The Pakistani woman in the media has undergone many transformations. From the gullible and vulnerable to the bold and badtameez, from being cheated on to being the cheater and from reliving difficult stories of their assault to falsely accusing partners of domestic violence. The female protagonist has done it all, including rarely being empowered and having little to no representation of actual issues.

Actor Ayeza Khan has recently come under fire for a scene in her drama Laapata where her character falsely accuses a shopkeeper of harassment after he rightfully asks for his money when she purchases goods from him.


Written by Khizer Idrees, her character threatens to falsely expose the shopkeeper and ruin his image, all because she is a woman who has access to social media.

Many people, including celebrities, have called out the actor for her irresponsible project choices at a time when Pakistan is facing a surge in gender-based violence.

Perpetuating damaging stereotypes in the name of creative freedom is not okay. Why? Because in a country where women have to go through constant exhaustive emotional labour to speak up against harassment — only to be disregarded, character shamed, questioned and finally dismissed as liars — writing characters that disregard victims of abuse is insensitive and downright disgusting.