Saturday, October 17, 2015

An open letter to Madam Javeria Saud and all morning show hosts!!!

Madam i had the misfortune of watching your show in repeat on 16th October 2015 while surfing the channels and need to highlight certain issues on the topic that you had chosen today:

According to you and some of your guests, generally girls in Pakistan are not able to secure good jobs on the basis of their looks, or on the basis of the degree to which these ladies observe parda/hijab. It is quite disappointing to see what you are portraying through a channel which is being watched globally and definitely setting up an image of Pakistan in the whole world.

morning shows, society, mindset, thought process, fair complexion, discrimination
Are our morning shows actually represent majority of the mindset of the society or are they injecting the society with their own mindset?

I have been working since last 10 years in different multinational organizations and I have NEVER seen any discrimination against women on the basis of their looks; and especially never on their observation of Parda. I have worked with the ladies with full abayas, face covering hijabs and scarfs and not even once the people who were hiring them were focused more on their appearance instead of their skills which are actually required for the jobs.

Please note that in case of certain job descriptions which require a specific appearance and style of the lady, then it is the part of the requirement criteria of the job (like an air hostess where even height matters). If you go to a beauty saloon where the girl who is manicuring your hands has chipped nail polish and broken/cracked nails; and if you complaint against that; will you be doing discrimination according to her looks/appearance?

In case of a lady who has to work on software programming, graphic designing, financial analysis, legal solutions, and many other dimensions; the hiring people will not consider her nails or hairstyle. Similarly, if a girl is applying for a customer service or a sales/marketing position; the job requirements will be different as compared to a girl who is going to be a doctor or an engineer. I would request you not to incorrectly inject the minds of people who want to educate their daughters with such filth that their daughters will ultimately be treated as eye candies and will not be judged on their skills.

Also, if a hijab wearing lady is refused a job, it is not ALWAYS due to her hijab. The way many non hijab wearing girls are refused thousands of jobs everyday; the hijab wearing girls are refused as well. If a girl develops this perception herself that she is always denied the job due to her parda observation then this is her own way of thinking. There might be few cases but personally in my 10 year career I have NEVER seen such discrimination where a woman's skill is suppressed by her looks unless the job description specifically mentions the same.

In a country like ours where women are flying F-16s with a scarf around their heads, climbing mount everest and working in all the possible diverse fields; this is very discouraging for all the aspiring girls who are dreaming of becoming something in future to contribute to the society. I am disappointed that you, being a channel which is watched by millions of women and girls are building up the perception that the girls cannot be successful unless they are beautiful, modern and outgoing.

You also need to ponder over the continuous focus on looks and appearance by the media itself. Every single day we are watching thousands of advertisements where media itself is projecting the image of a FAIR lady who gets through all the hurdles in life, career and ultimately gets a handsome prince charming ONLY because of her fair complexion. In your morning shows; the ladies covered with heaps of makeup are telling others "gora hone ke tareeke". Why have we associated the beauty of a woman with only her complexion? If you are discriminating the dark complexioned ladies against the fair ladies in every single morning show and beauty cream commercial; you are responsible for the mindset of the people who are discriminating women in every field of life according to their looks; if they are.

If discrimination according to looks is wrong then stop showing the commercials which make the girls go into inferiority complex only on the basis of their appearance or complexion. Start the cleansing from yourself before requesting others to do so!

Thank you.

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