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Sarwat advises people on how to become voice of reason

She reacts to Pakistan's ranking on freedom of expression index

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Apr 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

Photo: Instagram/Sarwat Gilani

Let’s not just talk but bring the change ourselves.

Pakistan has scored 30 points out of 100 on the Freedom of Expression Assessment Index by Media Matters for Democracy.

“We have been ranked in better titles before, but this is also very important,” said actor Sarwat Gilani while responding to the news. “How will we express [ourselves] when we don’t know how to do it?”

sarwat gilani, freedom of speech report, pakistan ranks low
Photo: Instagram/Sarwat Gilani

The report stated that there has been a decline in freedom of expression during the pandemic, with media persons facing threats due to absence of laws for their protection. 

“As a society, we are not honest to ourselves, but quick to judge others,” Sarwat said. “We don’t know how to communicate with our children, spouses, parents, and among ourselves on social media.”

Sarwat’s own award-winning web series Churails was removed from ZEE5 Global for “vulgar” content in October 2020. It highlighted the hypocrisy of patriarchal societies that continue to oppress the weak. Child abuse, male dominance, and sexism were some of the topics shown in the series that starred Nimra Bucha, Mehar Bano, and Yasra Rizvi.

In a survey by Digital Rights Foundation, more than half (57.5%) of respondents belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan said that they have faced backlash online or threats on the basis of their religion, and 34.5% confirmed that they feel uncomfortable expressing their religious identity online.

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