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Activists demand public apology from Pakistan’s Chief Justice over ‘skirt’ remark

In a recent speech, Justice Saqib Nisar quoted Winston Churchill as saying that “a good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest”.

world Updated: Jan 24, 2018 10:10 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Islamabad
Pakistan,Supreme Court of Pakistan,Pakistan Chief Justice
Supporters of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League shout slogans against oposition leader Imran Khan outside the supreme Court building in Islamabad on December 15, 2017. (AFP/Representative)

Pakistani women’s rights activists on Tuesday criticised the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and demanded a public apology over his ‘skirt’ analogy which, they said, reveals the “deep-rooted sexism” discouraging women from joining the legal profession.

Justice Saqib Nisar, during a speech delivered in Karachi on January 13, quoted former British prime minister Winston Churchill as saying that “a good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest”.

Rights group Karachi chapter Women’s Action Forum (WAF), in a letter to Nisar, castigated his skirt remarks.

“Reliance on this quote reveals deep-rooted sexism and double standards women are held to which discourage women from joining the legal profession due to hostile mindset towards them,” the letter reads.

It said that women face harassment at different levels including the legal system.

“Statements that dehumanise and objectify women are not only derogatory and demeaning towards women but also contribute to the victim-blaming culture which is the biggest impediment in fighting crimes committed against women,” the letter said.

The group demanded that the chief justice should tender “a public apology to the women of Pakistan”.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 09:47 IST