Pride March and the Aurat March have made sure that feminist voices from the region can be heard.
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE MEN SCORNED OVER AURAT MARCH IN PAKISTAN
March 29, 2019
Since last year, Aurat March – Pakistan’s own version of Women’s March – has been taking place on the 8th of March on the occasion of International Women’s Day to celebrate womanhood and raise a voice on issues faced by women and other marginalised gender communities in the country. This year was no different; when approximately seven thousand women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community from different corners of Pakistan decided to march the streets for equal rights and representation, to question gender roles and to call out sexual harassment prevalent in the country.
DALIT WOMEN'S FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
January 10, 2019
The #MeToo movement has certainly arrived in India, causing a media buzz and creating a greater public discussion about gender-based violence, validating feminist campaigns and discourse. Though young Indian women have notably led #MeToo and made great strides in calling out sexism in their society, young Dalit women’s voices have not been prominent among them. This leads to the question of how truly impactful #MeToo and other dominant feminist movements have been in India, considering that Dalit women are arguably the most oppressed group in the country.
BLEEDING TO LIVE: HYMEN RESTORATION PRACTICES IN PAKISTAN AND THE MORAL PANIC AROUND WOMEN’S VIRGINITY
November 14, 2018
Like many girls around her, Safeena* grew up hearing sentiments like this from the elderly women of her household; the fear of not bleeding on her wedding day had been deeply ingrained in her mind. Bleeding in this way, she was taught, is evidence that a girl’s hymen has been broken by her husband and that she had not, therefore, been penetrated before the wedding night. If a woman fails to bleed on this night, it is taken as an indication of immoral conduct and it is assumed that the woman has had a premarital sexual relationship — something that is extremely frowned upon in Pakistani society.
GAME OF TROLLS REACHES 3 MILLION SOCIAL MEDIA USERS
July 20, 2018
Get the Trolls Out (GTTO), a project by the Media Diversity institute (MDI), initiated a campaign called Game of Trolls. The campaign is a result of joint efforts made by GTTO and Facebook initiative “Create against Hate” gathering civil society activists and creative industry professionals to come up with innovative solutions to deal with online hate speech and extremism.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN AYESHA GULALAI ACCUSED IMRAN KHAN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
November 24, 2017
Gulalai’s statement came out as quite a shock for many and while she gained support from various segments of society, particularly rival parties, she also faced extreme backlash for speaking out against one of Pakistan’s most influential and loved man. Before the case made it to the court, Ayesha Gulalai found herself at the centre of internet trolling and nationwide mudslinging.
BEGUM ROKEYA: THE WRITER WHO INTRODUCED US TO FEMINIST SCI-FI | #INDIANWOMENINHISTORY
July 06, 2017
She has long represented the face of Muslim feminism in Bengal. She pushed for an equal society through her writings and activism, as well as her actions and strategy. She also founded a girls’ school, and an NGO named Anjuman-e-Khawatin-e-Islam (Islamic Women’s Association). Despite facing several obstacles and criticism, Rokeya went door-to-door, encouraging men to send their daughters to school, and continued the campaigning till her death.
MOHENJO DARO: ANOTHER WORLD, ANOTHER TIME
March 07, 2017
Travelling for some 17 hours straight from Rawalpindi through train – crossing lush green fields, sandy Cholistan desert, cramped towns, small villages, heavily populated cities, deserted stations, brightly lit factories, brick kilns puffing out clouds of thick black smoke, children waving at the train as it passes by, partly dried up rivers and other water bodies, cattle grazing peacefully, vehicles waiting impatiently for the train to cross and the gates to open, scenic looking plateaus right out of a film location, twinkling stars scattered across the night sky, magnificent sun spreading its golden rays throughout the setting – one reaches the railway junction at Rohri, Sindh
FEATURE-FRESH FEAR OF "HONOUR" VIOLENCE STALKS PAKISTANI VICTIM
March 03, 2017
Nearly three years after Saba Qaiser's father and uncle shot her in the face, rolled her in a rug and threw her in a river for marrying without their consent, the 21-year-old from Pakistan's Punjab province is again afraid for her life.
6 INDIAN MUSLIM FEMINISTS IN HISTORY
February 24, 2017
Six Indian Muslim feminists who changed the course of history with their writing and activism.
