"I heard a painful story of a single mother who is struggling"
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has criticised men who shirk child support duties after their marriage breaks down, and is committed to bringing about legal change.
The Academy Award-winning director uploaded a series of Instagram Stories on February 11, 2023, discussing the problem of fathers neglecting the financial responsibility of their children.
According to her, some fathers get away with shifting the financial burden of child support onto single mothers when a marriage ends rather than carrying out their obligation.
By producing films that expose the problems within the system, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy hopes to bring about some changes.
She stated: “The laws on child support need to be changed in Pakistan.
“The courts should be able to do financial audits of fathers who shirk duties of payments to their children and leave mothers to fend for themselves.
“I will be working with legislators to ensure that we fortify our laws and ensure that no mother has to beg a father to fulfil his duty towards his children.”
The filmmaker went on to reveal that she is personally in contact with single mothers who are dealing with the issue.
She continued: “Just this morning I heard a painful story of a single mother who is struggling to raise her daughter.
“Her ex-husband threatens her each time she asks for financial support.
“We have to ensure that no mother ever has to worry about a child’s basic needs…”
But Sharmeen has a plan for how to begin the first steps to eradicate the issue.
“We will start by creating a series of films that highlight the flaws that exist in the system and share the painful stories of mothers whose husbands can afford to support their children but do not.”
She also pointed out that we are all tied to women whose stories continue to haunt us.
“We must work to ensure that no woman has to go through this again.”
Sharmeen’s vocal support for single mothers comes after she expressed outrage and solidarity with Syeda Aliza Sultan amid the domestic abuse allegations against her ex-husband, Feroze Khan.
Following Sharmeen’s public tweets criticising Feroze Khan, the Tich Button actor filed a legal notice against the filmmaker, accusing her of carrying out a smear campaign.
In the legal notification, Feroze’s attorney stated that Sharmeen’s tweets damaged his client’s reputation and had a negative financial impact.
It stated that Feroze Khan had not responded negatively to anything directed at her and requested a written apology or payment of Rs. 70 million (£215,000) to cover the damages.
If she failed to make the payment, Sharmeen would be sued for defamation.