"all these young guys have nowhere to go"
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has caused controversy by blaming women for the rise in sexual violence.
He made the comments during an interview with Axios HBO, defending similar remarks he made in April 2021.
Speaking to Jonathan Swan, Khan said:
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense.”
Khan went on to say that it leads to “temptation” among men.
He continued: “I said the concept of ‘purdah’.
“The concept of ‘purdah’ is to avoid temptation in society.
“We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs. It is a completely different society way of life here.
“So if you raise temptation in society to the point – all these young guys have nowhere to go – it has consequences in the society.”
Mr Swan asked: “Yes but is it really going to provoke acts of sexual violence?”
Khan replied: “It depends what society you live in. If in a society people haven’t seen that sort of thing, it will have an impact on them.
“If you grow up in a society like you, maybe it won’t on you.”
Referring to Western culture, he added: “This is cultural imperialism.
“Whatever is acceptable in our culture, must be acceptable everywhere else. It’s not.”
Imran Khan’s comments sparked controversy online.
The world got an insight into a mindset of a sick, misogynistic, degenerate & derelict IK. Its not women's choices that lead to sexual assault rather the choices of men who choose to engage in this dispicable and vile CRIME 1/2 pic.twitter.com/lla3WnWFdx
— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) June 21, 2021
His second wife Reham Khan branded him a “defiant, stubborn rape apologist”.
Ms Khan said his comments were “unforgivable” and branded him “beyond insensitive” for continuing to blame women for sexual violence.
Ms Khan said the interview was a chance for the PM to apologise for comments he made in April 2021, implying the way women dress is responsible for rape.
She stated that he was “clueless” about women’s issues when she met him and described him as a “hypocrite”.
Human rights activist Reema Omer said:
“Disappointing and frankly sickening to see PM Imran Khan repeat his victim-blaming regarding reasons for sexual violence in Pakistan.
“Men are not ‘robots’, he says. If they see women in skimpy clothes, they will get ‘tempted’ and some will resort to rape.”
Another woman said: “Only three days after a child was raped by a cleric, Imran Khan chooses to blame ‘few clothes’ worn by women for rape culture.
“It’s not a slip of tongue. Such victim-blaming is a consistent position held by IK since the motorway incident last year. Our PM is a rape apologist.”
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was “appalled” by Khan’s comments, saying:
“Not only does this betray a baffling ignorance of where, why and how rape occurs, but it also lays the blame on rape survivors, who, as the government must know, can range from young children to victims of honour crimes.”
In April 2021, Imran Khan had made similar remarks which had drawn backlash.
He had said Bollywood, Hollywood, divorce, and the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” culture of England in the 1970s were examples of moral decline and that was to blame for rising sexual violence.