"It's about harassment, domestic violence"
Amna Ilyas recently appeared on The Talk Talk Show and claimed that no man should be able to touch a woman without consent, not even a husband.
During the programme, host Hassan Choudary seized the opportunity to inquire about the actress’ opinions on feminism.
He initially inquired about Amna’s earlier remarks and position on feminism:
“In a recent interview, you said, ‘I’m not a feminist, but I believe in equality among genders.
“I didn’t understand this—doesn’t feminism aim to fight for equal rights for women?”
Amna replied: “I think we have reduced the notion of feminism to just what women wear.
“Whenever I read comments on social media, I realise that the famous chant, ‘Mera jism, meri marzi (My body my choice)’ is made out to be about clothes only, even though the idea behind it is much deeper.
“It’s about having body autonomy rights and consent.
“It’s about harassment, domestic violence, and concepts like, ‘No one has the right to touch me without my consent, even if I’m married to you’.
“Whenever I talk about feminism, people always object by saying, ‘Oh, Amna is bold, of course, she will spread vulgarity as she’s from the industry, she wants all our daughters to be like her’.
“No, I don’t want that, I only do what I want to for myself.
“When we speak of equal rights, it’s about having the same opportunities to thrive in my career as the man beside me.
“If you’re a father of four children who excels in your profession, why can’t I do the same?
“Honestly, it’s not about whether you’re getting permission to wear jeans or not. What we truly need is the space to work in a cerebral capacity.”
Amna Ilyas then revealed that she was on her way to becoming an accountant before finding work in the modelling industry.
She said: “I wanted to be an accountant at first but was introduced to modelling by my older sisters at the right time.
“It’s thanks to them that life opened its doors for me. I was only in tenth grade when I started doing shoots.
“Honestly, by the time I reached intermediate, I still wanted to be a banker because this job was quite demanding.
“You have to constantly wax, and thread your body hair and I hate doing that. But then, things turned out well for me.”
In contrast to her recent film endeavours, the host noted that Amna Ilyas hasn’t worked on television as much in recent years.
The actress explained:
“I would love to be on television more but I was occupied with working on multiple projects.”
“Baaji was released in 2019, and then Covid-19 happened, which is why I took a break and only worked on movies back-to-back.
“For me, quality matters more than quantity, which is why I don’t like playing various roles at the same time.”
Amna Ilyas admitted that the harmful beauty standard in Pakistani television is slowly eroding but that it will still take some time for it to completely go away.
She said: “Women who look like me and are unconventional according to the beauty ideals here are starting to get more jobs.”