Whether for smoking, wearing jeans or saying #MeToo, 2017 was a year of constant harassment for Pakistani women

For me, a great part of the year was spent writing about and highlighting human rights injustices, not just in Pakistan but globally. By far, what throws me off every time is the sheer negativity of the comments I receive. The ironic thing about the sometimes abusive, derogatory and harsh remarks is that they help prove my point even further, especially when it is pertaining to feminism and the need to talk about women’s issues. There have been countless times when I’ve had to defend my feminist stance, constantly reiterating that the term feminist is not synonymous with “man-hater”.

This year, Pakistan was officially ranked the fourth worst country in the world to be a woman, with high discrimination and low financial inclusion, and only Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan were behind us. The violent incidents pertaining to women this year alone are testament to why we deserve this ranking. Beyond the usual string of violence, we’ve had a few interesting and devastating turn of events, especially for those women who have dared to stand up to the status quo, challenge norms and speak out openly against the injustices they have faced. It’s interesting to note that there were several cases this year of women standing up and fighting, and ultimately winning, through pure determination.