Sexual harassment is a depressing reality that women face in nearly all fields of their life; whether it is the supposed privacy of their homes or public space such as markets, offices and universities, the inevitably of a woman facing a sexual predator is not only present but rarely challenged. After complaints issued by female students at the University of Peshawar, students and members of the Pakhtun Students Federation and Insaaf Students Federation demonstrated against the alleged indifference shown by the administration against harassment on campus. It was stated that faculty members were found soliciting sexual favors in exchange for improved positions in examination results. Due to this vile behavior, several female students quit.
This is nothing new and certainly not limited to Peshawar. Sexual harassment is a social epidemic that pervades all sectors of life and hits women the most frequently and violently. In a male-dominated society, a woman has to endure multiple forms of aggression to prove her worth. She is rarely seen as a human being, more as an object that carries a dispensable amount of pleasure for men to use. Whether it is a lecherous boss who thinks due promotion can be bought with a perverse favor or a professor who thinks a female student owes him submission in return for a grade she worked hard for, male entitlement is the running force behind sexual harassment against women.
Protests indeed became rowdy and a small amount of damage to public property was rendered but at the very base of it all, one must understand, these protesters and their sense of camaraderie with harassed female students come from a place of concern and support. It does not matter if it is Peshawar or Lahore or Karachi, administrations need to address sexual harassment on campuses.