PLAYING WITH FIRE: REMEMBERING QURRATULAIN HYDER | #INDIANWOMENINHISTORY
January 20, 2017
Through her writings, she aimed to change perceptions about women and the stereotypes attached with them. She made her mark in the world of Urdu literature and happens to be one of the first female Urdu novelists. She inspired many to take up her legacy and continue the work that she was doing.
SAUDI WOMEN ARE ROCKING IT IN THIS NEW MUSIC VIDEO AND HOW
January 19, 2017
Conservative Saudi Twitterati is having field days ever since artist and provocateur Majed al-Esa released the video of his latest song. Titled “Hwages“, which literally means concerns, the song is a satirical take on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES: AN ELITIST PROBLEM?
December 28, 2016
A large population in the subcontinent as well as in the South Asia, generally, is living below the poverty line – while the other parts of the population are divided into middle-class and the upper-class. Like many other socioeconomic matters, mental health issues and the way they are dealt in this region are also affected by this segregation in the population. Mental health is often thought to be a rich people’s problem – someone who can afford the “luxury” of indulging into an illness that affects their mind and behavior
‘REAL’ EFFECTS OF OUR ‘VIRTUAL’ LIVES
December 13, 2016
Baloch’s rise to popularity, her reign over the social media throne and her unfortunate and abominable murder for ‘honour’ is a fine example of how a woman’s activities in the online space have such real and fatal consequences in their real lives.
DIGITAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES PAKISTAN’S FIRST EVER CYBER HARASSMENT HELPLINE
December 12, 2016
Digital rights are not a very commonly known section of the human rights issues – especially in the South Asian context. The masses are unaware of the effects that their presence in online spaces can have and are often oblivious of the crimes they commit while being in digital spaces. Education regarding digital rights and privacy is in a very nascent phase right now in the South Asian countries – particularly in countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan etc.
NIGHAT DAD: ON DIGITAL RIGHTS, CYBER LAWS AND #HAMARAINTERNET IN PAKISTAN
December 02, 2016
Dad has ample experience working in the digital rights arena and has recently won the prestigious Human Rights Tulip Award 2016. She is the executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation, an organisation that campaigns and educates the masses about online spaces, use of cellular phones and how to deal with online harassment. Her work is basically targeted to educate and empower the marginalized communities in order to fight online harassment.
VIDEO: I AM FEMINIST BY INNY TAYLOR
October 12, 2016
It really bothers me when I see well-read people stereotype and use feminism in a pejorative manner, especially when it is coming from female celebrities and youth icons. I am bewildered and I fail to understand why people can just not look up feminism in a dictionary. Why go with stereotypes when you can look it up and experience it for yourself?
FEMINIST NEWS WRAP
October 02, 2016
Unavailability of i-Pills, Tech Ban on Sex Determination & Trump’s Misogyny
THE AURATNAAK COMEDY SHOW: PAKISTANI WOMEN ROAST PATRIARCHY ON STAGE
September 13, 2016
The Auratnaak is an initiative by the multi-talented Hassaan Bin Shaheen and Fatema Shah who are performers themselves and have trained the Auratnaak troupe. The show was not for those who get offended easily.
MISPLACED PRIORITIES: HOW EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS PERPETUATE CAMPUS SEXISM
September 01, 2016
Punjab government in Pakistan has introduced a new initiative. In the light of this newly found aim, the government will be providing four hens, a cock and a cage to young girls of 1000 primary schools in order to teach them kitchen skills.
PAKISTANI DESIGNERS STIR CONTROVERSY WITH NEW CAMPAIGN GLAMOURISING RAPE CULTURE
August 26, 2016
These photo shoots are being shunned by masses of people on Twitter and Facebook, as it romanticizes harassment against women. People are calling out the designers to demand an explanation for this carelessly thought photo shoot idea.
FRANCE’S BURKINI BAN: A MUSLIM FEMINIST’S PERSPECTIVE
August 25, 2016
Burkini ban will do anything but liberate Muslim women. This ban will only seclude the already secluded Muslim women who will be confined to the walls of their homes.
NEW CYBERCRIME BILL IN PAKISTAN LEAVES MUCH UNCLEARED
August 23, 2016
Cybercrime bill, with all its ambiguities and broadness, is far from being the perfect solution to a grave problem of dealing with crimes on the cyberspace. In a country like Pakistan, where every other law is being misused, giving extraordinary powers to the authorities, who are often not well-trained or equipped to deal with such crimes, would make matters worse.